How Long Applesauce Stays Fresh After Opening

To paraphrase Bobby Brady, Pan-seared pork chops and applesauce are swell, but no need to stop there. An applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting is equally delightful; however, if the star ingredient has spoiled, it can be the killjoy that keeps you from making and enjoying either. Applesauce, whether store-bought or homemade, has a limited shelf life. Once you pop the top off a jar or pull back that foil cover from a cup of whatever brand of applesauce you love, the clock starts ticking. But you can slow it down and enjoy it with other dishes for a couple of weeks if you store it properly. 

The preservation process begins with the fridge. But before you place your applesauce in this appliance, the lid needs to be tightly closed or the container in question needs to be tucked away in a plastic storage bag free of air. Store-bought applesauce can last anywhere from seven to 14 days. Homemade applesauce, which is made using no more than apples, water, a little sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice, has a similar life span; but after about four to seven days in the fridge, your thick, golden applesauce may be ready for the garbage disposal.

How to freeze applesauce

How can you tell if your applesauce is past its prime? Use your nose to see if the smell of your puree has gone bad. Additionally, you want to look for changes in color, and of course mold growth. When applesauce is excessively light in color or excessively dark, you  may need to pitch it. If you detect any of these changes, be safe and toss it. Of course, if you know you can't consume applesauce after opening or making it, you can always prep it for the freezer. This will extend its life for about six months.

To freeze both store-bought and homemade applesauce, you may want to break out the ice cube trays and fill them with the pureed fruit. Place the trays in the freezer for a couple of hours to solidify and then pop them out of the tray. Place the cubes in a freezer-safe container and you can enjoy your applesauce whenever you get a hankering. When you go to thaw it, you will find it has a little bit of an icy consistency that has a frozen applesauce ice texture and is absolutely delicious. Just remember, do not store glass containers in the freezer unless you know they are freezer-safe. If you do not heed this guidance, you may learn the hard way the glass will crack and leave you with a not-so-fun clean-up.