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Learning how to can applesauce is really very easy, and it’s not too much different than our tutorial on Canning Apple Pie Filling. Applesauce is a great homemade treat to make and can be used for a number of different side dishes, recipes, and occasions.

It’s best to make it with no added sugar, so a mixture of different apples will help give you a really good flavor, and if you pick sweet apples no sugar is necessary at all. We recommend going with Fuji, McIntosh, Yellow Delicious, Jonathan, Gravenstein,and other naturally sweet varieties. If you only have one type of apple, that is okay, but if you can get a few different types, that is even better!

Our recipe for canning applesauce will make 9 pint sized jars.

To Get Started, You Will Need:
13 1/2 pounds of apples
Cinnamon to taste
Sugar to taste (optional, only needed if bitter apple varieties are used)
Ascorbic Acid or Lemon Juice
Big Pot for Cooking In
Boiling Water Bath Canner or Pressure Cooker
Canning Jars, Lids, Rings
Canning Utensils (Jar and lid lifter, funnel, etc.)
Potato Masher, Heavy duty mixer, Food Mill, Food Processor or other appropriate kitchen
gadgets that will help you mash up those apples!

Step 1: Cut Up the Apples: This is probably the most tedious step of them all, and it helps to get some family and friends involved to make it a lot more fun! You can either use an apple peeler corer slicer or cut them up by hand. The cores absolutely need to be removed, whether you take off the skins is completely up to you. Soak your cut up apples in a mixture of water and ascorbic acid to prevent browning or discoloration.

Step 2: Get Ready: Once your apples are peeled you are going to want to make sure that you have your jars cleaned and sterilized and lids are hot and ready to go. When you have everything well organized and neatly set up before you begin it is sure a lot easier!

Step 3: Cook the Apples: Making the homemade applesauce isn’t as hard as it might seem. If soaking the apples, drain them and place them in a very big pot with about a half cup of water over them. Stir often to prevent them from sticking or burning, and cook for about 25 minutes on medium heat, which should cause them to start getting pretty mushy. If you like your applesauce chunky, then a potato masher or a heavy duty mixer should be all you need to mix them up enough to get the consistency you want. If you wish for it to be very smooth however, you’ll want to run it through a food mill if you have one available to you, though a large food processor may also work. (Needs to be a big one though, or you will be there all day trying to make it work!) Once you get the consistency you’ve wanted, add in any seasonings such as cinnamon or sugar you wanted to use.

Step 4: Process: Processing applesauce is very easy and since fruit is acidic, you can safely process it in a boiling water bath canner, though it will work just as well in a pressure canner as well if you prefer that method, which is also much faster. Once you’ve filled and sealed your jars, making sure to leave a 1/2 inch of headspace in the jars, go ahead and process them, using the guides below as a reference point on how long to process them, depending on which methods you are using.

Water Boiling Times for Pints
Altitude Processing Time for Pints Processing Time for Quarts
0-1000 feet 15 minutes 20 minutes
1001-3000 feet 20 minutes 25 minutes
3001-6000 feet 20 minutes 30 minutes
Above 6000 feet 25 minutes 35 minutes


Altitude Chart for Processing With Pressure Canner
Type of Gauge Processing Time Under 1000 ft 1000-2000 ft 2000-4000ft 4000-6000 ft Above 6000 feet
Weighted 8 min 5 10 10 10 10
Dial 8 min 6 6 7 8 9

*For processing quarts, process for 10 minutes instead of 8; pressure amounts should remain the same.

Step 5: Allow to Set: Once you are through with processing the apple sauce, you’ll want to make sure that you leave the jars in a place where they won’t be bothered for at least 24 hours to finish sealing all of the way.

Now that you have the basic overview of how to can your own homemade applesauce, you’re ready to enjoy canning applesauce anytime you have apples you’d like to use.

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