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Canning Applesauce – 4 easy ways

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In the fall when the apples get ripe, one of the easiest things you can do with them is Canning Applesauce. Just two ingredients is all you need! A step by step guide to easy applesauce!

Close up of one jar of applesauce.Pin

Making homemade applesauce is a great way to preserve lots of apples in a short amount of time so that you can enjoy them all year long! Learn 3 different, easy ways to make it here.

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What kind of apples should you use?

You can really use any apple you have access to. Firm, sweet apples make the best applesauce. I usually use a mixture of varieties for a more rounded flavor.

Use 2/3 of a sweet variety and add 1/3 of any of the tart varieties to make a well rounded, flavorful sauce.

Sweet varieties

  • Golden delicious
  • Honeycrisp
  • Fuji

Tart / sweet varieties

  • McIntosh
  • Jonagold
  • Granny Smith
  • Pink Lady

Tangy / tart varieties

  • Cortland
  • Braeburn
  • Liberty
Two bowl of sauce with pink tea towel.Pin

Can you use a water bath canner?

Yes. You certainly can. Apples have a high acid content and can be safely canned in a water bath canning pot with no added acid.

There are two methods you can use for canning applesauce. The first one is faster and easier because you use a food mill or vegetable strainer/juicer, so there is no need to peel the apples.

If you do not own either of those tools, you will need to peel the apples first, or just keep the skins on and make a slightly chunkier sauce.

White bowl with sauce on pink towel.Pin

What sweeteners can you use?

I prefer to can the sauce with no added sugars. It gives you more flexibility in using the sauce. You can always sweeten individual servings, after opening.

If you would like to sweeten the applesauce, you can use

  • sugar
  • brown sugar
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • sugar substitute, like Splenda

What you need

  • apples
  • water or apple juice
Colorful apples on marble background.Pin

Optional ingredients

  • sugar
  • spices, such as cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  • ginger
  • vanilla
  • lemon or orange zest
  • other fruits, such as; mango, pear, cranberry, cherry, blueberry.
Five jars of applesauce with colorful apples.Pin

What if you want a chunkier applesauce?

If you want a chunky applesauce, leave the peels on (this also increases the fiber in the sauce). Use an immersion blender, food processor or even a potato masher to mash the apples after cooking, leaving some chunks.

If using the potato masher, I would suggest peeling the apples first or you will have large chunks of the peels in your sauce.

You can cook it in a variety of ways

Use the stovetop

  1. Wash apples.
  2. Core apples.
  3. Place apple halves in large stockpot with about 1″ of juice or water in the bottom of the pot. Don’t overfill the pot with apples because you will have to stir to avoid burning on the bottom. Place lid on pot. Bring to boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium high and cook down until apples are very soft, 5-20 minutes.
  5. Using slotted spoon, remove apples from liquid. Use food mill, vegetable strainer, immersion blender or food processor to mash.
  6. Load apples into food mill.
  7. Discard skins.
  8. Place the sauce back in pot to keep warm.
  9. Save the liquid. It is all natural apple juice!
Making applesauce process collage- details in recipe below.Pin

Use your slow cooker

  • Core apples.
  • Place apple halves in slow cooker with about 1/2″ cup of juice or water in the bottom of the pot.
  • Place lid. Slow cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours until very soft.
  • Using slotted spoon, remove apples from liquid.
  • Use food mill, vegetable strainer, immersion blender or food processor to mash.
  • Reheat the sauce just before filling jars.

Use the microwave

If you are short on time, you can even use the microwave to cook the apples.

  • Core apples. Cut into chunks.
  • Place apples in a microwave safe bowl. Cover bowl. Microwave for about 4 minutes, until apples are very soft.
  • Use food mill, vegetable strainer, immersion blender or food processor to mash.
  • Rewarm sauce just before canning, so that it is hot when added to jars.

Use your instant pot

You can also use your instant pot to cook the applesauce.

