How to Make and Can Applesauce

One of the best “Fall smells” I can think of is applesauce cooking on the stove.   It is SO YUMMY!!!

Here’s a step by step of the easiest way I’ve found to make applesauce.  (But be sure to read Canning 101 first if you’re unfamiliar with the basic steps of canning safely!)

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I slice my apples like this, then peel each slice. 
I find this to be much easier than peeling the whole apple first and then slicing it. 

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As I slice and peel, I put my apples into a big pot.  At the bottom of my pot is 5 cups of water and 3 teaspoons of ascorbic acid (powdered vitamin C).

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As I continue to add apples, I stir them into the water/ascorbic acid frequently so that the apples are all coated with the mixture and are much less likely to turn brown.

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Once I have my pot 3/4 full of apples, I put it on the stove…

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and bring it to a boil, then simmer it (uncovered)
for about 30 minutes or until the apples are tender.

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Then, I spoon the tender apples with some of the liquid into my blender
and blend it all up until it is smooth.

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Isn’t it pretty!!!  Next, I pour the applesauce
into sterilized jars with a wide mouth funnel.

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I hot water bath my jars for about 25 minutes.

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And like always, after I pull them out of the hot water, I set them on my counter for several hours (or days) so that I can admire them and feel happy about my applesauce.  Ahh…..beautiful!

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Comments

  1. Brittney Colyer says

    How long will these cans keep before opening?
    Thanks for the canning 101….I have never canned before and am expecting my first child in 4 months and would love to can applesauce for when they are old enough.

    [Reply]

  2. says

    We go through a lot of applesauce, and I have often wondered what the cost saving factor might be to do this once or twice a year—just to can a bunch at once.

    I think the big thing would be for me to get a hold of lots of cheap apples.

    It looks quite yummy!

    [Reply]

    farmhouse Reply:

    I found some of the orchards have what they call
    drops (apples) for cheap check into it.

    [Reply]

  3. says

    I just did a whole bunch of applesauce myself this weekend too!!!

    Except, I don’t peel and core my apples. I cut them into quarters and cook them with about a caup of water until they are tender (add more or less water depending on the number of apples. It is mostly to help steam them) Then I push the soft apples through a sieve with a wooden spoon or spatula to drain out the skins, core and seeds. Then I add the sauce back to the pot to warm up and add sugar if needed. Then it’s off to the jars and the canner!!

    Easy peasy!!!

    [Reply]

  4. Joelle says

    Awww, I really miss homemade applesauce. When I was a kid my mom used a Victorio machine that blended the cooked apples and removed all the skins, and produced the sauce. It worked really well, and therefore sometimes the applesauce turned a pretty pink, because it was cooked with the skins. :)

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  5. says

    This is great! I haven’t made homemade applesauce since my little one ate baby food. I’m going to have to get back to it now that it is apple season. I LOVE homemade applesauce!

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  6. says

    Donna, super cost effective if you get your hands on FREE apples… The ones we pick are truly organic…. So every quart I can I yell $5 because that is about what a quart of Organic applesauce costs here!

    [Reply]

  7. says

    I just made some too but I did not can it yet. I use the same tool you have, except that I bought a tomato press off of ebay and use that so I don’t peel my apples. It is so easy and wonderful. I love it. Thank you for the tutorial.

    [Reply]

  8. Tanya says

    Just today I was searching for an applesauce recipe for my baskets of apples. God is soo good in His timing! Thank you for posting this…and the pictures:) Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow. Tanya

    [Reply]

  9. says

    I have never canned applesauce but i have been freezing it for the last few years. I put the sliced apples into my crockpot(as many as the pot will hold) with about 1 cup of water and let them cook…skin and all and then push the softened apples through a seive and then freeze it. I love the pink color and the taste is so much better then store bought. I cant wait to go and pick apples this year!

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Quick question. When you freeze your applesauce how long does it stay in the freezer? I want to freez some for baby food but I don’t want to use it too long if it goes bad. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Oh, it will last for months…probably even a couple of years!

    [Reply]

    kristina Reply:

    hi moms, i was just reading your comments since i’m planning to make applesauce.
    just a note – when i was researching how to make homemade baby food, i read that it’s good for 3months in a refrigerator/freezer or up to one year in a deep freeze.
    hope that helps!

    Megan Reply:

    Thanks, Lisa, for sharing info on crockpot applesauce. I plan to do this and freeze some very soon.

