Simple Canned Applesauce

I thought my days of canning for the season were over. 

I honestly didn’t do that much.  It was after all my first time and we still don’t even have our own garden.  All of my produce has come from very kind neighbors.  But my neighbor dropped by the other day with about a 10 lb bag of apples from their tree.  We already had apples in the fridge and I knew we weren’t going to eat all of those up that quickly. So my black canner came down from the shelf and I set aside a morning to peel and cook apples. This is how I made my own homemade applesauce.  First time!


12 lbs apples, peeled, cored and cut, treated to prevent browning (see how I did this below)


3 cups sugar (optional)

4 Tbsp lemon juice


Canning tools

Jars and lids

Food processor or blender

Cutting board

Peeler or knife

Big bowl


This recipe makes about 8-10 pint jars or 4-5 quart jars.

  1. Prepare canner.  Wash jars and lids.
  2. Peel, core and treat the apples.  Put 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 4 cups of water in a bowl.  I actually doubled this because I had lots of apples.  Cut up apples removing the cores and peeling off the skins.  I actually don’t know the best way to do this.  I like to hold the center of the apple and cut a square around the middle.  I then cut each quarter wedge in half and using my knife, carefully “cut out” the middle part leaving the skin behind.  If that makes any sense.  Put sliced and peeled apples in the lemon juice mixture while you work on the rest of the apples.  Make sure they are covered or give them a good stir if they start to float to the top.
  3. After preparing the apples, put a large saucepan on the stove and combine the apples with a small amount of water so they don’t start sticking together.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Lower the heat and boil gently until the apples soften, about 10-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer apples to the foot processor.  Do it in small batches if necessary. Purée until smooth.  Be careful because the apples and the resulting purée will probably be hot!
  5. Return the apple purée to the saucepan.  Add sugar, if you are using it and the lemon juice.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick.  Maintain a gentle boil over low heat as you fill the jars.
  6. Ladle the hot applesauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles.  Wipe the rim.  Center the lid and screw on the band until finger tight.
  7. Place jars in canner, making sure they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 20 minutes.  Remember, the water needs to be at a full boil for the entire 20 minutes.  Sometimes it takes a little while to get there.  Be patient!
  8. After 20 minutes, turn off the stove, remove the lid and let the jars rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Carefully remove the jars and place on towel.  Leave undisturbed for 24 hours.  Wipe down, label and store.


Spiced Applesauce:

If you prefer, you can make spiced applesauce with this recipe.  Simple add in 2-4 tsp ground spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice to the sauce with the sugar and lemon juice.  

I actually made mine half and half.  I ladled in the plain applesauce first and then mixed the spices in with the second half.

Chunky Applesauce:

Instead of puréing all of the apples in Step 4, set aside some and crush them instead.  Combine with the puréed part and continue on with Step 5.

As with all canning, it does take some time.  It isn’t necessarily hard, but you do have to be pretty hands on during the whole process.  But I am so grateful that I was able to use the gift of apples I was given instead of letting them all go to waste.  Now we have many jars of yummy applesauce to be used in the weeks ahead!

~ Rachel

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