Homemade Applesauce Recipe & Canning

My wonderful cousin Kaila got about 500 pounds of apples off the tree at her new house and was kind enough to give some to me. Since the apples were free and readily available I decided to attempt to make some applesauce. It was messy but a really fun family affair!

Homemade Applesauce Recipe and Canning Instructions

Step 1: Get your pot ready

I used my biggest pot and put a little water in the bottom to keep the apples from sticking. As I peeled the apples I just started throwing them in to start cooking.

Step 2: Peel a TON of apples

I used my handy dandy apple peeler which the kids thought was WAY fun to help with. If you don’t have one of these peelers, you can always try the method which Kaila’s husband came up with. Check out this video, it’s hilarious. Just as a reference, I used about 14 pounds of apples (before coring/peeling) and it netted 5 quarts of applesauce.

Step 3: Cook up those apples

By the time we were done peeling all the apples the first ones were really well cooked. I just let the whole thing cook for about 10 more minutes to make sure they were all soft.

Step 4: Prepare your canner and jars

While the apples were cooking I ran my bottles in the dishwasher to sterilize them. I also filled up my canner and started to boil the water. Lastly, I started some small pots of water boiling to sterilize my lids and rings. If you are new to canning, I would HIGHLY recommend getting a Home-Canning Kit to get all the tools you need to do proper canning. If you don’t have a canner or jars yet you can buy an all-in-one kit which will include EVERYTHING you need to get started!

Step 5: Make the applesauce!

Once the apples were all soft, I used my hand-me-down 1970′s-style baymix to puree them. I’m not sure why I call it a baymix but that is what my mom always called it when I was growing up. I couldn’t find the exact one online to show you, but I absolutely LOVE mine. Some of these hand blenders look similar but I can’t vouch for them. You could also use a food processor or even a blender to do the pureeing. But the baymix was SO easy because I could do it straight in the pan. At this point you can add any seasonings you want. I added 2 cups of sugar but could have gotten away with just one. Ours turned out really sweet and delicious. Some people like to add cinnamon or other things but I prefer to just add those when we eat it.

Step 6: Pour the applesauce into jars and seal ‘em up

Use a funnel as this can get really messy. I ladled the applesauce in leaving about 1/2 an inch of space at the top of the jars. Then I used my tongs to pull out a lid and ring for each jar. Try not to touch these things with bare hands as you don’t want them to get unsterilized. Screw the ring on tight once the lid is on.

Step 7: Put your jars into your canner and boil (make sure the water goes ABOVE the jars. I added more after this picture.

As I filled each jar I would put it into the canner. As you put more jars in the water level rises, so you don’t need to start with the canner all the way full. Once I had all 5 jars in I filled up the canner to cover the jars with hot water. You have to wait until the water is boiling before you start timing. Let it boil for 20 minutes and then remove the jars. Way easy huh?

Step 8: ENJOY! (my kids sure did)

For more canning recipes and ideas we recommend the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I got it from my mother-in-law for a gift and I use it a TON!


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  • Deb R

    In order to process the applesauce correctly you should have a least a inch or two of water above the rim of the jars. This will help to remove most of the air that is in the jars, and seal them properly. If sealed properly there should be a definate vacuum release sound when opened. I sometimes need to use a knife to pry the lids off.
    The Ball Book on Canning is a great tool for even a veteran canner. Otherwise, I love the pictures that you included in your blog. Lovely Family.

  • Sheri

    How long do you pressure cook applesauce at 3500 feet? also what poundage? 12 ?

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  • mikaela

    How long do they last if stored in food storage? How long do they last in refrigerator? or after opening the can???? The process does not end when you are done cooking right? Looking fw to learning more about canning. ~a canning newbie~

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      I am eating some applesauce I canned 3 years ago. I probably wouldn’t go much longer than that. Once I open a bottle I can leave it in the fridge for a week or two with no problems. Once it is opened it will need to be refrigerated. Hope that helps!