    [Reply]

  10. sarah says

    How many apples does it take to make one jar of applesauce? We are going apple picking this weekend and I’m going to try canning for the first time. I’m really excited to try this out as we all LOVE applesauce and it is so expensive at the store. Just not sure how many lbs of apples I need to get this weekend. Thanks!!

    [Reply]

  11. Krista says

    I canned several quarts of applesauce this year. A really easy way to make it is to use the corer/slicer thing like you used, (don’t peel the apples) place all apple slices in a crockpot and cook on high for 4-8 hours. DO NOT ADD LIQUID!! The apples will release their own juices as they cook. Adding water/juice will thin down your applesauce. They do turn brown, but if you used a lot of different types of apples, you shouldn’t need much, if any, sugar. Then I put the cooked apples through my food grinder attachment on my KitchenAid mixer. It grinds everything up so that you keep the nutrients of the peels. It ends up being a nice rosy brown color. A 6.5 quart crock put filled with apple slices yields about 4 quarts of applesauce.

    [Reply]

    Christi Reply:

    Does it grind up the skins enough to use for baby food?

    [Reply]

    Krista Reply:

    Yes, but I wouldn’t serve it as a first food. I started giving it to my son when he was around 9 months old.

    [Reply]

    Sue Reply:

    Last year I just washed and cored the apples, then I ground the apple
    and skins (without the seeds using my Vita Mix blender. It was sooo…
    smooth and you couldn’t tell that there was skin in it. I added sugar
    and cinnamon, placed it in the preheated jars and put them in the
    water bath. The only cooking was in the water bath. Everyone comments
    about the smoothness. It’s like babyfood! Tastes a lot better though.

    [Reply]

    Sue Reply:

    The apple sauce is still great a year later. Is there any reason
    we should not include the peels after grinding? Arsenic is only in
    the seeds.

    evie Reply:

    i use an apple peeler slicer corer, works wonderful for doing apples to freeze for pies and making applesauce. i paid $10.00 on sale at a kitchen store, a must for doing apples.

    [Reply]

  12. Chet says

    Don’t know if anyone has tried this but I’ve added raisins, fresh cranberries and walnuts to the apple sauce mix. Always near the end of the cooking so they don’t get too soft. Don’t have to add them all. Any one or two or three in combo. Adds a little “zing” and texture.

    [Reply]

    Barbara Reply:

    Do you can it with the raisins? I would love to do this, but cannot
    find in anywhere. Does it need to be processed any differently?

    [Reply]

  13. rachel says

    We make applesauce by using the same apple wedger as you but then we add them and one cup of water for a full blender. Blend well so that the skins are minuscule and then cook it down. We have never made enough this way to end up canning it. We just have it in the frig.

    [Reply]

  14. says

    I can 4 bushels of apples at a time and this year I will move up to 5. I have 4 children and we eat a LOT of applesauce. I use a Food strainer, they cost about 70.00 but are worth every penny! All you have to do is take out the stems and cut your apples into quaters or 8 pieces to cook faster. Cook them with about a 1/2 cup of water at the bottom and when soft send them through the stainer. The applesauce comes out one side and the skins the other. I run my skins through 2 times to get all the juices out. I can can 4 bushels in about 8 to 10 hours. It makes about 85 quarts depending on the quality and size of your apples and how much the children eat while helping. :)

    Strainer: http://www.amazon.com/Palmer-Wholesale-250-Victorio-Vegetable/dp/B001I7FP54/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1268689855&sr=8-9

    http://littleredhen4.blogspot.com/2009/10/applesauce-makinng.html

    Anyway I came across your blog and have enjoyed reading some of your posts about healthy living and thought you might find this info helpful in feeding your family.

    [Reply]

    Heather T. Reply:

    this is how I do it also soo fast no peeling, love it and yes its soo worth the $ invested in the food sieve

    [Reply]

  15. Dianne says

    Can you use citric acid instead of ascorbic acid? Would it be the same measurement?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve never used citric instead, but it would probably be fine and in the same amount.

    [Reply]

  16. Rhoda says

    When I make applesauce I add other fruit–whatever on hand, blackberry, blueberry, etc.(Strawberries I add at the end as they cook up fast.) The excess liquid I skim off before mashing and then freeze until I have enough to make mixed fruit jelly (6:8 ratio). Yum! I also freeze my apple sauce and it CAN last a long time, but we usually seem to go through it pretty quickly.