  • Core apples. Cut into chunks.
  • Place apples in the inner pot. Add ½ cup water or juice. Close lid and lock vent. Set to high pressure for 10 minutes. Natural release for another 10 minutes. Release additional pressure.
  • Use food mill, vegetable strainer, immersion blender or food processor to mash.
  • Rewarm sauce just before canning, so that it is hot when added to jars.
Close up of white bowl with applesauce.Pin
Canning Applesauce

Canning the sauce

  • Wash and sterilize jars in your canning pot. Keep them sitting in hot water, until the sauce is ready.
  • Wash lids. Add hot water to jars and keep warm until sauce is ready.
  • Remove jars one at a time from canning pot. Drain water.
  1. Ladle hot applesauce into hot jars, using a wide mouth canning funnel and ladle, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Using a knife or plastic chopstick, remove any air bubbles that may have formed along the edges of the jars.
  2. Wipe jar rim with damp towel to clean any debris.
  3. Retrieve lid from hot water with magnetic lid lifter. Attach to jar. Screw on bands fingertip tight.
How to can it process collage- details in recipe below.Pin

Add jars to canning pot using your jar lifter. Process pint jars 15 minutes or quarts 20 minutes, adjust process time for altitude. Start timer after water comes back to a boil. Allow jars to sit in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Remove jars to counter and allow them cool, undisturbed for 12-24 hours.

Check lids for seal. If lids pop up and down in center, jar did not seal. Store any unsealed jars in refrigerator for about 1 week.

Store sealed jars in cool, dry place for about one year.

Why did my jars leak after removing from the canning pot?

If your jars have leaked after removing them for the pot, you have experienced a common canning phenomenon. This is called siphoning.

The most common causes for siphoning are;

  • Not allowing the jars to rest in canning pot, after turning off heat. This gives the jars a chance to start to cool down slowly.
  • Overfilling your jars. Leave at least 1/2″ headspace. (the space between the product and the top of jar)
  • Hidden air pockets in jars.
  • Defective lids.

What can you do if you experience siphoning? Check the seal. Make sure jars have sealed and lid does not flex up and down when pressed in the middle. If jar is sealed, the product will be fine. Wash the excess liquid off of the jar and store as usual. Any jars that did not seal should be refrigerated and used within one week, or frozen. See notes for freezing below.

Close up of jars of applesauce.Pin

Freezing

If you don’t have time, or just don’t want to can the applesauce, it can be frozen in wide mouth jars. Be sure to leave a 1″ headspace. Applesauce can also be frozen in freezer bags or other freezer containers. Allow sauce to come to room temperature before freezing.

Pro tips to ensure your success

  • You need about 21 pounds of apples to make 7 quarts of sauce.
  • No lemon juice is needed to can applesauce safely.
  • Allow jars to rest in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, before removing from pot.
  • Use a mixture of apples for a more rounded flavor.
  • Add optional ingredients after sauce is pureed.
  • Keep sauce hot until it goes into jars.

More recipes for apples

Other canning recipes

Love Gardening? If you love growing your own produce, these posts are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss our How to Start a Garden Series!

The first section is Planning Your Garden. Second is Preparing the Garden Site.

The third is Choosing Plants and Planting Your Garden. The fourth is Garden Maintenance.

The last is Harvesting a Garden and Preserving the Harvest, this article has over 100 FREE recipes for preserving your harvest!

2 white bowls filled with applesauce with silver spoons. Pin

Tools I Use

I hope this tutorial for canning applesauce has been useful for you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I’ll do everything I can to help.