      • Bwalkerbell

        I want to know what to use instead of sugar. Can I use honey or a little splenda?  I plan to use some cinnamon and maybe some natural orange juice.  What is your opinion.

        • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

          I found this info on another website, you should be able to just add a little cinnamon and no sweeteners. “Choose apples that are naturally sweet, like Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Winesap, McIntosh, Yellow Delicious, Mutsu and always use a mixture – never just one type. This year I used a mixture of Fuji (30%), Yellow Delicious (20%), Gala (20%), Winesap (10%) , McIntosh (10%) and Jonathon (10%). This meant it was so sweet I did not need to add *any* sugar at all. And the flavor is great! The Fuji’s and Gala’s give it an aromatic flavor! Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are also excellent, sweet, flavorful apples.”

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  • http://homemadecanning.com Homemade canning

    An effective and safe way of preserving food is through jar canning.+While some people say that food canning is not that easy, it is actually an easy process. Safety should always come first when canning foods. Never fail to check canned foods before you consume them especially the expiration date which can vary depending on the kind of preserved food.

  • http://homemadecanning.com Homemade canning

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work.

  • Mamieplatt

    There is no reason to peel the apples…that is where all the nutrition is. Just wash and slice the apples, cook them down and puree them in the food processor. You can’t tell there are any peels if you use a thin skinned apple like Fuji. Saves a LOT of time and tastes the same and is more nutritious. Enjoy. (I take the cores and run them thro my juicer and make jelly out of the juice. One box, usually makes 7 cups of juice, which makes a batch of jelly.)

  • http://lilredhen-shelley.blogspot.com Mssbb

    http://www.ugu.edu/nchfp This link will give you the most current, correct and up-to-date recommendations for home food preserving.

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  • Molly

    When using the water-bath method the water *MUST* be 1 – 2″ over the top of the jars! Please correct this error! I agree with the other posts here who have written you a wise word of caution.

    On another note, it is not necessary to peel apples in preparation for smooth applesauce. Simply cut off the blossom-end, (which is bitter, and will put dark specks in your sauce) then, cut the apple in quarters, inspecting the seed area. There is a health benefit to keeping the seeds and skin in the mix. With this method, later, this mix must be strained or pureed. The result will be a smooth applesauce, and if you used red apples, will result in a pretty pink tint in the sauce.

  • Jtrsam

    I really love your site but, I do have to disagree about how you water bath your applesauce. You should have 1 inch of water to cover your jars . then bring it to a boil and time. Please read the Canning book again and PLEASE, let me know if I am wrong!

  • Jtrsam

    I really love your site but, I do have to disagree about how you water bath your applesauce. You should have 1 inch of water to cover your jars . then bring it to a boil and time. Please read the Canning book again and PLEASE, let me know if I am wrong!

  • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

    We like to make things easy and FUN here :) Glad it could help you!

  • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

    We like to make things easy and FUN here :) Glad it could help you!

  • Flaria Parker

    I can not begin to tell you how easy your recipe was to follow. I wasted too much time searching the net for easy directions only to become flustered. Thank you for easy, simple, sensible directions.

  • Anonymous

    I can not begin to tell you how easy your recipe was to follow. I wasted too much time searching the net for easy directions only to become flustered. Thank you for easy, simple, sensible directions.

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      We like to make things easy and FUN here :) Glad it could help you!

  • flariaparker

    I can not begin to tell you how easy your recipe was to follow. I wasted too much time searching the net for easy directions only to become flustered. Thank you for easy, simple, sensible directions.

  • Flaria Parker

    I can not begin to tell you how easy your recipe was to follow. I wasted too much time searching the net for easy directions only to become flustered. Thank you for easy, simple, sensible directions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Deejay-Bratsch/725890208 Deejay Bratsch

    I love canning. I am canning apple pie filling this weekend. I got about 300 pounds of apples off my trees in Northern NV.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Deejay-Bratsch/725890208 Deejay Bratsch

    I love canning. I am canning apple pie filling this weekend. I got about 300 pounds of apples off my trees in Northern NV.

  • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

    Yes, the boiling times needs to be the same. That's how you get the
    applesauce to be preserved in the bottles. Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    I am preparing to do this for the first time and I was wanting to jar my apple sauce in pint size jars instead of quart size. Do I still boil my pint size jars for 20 minutes adter I have filled them with apple sauce? I am in Illinois so I know I have no altitude issues, but that is about all I know! Can someone please help?

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      Yes, the boiling times needs to be the same. That’s how you get the
      applesauce to be preserved in the bottles. Good luck!

  • raeka_sakura

    I am preparing to do this for the first time and I was wanting to jar my apple sauce in pint size jars instead of quart size. Do I still boil my pint size jars for 20 minutes adter I have filled them with apple sauce? I am in Illinois so I know I have no altitude issues, but that is about all I know! Can someone please help?

  • Vicki

    Hmmm. . . Did I mis-read that last part? I hope you covered your jars with the boiling water. They need to have 1-2″ of boiling water over the top of the jars to process them, in the picture it doesn’t look like your jars are covered with water. Just trying to be clear so everyone stays safe.

  • Vicki

    Hmmm. . . Did I mis-read that last part? I hope you covered your jars with the boiling water. They need to have 1-2″ of boiling water over the top of the jars to process them, in the picture it doesn’t look like your jars are covered with water. Just trying to be clear so everyone stays safe.

  • http://kimshields1@hotmail.com Kim Shields

    Imake applesauce every summer from my apple tree. i use apple juice and cover the apples to cook. I add 4-6 cinammon sticks and and let the apples cook. Yummy! I am just finding your sight and love it thanks.

  • Kim Shields

    Imake applesauce every summer from my apple tree. i use apple juice and cover the apples to cook. I add 4-6 cinammon sticks and and let the apples cook. Yummy! I am just finding your sight and love it thanks.

  • Marie

    Please remember that in Utah we need to make an altitude adjustment for the time required to safely can applesauce. In altitudes between 3,000 and 6,000 feet, the correct processing time for applesauce is 20 minutes for pints and 30 minutes for quarts. Also the applesauce must be kept at boiling temperature when filling the bottles. This is referenced in the USDA Canning Guide.

  • Marie

    Please remember that in Utah we need to make an altitude adjustment for the time required to safely can applesauce. In altitudes between 3,000 and 6,000 feet, the correct processing time for applesauce is 20 minutes for pints and 30 minutes for quarts. Also the applesauce must be kept at boiling temperature when filling the bottles. This is referenced in the USDA Canning Guide.

  • Anna

    Loved Jodi’s answer to NadjaUK. We eat it as a side dish too; with a beef version of Wienerschnitzel (don’t eat veal) or with pork, chicken, etc. My second son loves it by itself, too. Never would have thought of it with Mexican– thanks for sharing!

  • Anna

    Loved Jodi’s answer to NadjaUK. We eat it as a side dish too; with a beef version of Wienerschnitzel (don’t eat veal) or with pork, chicken, etc. My second son loves it by itself, too. Never would have thought of it with Mexican– thanks for sharing!

  • Jodi

    Nadja- We eat our applesauce plain! It’s delicious as a side dish. My kids eat it as a fruit serving for breakfast. We also like it with Mexican food, just adds an additional flavor and texture to the meal. It’s really good sprinkled with cinnamon.

    Also, if you are trying to avoid fats in your diet, applesauce can replace things like butter and oil in your baking. Julie uses it in her bread and cake recipes quite often. Hope that helps!

  • Jodi

    Nadja- We eat our applesauce plain! It’s delicious as a side dish. My kids eat it as a fruit serving for breakfast. We also like it with Mexican food, just adds an additional flavor and texture to the meal. It’s really good sprinkled with cinnamon.

    Also, if you are trying to avoid fats in your diet, applesauce can replace things like butter and oil in your baking. Julie uses it in her bread and cake recipes quite often. Hope that helps!