    [Reply]

  17. Handful says

    Just made and canned applesauce and apple butter the day before yesterday. (Canning tomato sauce now.)Go invest in the Victorio strainer. Apples, tomatoes, grapes and other fruits pureed and seedless in a heartbeat. And as one person mentioned, run the pulp/ skins back through several times. (By the third run through I was getting pure tomato paste.) A worthwhile investment for sure. Saves hours of time and gets every last juicy bit!

    [Reply]

  18. Sue Bingham says

    My 89 year old neighbor told me that adding a bit of salt to the water as you are cutting up the apples keeps them perfectly white. She stirs up the apples with each new handful, to get the slightly salty water on the apples. I tried it today for the first time, and wow, they look gorgeous! Thanks for all the great advice here….

    [Reply]

  19. Cassandra says

    My jar broke when I set it on the glass stove top after pulling it out of the boiling water. It sat there just fine and then 30seconds later POP! The bottom busted out. Any ideas why this happened? I did boil them longer than you said cause I didn’t hear the timer.

    [Reply]

    Handful Reply:

    Answered below… did not see this. Hope you get my response.

    [Reply]

    Heather T. Reply:

    I always set my down on a towel on the table or counter, I just walk it to that spot make sure you have a goo grip on it and put a towel or oven mit on your other hand to support underneath, good luck I have never had one break, I have been canning since I was a few years old with my father and this is what he always did, just use an older towel for things like beets or tomatoes sometimes they come out with the pressure.

    [Reply]

    Tonya Carroll Reply:

    Your jar broke because the heat transferred too quickly from the jar to the stove top (this is a good conductor for heat). So it is important to put your jars on something that is an insulator, like a towel. Something wooden is another option. I always use a towel as others mentioned.

    [Reply]

  20. Handful says

    Hi Cassandra,

    I too have had that happen. I think that either the jar had a flaw in it that weakened it or perhaps the temperature change was just too rapid. Be sure to keep the jars out of drafts (fan, air conditioner) and cover with a towel to allow slower cooling.

    [Reply]

  21. Judy says

    You simply MUST get an immersion blender!! SOOOOHO much easier and cleaner than filling and emptying a blender!!

    [Reply]

  22. Susan Alexander says

    I wish I had looked this up sooner – we are going out tomorrow to get apples and then on to the grocery store (hoping to find the ascorbic acid there). Any idea on the proportion of apples to ascorbic acid? And then how many jars that would make?? Trying to figure out how many to buy….

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I wish I had exact numbers for you. I just cook big pots full of apples as I can, but I’ve never counted the apples to know what exactly I’m working with. For my great big stock pot, I usually put about a quart of water in the bottom along with 2 Tablespoons of ascorbic acid. Just a guess – shucks I should measure more often. :)

    [Reply]

    Bekki Reply:

    There are about 50 pounds of apples in a bushel. This will make about
    12-18 quarts of applesauce. The variation is due to the types of apples
    used and how juicy the apples are. I used four and a half bushels this
    year and made 80 quarts. It’s a good year for apples where I am. I use
    a mixture of Smokehouse, McIntosh, Golden Delicious, and Empire.
    As for the asorbic acid I have no idea as I have never used it in
    applesauce and have never had problems with browning even in the few
    jars from last year which are still left on the shelf.

    [Reply]

    Susan Alexander Reply:

    Bekki, thanks… Any idea about how many (count-wise) apples in a bushel? Trying to figure out how many to buy… Interesting on the browning… So you just use apples and water and no problems? I was reading applesauce is good for 2-3 years on the shelf.

    Susan Alexander Reply:

    I did some more looking and it looks like the ascorbic/citric acid is just to prevent discoloration and not for actual food safety?? If that’s the case, I’m not so concerned with getting it “just right”.

    [Reply]

    Bekki Reply:

    There are about 3 to 4 apples in a pound, of course it depends on size.
    I just use apples and a half a cup of water to a 12 quart stock pot
    of chopped apples(about 3/4 full so I can still stir). I have a food
    strainer made by Back to Basics so I don’t have to peel or core makes
    it so much easier.

    Susan Alexander Reply:

    Thanks Bekki!

