Canning 101 – How to Make Homemade Applesauce

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Yesterday I was lucky enough to find a roadside stand offering some very inexpensive apples {Between $.25 – $.50 per pound}.  So this morning as soon as the kids were off to school I got busy, and started making applesauce.

Applesauce can be made to eat fresh, to freeze, or to can and store in the pantry for later in the year.  I have always preferred to can my applesauce. Typically I will can my applesauce in pint jars. I know there a lot of people who prefer to can theirs in quart jars, but now that my kids are older, we don’t go through as much applesauce as we once did, so pint jars work best for us.

If you have never canned anything before, applesauce is a great place to start.  The ingredient list is short, {apples, sugar, cinnamon} and it’s easy peasy to make.


8 pounds apples {I used several different varieties}
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Bring a boiling-water canner, 3/4 full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

Wash, dry and quarter your apples.  Toss apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon in an 8 quart pot and bring to a boil.  Once you reach a boil, stir the apples, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the apples are tender {about 20 minutes}, stirring every so often.

Once the apples are soft, carefully spoon them in to a food mill to separate the peels, stems and seeds.

Ladle the applesauce immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. {Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.} Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary}. Yields 6 pints.

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If you are looking for a food mill, Amazon has the Mirro Foley 3.5-Quart Stainless Steel Food Mill in stock and ready to ship.

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  1. If you screw lids on tightly, it can lead to spoilage. Just finger tighten. Now, I want applesauce. I have free pears, so it will be pear sauce.

  2. I’ve only ever made it in the crock pot but this looks great!

  3. Running the apples through the Victorio seems quicker. We don’t add sugar or cinnamon to our sauce, but we do add some Fruit Fresh to preserve the color.
    I have lots of applesauce still from what we canned with free apples last year. It’s a good thing because the apple crops are a total loss round here :( Fall just won’t be the same…

  4. First of all, I love your site & visit often! Re: applesauce, I don’t like messing with the stems & seeds later so I just core/slice mine after washing (using an inexpensive gadget from Wal Mart). It really goes fairly fast, and I have four kids that like to help with that fun part (they’re not so thrilled with the rest). Then I put into my processor (after cooking) and then straight to the jars. For juice/cider I don’t bother coring since it all gets squeezed :)

  5. I peel and bake mine first then stick them in the food processor! It’s the only kind of applesauce that my son will eat!!

  6. I don’t have a food mill, so I do a little extra peeling and coring but also use a crock pot, so the rest of my time is freed up. I, too, use brown sugar…which I think gives it a richer flavor than just plain white sugar. You rock Mavis…I canned applesauce this weekend but could never keep up with your canning of jams! Wish I had blackberry bushes nearby…

  7. Mavis,

    Check out this COOL gadget —

    Making applesauce is even easier AND you can use for homemade tomato sauce, too. =)

    I bought mine on CL for $25 but would TOTALLY shuck out $50 for it!!!

    Happy Canning!

    • I own it! :) I use it for tomato sauce. I’ve never tried it for applesauce though. Maybe if I pick up some more apples I’ll give it a try.

    • So… yesterday I stopped into Goodwill to pick up a book for an upcoming trip and wandered into the housewares (I’m scouting for a pressure cooker/food processor). Got 4 quart jars + 13 quilted 1/2 pint jelly jars for $0.20 each! So fun, a couple had labels on them for “pear conserve ’82″ :) And THEN I saw the Weston food strainer/sauce maker — nearly identical to the Victorio — just $7!! After a quick looksie on Amazon I snatched it from the shelf and held it close to my heart as I drug my little tow-behind cart of jars to the checkout stand.

      I am so incredibly excited to make lots and lots of blackberry jam and applesauce!

    • I found mine brand new at a garage sales for .50 cents I love mine. I do lots with

  8. I just picked 4 huge bags of apples from my neighbor’s yard an hour ago. Perfect timing!

  9. Elizabeth F says:

    I would normally be doing this about now, and I do exactly as you do yours it appears, though yet, screw caps finger tight. That was the hardest thing to teach my daughter to understand. It’s just one of those things you just feel.

    But am canner in search of apples this year. Bad weather for everything this summer, so very slim pickings for fruit. Do have enough pears for the CARROT CAKE JAM.

    We use applesauce to replace oil in baking recipes.

  10. You rock! Thank you for this. I made your apple pie jam the other day and my husband loves it warmed up and put on ice cream. Thank you for all you do!

  11. Help…. I’m leaving 3/4 inch headroom in my chunky applesauce and they keep spewing sauce through the seal. However everyone has sealed. What am I doing wrong? The only ingrediant in my sauce is gravenstien apples that I peel and chop to leave chunky.

  12. Sheila Watkins says:

    I am a novice canner and would like to ask what “screwing the lids finger tight” means. Thanks in advance for the info.!

    • Mavis Butterfield says:

      Not super tight that getting the rings are hard to get off. You want them secure, but no super tight. I hope that helps.

  13. after the applesauce has been made..and kept in the refrigerator for a day or more..can you can it? is it safe? or is it better to can it ..right after it has been processed?

    • Elizabeth in Upstate NY says:

      Jean, yes you can can applesauce that was previously made. This year, I wanted to blend my sauce with various kinds of apples and some pears. Had to wait to get the pears, and for them to ripen. Have an enclosed and unheated back porch, was able to store my sauce there – weather also cooperated by being rather cool. A week plus later processed the sauce. Ended up with 21 pints!

      Two methods, both will work just fine. 1. Re-heat your chilled sauce and pretend you just made it! 2. Cold fill the jars, prepare for water bath as normal. This method will take a much longer time to get back to water boil, as each jar has to be brought to hot temperature. Reason most people don’t fill cold. In the past, I’ve lost a jar or two filling cold, so unless really have to, I don’t use this method.

      Good Luck!

  14. Hi – seeking advise on canning apple sauce in 1/2 pt jars + pressure cooker canner.

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