Canning Homemade Applesauce in 7 Easy Steps


Two years ago I started canning. I started slow…just strawberry jam, a relatively easy project for a novice like myself. This year, I made it my goal to learn more about the process of canning and really get into it, experimenting with more. I definitely made progress, although there is always room for improvement! We canned strawberry, blueberry, and peach jam, salsa, jalapeno jelly, and now…….APPLESAUCE!

My family consumes LOADS of applesauce during the year. The kids and my husband and I eat it a lot, and I also often use it when baking, replacing the oil as a healthier alternative. Applesauce is not that expensive, but I find that lots of times there are added preservatives that would be nice to cut out. Another bonus – you can also save on candles because making homemade applesauce is one of the best smells you can have in the house! :-)

I get a lot of my canning recipes off of a website called Pick-Your-Own.  I came across this website because the kids and I generally pick our own fruit and it is a great reference, not only for recipes, but for finding local orchards and farms to pick your own. I also invested in the Ball Canning book as well. This also has some really great canning recipes for almost every fruit and vegetable that you can think of.  I follow water bath canning recipes because I do not have a pressure canner (yet)…

**Important Canning Note** Often times in my cooking I will deviate from the recipe and add a little something of this and a little something of that to them. When I am canning however, I DO NOT do this. The more I read, the more I find out just how important it is to follow a reputable canning recipe. This is especially true with salsas. The ability to safely preserve food is based on the acidity of the food that you are preserving. By following a tested recipe you can ensure that your acidity is correct and it is therefore safe to eat. Something to keep in mind.

So here is my take on the best way to can applesauce. I ensure you that it will not take up a lot of your time and the time that it does take is WELL worth it!!!!

Step 1:

Go get some apples (lots of them). I usually can a half bushel at a time (minus a few that I save for apple cake of course). There are two good ways to get these apples:

1. Pick them. It does not take long to pick a half bushel of apples and it is great fun to do!

2. Buy seconds at a farm market. Also a great way to save money. Applesauce isn’t picky and loves bruised apples!

**TIP** My biggest tip for this part of the recipe is to get a mix of apples. This, in my opinion, is a way to ensure that you end up with the most delicious applesauce. Also a good time to talk to your children about how all people are different and how this is what makes the world we live in so great.


Step 2:

Wash all of your apples, peel them, and cut them into large pieces (without the core included). Now, some people have a fancy attachment to put on their KitchenAid mixer or even an old-school sieve. If you have one of these…USE IT! I don’t (hint, hint hubby!), so I build up my arm muscles by peeling the apples and cutting them by hand. I throw them in a large stockpot as I go. This step I do over a couple of hours, while I am helping with homework or cooking dinner. It is a good multi-task option if you don’t have time to focus and do it all at once.

Step 3:

Once your apples are peeled and cut or your stockpot is mostly full (don’t worry, it will boil down), fill the stockpot so that there is about (key word is about) an inch of liquid on the bottom. I say liquid because you can use plain water, apple cider, apple juice, etc. I use apple cider if I have it and water if I don’t! Then I boil, covered (with holes), at med-high heat. I can’t even tell you how long I do this for, maybe 15 minutes or so. You will know when it’s done because the apples will be super soft. I try to stir once or twice in this time.

Step 4:

When the apples are soft and your house smells AMAZING, grab your potato masher and start mashing away! The kids love this part, but be careful because it is super hot. If you like chunky applesauce, only mash a little bit. If you like it smoother, mash away!

Step 5:

Add your other ingredient…cinnamon.

THAT’S IT. Add cinnamon to taste and NO SUGAR AT ALL!!!

That’s right, nothing else…pure, homemade applesauce that is healthy and that you can feel good about eating and feeding to your children.

Honestly, we can usually eat all this applesauce over the course of a week. BUT…if you would like to can it and save some for the winter months where warm applesauce tastes great after shoveling a driveway, here is how I did it.

I am pretty cheap and so the least amount of money I can spend on equipment to can, the better. I have a water bath canner, bought off of Amazon, the most basic one, for less than $20.00. And I have Ball canning jars (which can be reused after washing). If you are going the canning route, while you are making the applesauce, wash and sterilize the jars in your dishwasher on the sanitize cycle. Read more about preparing your jars here on Pick-Your-Own.

Step 6:

Fill your waterbath canner with water (enough to cover the jars with 1 inch of water) and boil.

Step 7:

Fill your hot jars with hot applesauce and put on the lids. Place the jars in the metal rack that comes with the waterbath canner. When your water has reached a rolling boil, place the jars in. Boil in a hard boil for 10 minutes. Take the jars out and your are done! While boiling, the lids will make a popping sound, this means they are canned correctly. If you don’t hear a pop from the lids or if you can still press the lid up and down, it may be a safer option to put this applesauce in the fridge and enjoy soon.

You’re done! It’s super simple, and really fun and satisfying. I have been making homemade applesauce for years, but just recently started canning it. Warm homemade applesauce has become a special memory and a treat that my children love. Now we can enjoy it all year round!

P.S. Canned homemade applesauce makes a GREAT hostess gift around the holidays or even a GREAT teacher’s gift!


About Lauryn Blakesley

A woman out to explore, celebrate, and enjoy everything that my community and living locally has to offer. Blessed with three beautiful children and an incredible husband, our family embraces adventure while dreaming of what is to come. Lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and a clean kitchen floor. I spend my days in awe of my family and trying to teach my three to treat others as they would want to be treated.

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  1. Do they always pop in water? I made pickles for first time and the lids popped after I pulled them out and they’d been cooling a bit.
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