  23. Agnes says

    Drops are by far the cheapest. If you use a victorio strainer,(which I love and have done up to 200 quarts a year) you just need to check the apple for bad spots and remove the stem ends. I quarter my apples (skins and seeds included)put them in a pressure cooker with a small amount of water. Bring them up to 5 pounds pressure and turn them off. They are now perfectly soft and ready to run through the victorio strainer. One time while I was gone, my kids hooked up the electric drill to the handle of the victorio strainer and had applesauce in no time flat minus the claw hands and sore shoulder! So now we do it this way all the time! I have 10 kids and we operate an organic dairy farm. Believe me, you have to think outside the box sometimes!

    [Reply]

  24. Tiffani says

    Oh.my.goodness!! I just made 14 qts of apple butter using my (new) Victorio strainer. Can I just give a shout out…..WORTH EVERY PENNY!!! Love this machine! Tomorrow I’m doing 2 bushels of apples for applesauce.

    [Reply]

    Stephanie Reply:

    How do you use it to make apple butter? Thanks!! :)

    [Reply]

    Tiffani Reply:

    I make applesauce then make the apple butter in the crock pot.

    [Reply]

  25. Sharon says

    This is the first time that I will be planning to can applesauce and I’ve made some before, but NEVER canned any yet, so I wanted to know if using the same recipe WITHOUT the abscorbic acid (powdered vitamin C) is okay or not, or should I follow the same recipe, but add that into the water when cooking the applesauce?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, it’s fine – just know that without ascorbic acid your sauce may turn brown. The acid helps it maintain it’s nice color. Or yes, you could add it into the water when it’s cooking.

    [Reply]

  26. Sharon says

    By the way, these are the ingredients I used for the applesauce I made, which tasted delicious:

    4 apples – peeled, cored and chopped
    3/4 cup water
    1/4 cup white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon sugar

    [Reply]

  27. Barbara says

    Has anyone canned the applesauce with raisins?? Does it need a special process? Can the raisins be canned? I can’t find any info

    [Reply]

  28. Liz says

    Where do you find ascorbic acid? If I can’t find what can i use instead?

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    You can find it at a health food store. If you don’t have that option
    available you can use lemon juice.

    [Reply]

  29. says

    Thank you for this wonderful resource! I have done a little canning in the past but it didn’t work out so well! I’m concerned about our food these days so I decided that I’m going to start canning my food.Coming today, one bushel of apples! Thank you!

    [Reply]

  30. Stephanie says

    I love making homemade applesauce! Here in South Africa, it’s extremely expensive, so homemade is the only option for me. I fill my stock pot with peeled, quartered, cored apples and add 1 or 2 cups of 100% apple juice. Simmer until the apples are soft–add more juice if necessary so they don’t cook dry. Sometimes I add cinnamon or other spices. I then use a potato masher to mash the apples instead of pureeing them–faster and you end up with more product because it’s chunkier.

    I have learned that some things can be preserved without a hot water bath–jams, jellies, peaches, applesauce. Wash your jars and lids with hot soapy water and then sterilize them–either in a hot oven or in a pan on the stove with boiling water. I then put my very hot applesauce into hot jars (you have to use pot holders or the jars will burn you, you’ll probably get burned on the applesauce too at some point.) Close the jars with sterilized lids straight out of boiling water. I like to turn my jars upside down to make sure the jars seal. (Another thing I’ve learned here is to reuse jars–spaghetti sauce jars, peanut butter jars–really any glass jar that has a rubber seal in the lid will work if it’s not rusted at all.) I have never had anything go bad so far and I’ve used peaches or applesauce after more than 2 years since making them. The jams last for years.

    [Reply]

  31. Erin says

    Trying to figure this out (my 2 year old will only eat YELLOW applesauce, despite the fact that I’ve already made quite a bit of pink applesauce). Thank heavens my 7 yr old has grown out of her picky phase. How large is the pot pictured? I’m trying to determine the ratio of apples to water.

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    The pot pictured is 16 quarts.

    [Reply]

  32. says

    Cook the cored apples with apple cider or apple juice instead of water. Helps concentrate the apple flavor and you are less likely to want added sugar. I’ve found that adding a little salt and a little vanilla extract also potentiates the sweetness and you can use less/no sugar, depending on your taste.

    An immersion stick blender is a lifesaver. Way less work than having to take it all out and put in a regular blender. Way less cleaning too.

    [Reply]

  33. Karen says

    What kind of apples do you use for making applesauce? Are there any apples that are NOT recommended?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I really just use whatever I can get my hands on. :)

    [Reply]

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