  • NadjaUK

    What does everyone use applesauce for – It’s not a big thing over here in the UK.
    The only thing I could think of was as an addition to HM yogurt or porridge etc ??
    How do you use yours ??
    (We have a ton of apple trees round here that we forage from so would like some ideas as we have lots of chutney/frozen apples for pies etc)

  • NadjaUK

    What does everyone use applesauce for – It’s not a big thing over here in the UK.
    The only thing I could think of was as an addition to HM yogurt or porridge etc ??
    How do you use yours ??
    (We have a ton of apple trees round here that we forage from so would like some ideas as we have lots of chutney/frozen apples for pies etc)

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  • Val

    That hand mixer is a BAMIX… I love mine!

  • Val

    That hand mixer is a BAMIX… I love mine!

  • http://www.mandeeandbrandy.blogspot.com Brandy

    Thanks for the comment on our blog. I came to visit and I am loving your sight. I am going to add you to our blog roll under Food Storage helps. I have only begun to post about food storage, but I love getting idea’s from other’s. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.mandeeandbrandy.blogspot.com Brandy

    Thanks for the comment on our blog. I came to visit and I am loving your sight. I am going to add you to our blog roll under Food Storage helps. I have only begun to post about food storage, but I love getting idea’s from other’s. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://theobsessiveshopper.blogspot.com Shauntell

    Jodi,
    I made homemade applesauce last year and my kids loved it! I only wish I would have found your instructions then. They were so easy to understand. Good job!
    One fun thing I did was on a few bottles I placed redhots on top of the apple sauce before sealing them. This year when I looked at my stored bottles, pretty red stripes lined the inside of the bottle! It looked like those salt water taffy’s, brown with red stripes. Just a fun thought.

  • http://theobsessiveshopper.blogspot.com Shauntell

    Jodi,
    I made homemade applesauce last year and my kids loved it! I only wish I would have found your instructions then. They were so easy to understand. Good job!
    One fun thing I did was on a few bottles I placed redhots on top of the apple sauce before sealing them. This year when I looked at my stored bottles, pretty red stripes lined the inside of the bottle! It looked like those salt water taffy’s, brown with red stripes. Just a fun thought.

  • http://sls.farflungcraft.com Kristy

    I just found your site yesterday and really like what you are doing. Thanks for sharing this and the spreadsheet. I gave you a little link love on my blog today as well.

  • http://sls.farflungcraft.com Kristy

    I just found your site yesterday and really like what you are doing. Thanks for sharing this and the spreadsheet. I gave you a little link love on my blog today as well.

  • jweiss08

    I have always been terribly afraid of canning, but if Jodi can do it, I think I can to!!!! Besides my sister dragged me to my mom’s house a couple weeks ago to bottle up her tomatoes and pears. Watching it in real life made it seem so much easier. It’s so much healthier and yummier. One day I’ll have a garden and be able to do more of it. Why do we call it canning when its really not in CANS but in bottles?

  • jweiss08

    I have always been terribly afraid of canning, but if Jodi can do it, I think I can to!!!! Besides my sister dragged me to my mom’s house a couple weeks ago to bottle up her tomatoes and pears. Watching it in real life made it seem so much easier. It’s so much healthier and yummier. One day I’ll have a garden and be able to do more of it. Why do we call it canning when its really not in CANS but in bottles?

  • Dana

    What we normally do is use the pressure cooker to cook the apples. No risk of scorching that way. We also have a Victorio Strainer so we don’t have to peel and core the apples. We quarter them, pressure cook them and use the strainer to mush them up. http://www.mendingshed.com/vkp250.html

    If you know someone has a strainer it cuts the time involved in applesauce making tremendously. Once you know what they are you see them at garage sales, etc.

  • Dana

    What we normally do is use the pressure cooker to cook the apples. No risk of scorching that way. We also have a Victorio Strainer so we don’t have to peel and core the apples. We quarter them, pressure cook them and use the strainer to mush them up. http://www.mendingshed.com/vkp250.html

    If you know someone has a strainer it cuts the time involved in applesauce making tremendously. Once you know what they are you see them at garage sales, etc.