How Canning Applesauce Can Solve World Peace

Great beginner tutorial for how to can applesauce.

Okay, so maybe canning applesauce won’t solve world peace. But it can create peace during that time of day when your kids get home from school, whining about how hungry they are. In my opinion it’s nearly the same thing.

Have you canned applesauce before? It can make you feel all mushy and warm inside when you look at all your lovely jars sitting there on the shelf. All made with care and love. And you can choose not to add sugar making it a little more natural and heathy than the store-bought kind.

In our area, there are quite a few apple orchards and if you time it just right, you can find fields to glean after the pickers have gone through. You just need permission to go through before you start, and you can get wonderful apples for free that are perfect for canning applesauce.

Choosing the Right Apple

The type of apple you use will determine the flavor of the applesauce. Avoid the tart apples like Granny Smith and go for apples that are naturally sweet, such as gala, fuji, red delicious, golden delicious, honey crisp, pink lady, and so on.

What You’ll Need

Apple peeler/corer/slicer


Paring knife

Jars, lids, and rings

Water bath canner

Wide-mouth funnel

Stock pot

Jar lifter

Lid lifter

How to Can Applesauce

  1. Before you start processing the apples, make sure that your jars are sanitized by running them through the dishwasher. Use the hot water or sanitize cycle and then use the heated dry option. Lids can be placed in a pot of hot, but not quite boiling, water on the stove. Let them sit in that for 5 minutes before using. Make sure to have a lid lifter to pull the lids out when you’re ready for them. Lid lifters have a magnet on the end so you can get the lids out of the hot water without burning your fingers.
  2. Once the jars are ready, start processing the apples by washing them. I recommend using a produce wash with 1 part white distilled vinegar to three parts water. Spray the apples till their covered, rub the wash around the apples, and then rinse.
  3. Use an apple peeler/corer/slicer to remove the peel and core and slice the apples. Sliced apples will cook faster. If you’re planning on processing lots of apples (such as 50 lbs), you’ll be very grateful to have this little devices that will make things go a lot quicker. Plus it’s a great task for your older children to help with. However, you’ll also need a peeler and paring knife for those times that the peeler/corer fails (such as when the apple is too small or too soft).
  4. As you get some apples cored, peeled and sliced, place them in a big pot, such as a stock pot, with just an inch of water at the bottom. Put the lid on the pot once it’s full and cook on high. Reduce the temperature once it starts to boil. Cook until the apples are soft.
  5. Once the apples are soft, use a food processor or food mill (or a high-powered blender like the Vitamix) and mix to preferred texture. If you want really chunky applesauce, you can use a potato masher. At this point you can add cinnamon to the batch if you want cinnamon applesauce.
  6. Ladle the applesauce into the jars (or pour if using a blender) using the wide-mouth funnel to avoid spills and a towel to wipe any spills around the jars. Leave ½ inch of head space at the top. Applesauce should be kept hot during this process, so if needed, return the applesauce to the stock pot and keep at a low simmer.
  7. Place lids and rings on the jar, screwing the ring gently but not too tightly. Place the jars onto the rack of the water canner. Once full, lower the rack into the water, with the water covering the jars by an inch or two. Cook in boiling water for 20 minutes. Use the jar lifter to remove the jars from the canner. Place on a towel to cool and dry.
  8. Label and date your jars.

If you’re preparing a large batch of applesauce, many of these steps will be performed at the same time with workers at each station. This is one reason why it’s great to work together as a family because many hands make light work.

For variation, consider cooking other fruits with your apples, such as strawberries, pears, peaches, and so on. Just keep track of what’s in which batch, so you can label the jars later.

Have you made homemade applesauce? Tell me about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear about your experience!14 Comments

How Canning Applesauce Can Solve World Peace was last modified: March 3rd, 2014 by Karrie

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  1. I can over 100 quarts of applesauce a year. There is an easier way. I usually convert one or two friends a year by showing them there is an easier way to make applesauce that isn’t as time consuming. Kitchen Aid has a Fruit and Vegetable strainer and food grinder attachment that attaches to your Kitchen aid. (You can do tomatoes this way too)
    All I do is wash my apples, apple wedge them, throw them in a stock pot of boiling water until tender (Skin and all), then I throw them in my Kitchen aid Attachment hopper, and kitchen aid does the rest. It does an AMAZING job of separating the applesauce from the rest. It spits out all of the peel and seed out one end and beautiful applesauce out the side. Of course it still takes time to process the jars…but way easier and faster.
    I like to use a variety of apples in one batch. Especially Fuji apples. They are really sweet and don’t need sugar. I add cinnamon to some of my batches before canning. Don’t buy cheap cinnamon. It does make a difference! I buy only Pampered Chef or Costco cinnamon.

