Applesauce – Home made and Canned

By Ann M. Evans

Adapted from National Center for Home Food Preservation

Use as many varieties of apples as possible, including some of the tart ones such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Braeburn. I like to use 3-5 types generally to give a more complex flavor. The Golden Delicious help make the applesauce sweet and the Jona Gold are simply delicious and a bit sweet too. 

I don’t peel my applesauce typically. I remove the core, cut the apples and stew them in a bit of water. If I need to sweeten the sauce I add some honey or sugar, and if it needs to be more tart, I add lemon juice, fresh squeezed.  I cook the applesauce with a cinnamon stick or two for flavor and remove it prior to canning. I sometimes pass the applesauce through a hand cranked food mill if I want to remove peel and have a very finished, as opposed to country style, product for canning. 

Quantity: About 21 pounds of apples are need per canner load of 7 quarts

Recipe (Makes 7 pint jars)

12 pounds apples (about 36)

About ½ – 1 cup water

Sugar to taste

4 Tbsp lemon juice or to taste

7 preserving glass pint jars with lids and bands (such as Kerr or Ball – only use jars that are for the purpose of canning.)


1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Heat lids in a pan of water until ready to use. Do not boil. Set rings near canning area. 

2. Combine apples, wash, peel (if peeling) and core apples. Cut into chunks. Add the apples and about ½ cup water in a large pan with a heavy bottom. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Put the heat on low and the lid on.  The applesauce will cook in about 20 minutes.  Let it cool 5 minutes.

3. If using a food mill or food processor, put the apples in in batches and grind or hand crank. Return sauce to pan and reheat. Add sugar and lemon as desired. 

4. Ladle hot applesauce into hot jars leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band/ring until fit is fingertip tight. 

6. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool on a cloth on a counter. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. You may hear a “pop” sound when the lid seals. Label with product name and date.