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Close up of jar of applesauce with red apple.Pin

Canning Applesauce

In the fall when the apples get ripe, one of the easiest things you can do with them is Canning Applesauce. Just two ingredients is all you need! A step by step guide to easy applesauce!
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: canning, Condiment
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 56 servings
Calories: 88kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $20

Ingredients

  • 21 lbs apples see notes above for varieties
  • 2 cups water or substitute apple juice

Instructions

  • Core apples. No need to peel but you can peel, if desired. (See notes)
  • Add apples to large pot. Add water.
  • Cook apples for 10-20 minutes, until very soft and tender.
  • Using slotted spoonremove apples to a food mill or vegetable strainer/juicer to remove peels. Or leave peels on to increase fiber.
  • Applesauce can also be processed with immersion blender or food processor. They can also be mashed with potato masher, but if you choose this method, remove peels.
  • Prepare jars and lids.
  • Ladle hot applesauce into hot jars with wide mouth funnel and ladle, leaving 12" headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles with plastic chopstick or knife along edges of jar.
  • Wipe rims with damp cloth.
  • Attach lids.
  • Place bands on jars and tighten fingertip tight.
  • Process 15 minutes for pints. 20 minutes for quarts.
  • Allow jars to rest in hot water for 5-10 minutes before removing from pot.
  • Place jars on kitchen towel on your counter. Test for seal. Lids should not flex up and down when pressed.
  • Store sealed jars in cool, dry place. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 1 week.
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Video

Notes

Yield 7 quart jars or 14 pint jars
One bushel of apples yields 14-19 quarts of sauce.
If you would like to you can peel the apples before cooking with an apple peeler or vegetable peeler.
Applesauce freezes well. See Freezing section in tutorial for method.
Apples can be cooked on stovetop, in slow cooker or in microwave. See tutorial for detailed directions for each method.
Use a mixture of varieties for added flavor.
Keep applesauce, jars and lids hot until jars are filled.
Optional ingredients
  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • ginger
  • vanilla
  • lemon or orange zest
  • other fruits, such as; mango, pear, cranberry, cherry, blueberry.
Processing times for water bath canner, adjusting for altitude
Information from National Center for Home Food Preservation
For Pints
0-1000 feet above sea level 15 minutes
1000-3000 ft. 20 minutes
3000-6000 ft. 20 minutes
above 6000 ft. 25 minutes
For Quarts
0-1000 feet above sea level 20 minutes
1000-3000 ft. 25 minutes
3000-6000 ft. 30 minutes
above 6000 ft. 35 minutes
Canning pressure for dial gauge canner, adjusting for altitude
For pints -8 minutes
0-2000 feet above sea level 6 pounds
2000-4000 ft. 7 pounds
4000-6000 ft. 8 pounds
above 6000 ft. 9 pounds
For quarts – 10 minutes
0-2000 feet above sea level 6 pounds
2000-4000 ft. 7 pounds
4000-6000 ft. 8 pounds
above 6000 ft. 9 pounds
For pints or quarts – 10 minutes
0-2000 feet above sea level 11 pounds
2000-4000 ft. 12 pounds
4000-6000 ft. 13 pounds
above 6000 ft. 14 pounds
For weighted gauge canner
For pints – 15 minutes
0-1000 feet above sea level 5 pounds
above 1000 ft. 10 pounds
For pints – 8 minutes
0-1000 feet above sea level 5 pounds
above 1000 ft. 10 pounds
For quarts – 10 minutes
0-1000 feet above sea level 5 pounds
above 1000 ft. 10 pounds

Nutrition

Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 92IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
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20 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love it! I always use my slow cooker to cook the apples, but I’m afraid to try actual canning so then I usually freeze it. I think I’m going to give your method a try, though! Thanks so much for the tips!

  2. 5 stars
    Everything we need to know about canning applesauce is right here! So informative and touching all the points to make it so simple. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Quite impressive. Love how your canned applesauces turned out. I’d love to make my own apple sauce, but I fear I’ll not the canning right. Thanks for all the tips and suggestions. Just the confidence I need to try this recipe.

    1. It is really not as difficult as folks make it out to be. This applesauce is one of the easiest to do! Thanks for checking out the recipe Rosemary!

  4. 5 stars
    I just bought a bunch of apples to make applesauce so this is perfect for me! My little one loves applesauce so I thought it would be fun to try and make it at home. I will definitely be following your recipe and using your tips! Thanks for sharing!

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