    • There is also a contraption called a Victorio Strainer…essentially a hand cranked version of the kitchen aid attachment. Quartered and cooked apples go in, sauce comes out one way and apple guts come out the other. My kids always love helping make applesauce (I rarely have to do any of the cranking…which is pretty easy anyway). I even used it to make pear sauce this year.

  2. Here is another idea for you:
    Use one of these:
    My Grandma always used one like this. You just cut the apples a few times to get the core out, cook them with a little bit of water on the stove, put them into this strainer and start turning! Grandma always cooked them with the skins on. The applesauce turns out sort of pink then (unless you’re using golden delicious)-and she would add some cinnamon. The skins just stay in the strainer and don’t fall through with the applesauce.
    This device also is good for tomatoes, pears, and such.

    • Great idea!

      • Sounds like the way I learned. I am 59 yrs young, and my grandmother was an amazing cook and canner. I learned how to make applesauce from her. When she passed, my dad made sure I got her “Foley”……which is what you’re talking about. I wash, core and quarter my apples, throw them into my dutch oven with a little water until their fairly soft. The apples are then put into the foley which is a metal 3-legged stand with a cone-shaped sieve that attaches to the stand, with a wooden cone-shaped about the size of the cone, so that when you put the apples in, you stir and the apples go through the sieve and the skin of the apples stays inside the cone. It sounds labor intensive, it is NOT, I assure you. I add a little sugar to the sauce to taste and cinnamon too, and can as always, into hot jars. The best apples for sauce are of course, the gravenstein apples that we grow here in the Pacific Northwest. They also make delicious pies!

  3. We make applesauce every year from my mom’s Macintosh apples. I quarter the apples (skin and all) and boil them in a stock pot with water. I then use my food mill to separate the good from the bad and it makes a lot less waste than peeling and coring the apples. I also make apple butter every year. Basically the same process but I add sugar/honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice and I cook it until its super thick. I love apple season! I’m giving away my apple butter as a Visiting Teaching gift this month:) Thanks for the post!

  4. You are so correct in saying there is something special about making applesauce. I like to use just a teeny bit of sugar, and I use a potato masher. Makes me think of my Granny. I’m sure that is what she used. I wanted to thank you so much for your adorable website. I look forward to each email I receive. I too live in a subdivision and pine for the smell of pines. Lol seriously I am really a Country Girl stuck in suburbia!!! You bring my country fix to my home. Thank you and God bless you & your family.

  5. I actually cook my applesauce in the crock pot. Peel and core the apples and put in the crock pot with a little bit of water. Then just mash with a potato masher. It makes the house smell like fall! I prefer my applesauce plain, but you can add in cinnamon, ground cloves or nutmeg or whatever you prefer. My mom even adds berries to it sometimes to get the ‘triple berry’ effect like you can get at the grocery store. And apple butter is just as easy to make the same way. To be honest I’d never thought about cooking it on the stove, Ive always seen it done the crock pot way!

  6. What is the expiry time for the apple sauce please?

  7. I make applesauce regularly (and store it in the fridge until it’s eaten) but I don’t know how long it can be kept on the shelf. Do you know? If I want to keep it on the shelf, is it necessary to add lemon juice or anything? Thanks!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I have heard that canned applesauce can be on the shelf for up 2 to 3 years but honestly it never lasts that long at my house. I think the longest I have kept applesauce was a year and it had some discoloration but no mold. I feel like it looses some of its flavor as time goes by so it may not taste as good as the fresh batch.

  8. New to your blog. Lots of good info here. Hope my “lessons learned” will contribute to the knowledge base. This is the first food blog that I have responded.

    My wife prepares applesauce with the skins. She simply quarters the apples, removes the cores, cooks it out, and ladles into the jars (for me to process). I don’t eat the stuff, but she prefers it to the peeled version.

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