This easy to make homemade apple sauce is simple to make at the peak of the apple harvest season and makes a delicious treat to savour the season all year long. Eat it straight out of the jar and create space on your pantry shelves for this must have staple.
Once you’ve made your own apple sauce, you’ll never buy it again. It’s a quick and easy option for canning your apples in bulk and a great grab and go snack for all ages. This cheap and healthy pantry staple recipe is a classic for families.
We love apple season! There’s so much yummy goodness that can be made, canned and preserved to make the apple season last throughout the winter.
I grew up learning to can apples with my mother as our neighbourhood was loaded with backyard apple trees of all sorts of heirloom varieties. We are blessed with an abundance of apples in the Pacific Northwest and yet so much goes to waste or the trees are chopped down instead of harvesting and preserving these delicious treats.
Wether you live where apples are in abundance, are planting your own backyard apple tree, or know that come September it’s time to stock up on apples at a low price in the grocery store then you’ve come to the right place.
This apple sauce recipe is simple, easy to do and so versatile that you’ll start filling your pantry shelves and cupboards with your own apple sauce, never to buy it again.
With twenty one apple trees on our homestead we make a lot of apple sauce and a lot of canning recipes that involve apples.
I use my apple sauce all year long, from eating it fresh to using it as an oil or butter substitute in baking or adding it to yummy desserts. The ideas for using your apple sauce are endless. I’ve rounded up some recipes to inspire using apple sauce in this post.
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Canning Apple Sauce
There are many reasons why you should make homemade applesauce over buying it at the store. When you’re on a mission to become more self sufficient, making more of your own pantry staples is a great place to start!
One of the main reasons is apples are in abundance in the fall. It’s easy to find free organic apples in your backyard neighbourhood.
During the summer and fall apples are also at their lowest produce of the year in the grocery store.
Applesauce is a a healthy and delicious snack, rich in fibre and vitamin C. The healthiest apple sauce is homemade from organic apples, without sugar and with the skins on.
Store bought apple sauce is more expensive, doesn’t have the same natural amount of fibre and vitamin C and lastly isn’t in sustainable packaging.
The only thing that you do need to think about is that any home canning must follow healthy safe canning procedures to avoid botulism.
Read more about healthy safe canning in this post, BEGINNERS GUIDE TO PRESERVING FOOD.
Now that you’ve decided that canning your own homemade applesauce is far better than purchasing it, lets start making it!
CANNING APPLES, WHICH IS BEST?
The best apples for apple sauce are apples that soften easily and are sweet in flavour. I often use transparent apples as they aren’t good for much other than canning.
Other apples that are great for applesauce are McIntosh and Golden Delicious commonly found at the grocery store.
Source local apple trees for fun varieties that also make for great applesauce, check out these top apple trees to grow in the Pacific Northwest.
Once you've sourced apples its time to start processing them.
Canning Apple Sauce Recipe
Set up an apple processing station in your kitchen like what I've done here.
You’ll need the following tools ready on hand for this easy canning recipe using the hot water bath method. Its hard to see but in the photo I’m using my Johnny Apple peeler corer. Its the same cast iron preserving tool that my mom and nana use to quickly and easily core, peel and slice apples into rings like you can see in right hand side of the sink.
If you don’t have this tool then you can use a knife to do it all, which isn’t as fun but still gets the job done.
MORE CANNING APPLESAUCE MATERIALS
How to Make Homemade Apple Sauce from Scratch
STEP ONE: PREPARE APPLES
Start processing the apples by peeling and coring them. Peels and cores go in one side of the sink, apples on the opposite side in warm water with a few drops of lemon juice to prevent browning.
STEP TWO: COOK THE APPLES
Fill pot with 2 inches of water to prevent apples from scorching.
Add enough apples to almost fill the pot. I like to make big batches at a time to get through my apple processing quickly and easily.
Heat over medium low heat and mix.
WAIT! You can stop here if life gets in the way. Canning your apple sauce can take awhile from start to finish, that’s why I like to set aside a lot of time and get a babysitter for the kids, or at least entertain them with a new colouring book or a friend to play with.
But if you’ve gotten this far, you can stop and freeze your apples to finish your apple sauce later on or to use in baking. Learn how to freeze apple slices in this post.
STEP THREE: PUREE
Continue to stir until desired consistency is reached or blend with an immersion blender.
Another option is to use this amazing hack that I recently discovered that makes creating super smooth apple sauce a breeze. Learn how to use a food mill here.
Homemade applesauce is good for a week to ten days when stored in the refrigerator. It can also be canned or frozen for longer term storage.
If you choose to freeze your homemade applesauce, then do so in 2 cup measures and label with date and amount. This helps when using the applesauce for baking.
STEP 4: WATER BATH CANNING APPLESAUCE
If you're new to hot water bath canning I highly recommend you read this guide, Quickstart Guide to Water Bath Canning, before you prepare your jars and use your hot water bath.
Water Bath canning is simple and friendly but their a science to this art that needs to be understood for the health and safety of your family.
Prepare jars and lids.
Fill jars using a silicon ladle
Wipe rims and add hot seals and lids
Place in hot water bath for 10 minutes for half pint jars.
Set jars to cool, label and store for eating over the winter months.
Canning Applesauce Recipe
- Hot Water Bath Kit
- Stock Pot
- 500 ml Jars and Snap Lids
- Wash, peel and core apples.
- In a large, heavy bottomed, stockpot add 2 inches of water to prevent scorching.
- Add apples to fill the pot.
- Cook over medium low until apples are soft.
- Once apples are soft, puree using a food processor, immersion blender or food mill.
- Optional, add sugar, cinnamon or nutmeg to taste.
- Bring to a boil and stir.
- Fill hot, sterile jars leaving 1/2" headspace.
- Process Pints for 15min, quarts for 20 min.
FAQ for Canning Applesauce
What are the health benefits of apple sauce?
Apples have a high concentration of pectin, aiding in good digestion and helps remove waste from the body. It promotes the growth of probiotics, there’s a good reason why an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
How do you use up your Applesauce?
Applesauce is great to be eaten stand alone as a healthy nutritional snack in the fall and winter as it's high in vitamin C and fibre.
It's a great breakfast topper for hot cereals and oatmeal instead of sugar.
In Germany it's used to top potato pancakes.
Applesauce can also be a great accompaniment to Ham, Sausages, Roast Chicken or Duck. Even better is Apple Butter for a sweet tasty treat.
Applesauce is also a great frugal substitution for butter or oil in baking, it's delicious in cakes, breads and muffins.