Introduction: How to Make and Can Applesauce - Canned Applesauce

Picture of How to Make and Can Applesauce - Canned Applesauce

A surprisingly easy way to deal with a surplus of tasty fruit.

Step 1:

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Acquire a canning pot. They come with a wire rack for about $18, and for about another $5 you can get the tongs and funnel as well. Jars run about $6-9/dozen, depending on size. Fill the pot about 2/3 of the way up with water, and start heating- there's enough thermal mass that this will take a while.

Step 2:

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Cook down chopped apples with water, lemon juice, honey, and spices to taste. Run the hot chunks through a food processer or food mill, and return to the pot to keep warm.

Step 3:

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Meanwhile, prepare jars and lids: wash jars by hand or in the dishwasher, then place in a clean sink filled with extremely hot tap water until ready for use. Add clean rings and lids; do not run lids through the dishwasher.

Step 4:

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Create a workspace on a clean towel next to the sink. Remove jar from the hot water and shake off excess. Add applesauce to pint jars using the funnel.

Step 5:

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Leave about 1/2 inch headspace for expansion during cooking; this means the big ring on the base of the jar neck. (Useful, eh?)

Step 6:

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Wipe threads and top of the jar with a clean paper towel to ensure a proper seal. Place a lid on top of the jar, and gently screw on the ring, leaving it loose enough that air can escape during boiling.

Step 7:

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Place jars on the rack in the boiling water as you fill them.

Step 8:

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Lower the full rack into the water, which should cover the jars by at least an inch or two. Cover, return to a boil, and begin counting for 20 minutes.

Step 9:

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Use tongs and/or a spatula to retrieve rack handles from the boiling water, and raise the rack.

Step 10:

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Remove jars with curved end of tongs, and place on another clean towel to cool and dry. Be sure to leave enough space between for air to circulate. Listen for pops as the lids vacuum-seal.

Step 11:

Label with date and contents, then store in a cool, dark place until apple season is over.


kiltmark (author)2012-09-02

For information on canning ANYTHING, and all sorts of food preservation, go to
or to their applesauce page According to them, acidification is not necessary.

rolltidehank (author)kiltmark2012-11-23

That site is a great resource. Thanks!

Lithium Rain (author)2008-09-09

We have lots and lots of surplus apples this year-this is perfect!

xinit (author)2005-08-21

The lemon juice isn't optional; about a teaspoon per pound of apples in order to boost the acidity to a safe level for hot water processing.

canida (author)xinit2008-09-08

It depends on the acidity of your apples. - you're simply trying to go under pH 4.6 to avoid Clostridium.

dnsnthegrdn (author)xinit2008-08-02

Good to know, when I make applesuauce I just steam it still soft, mash it with a hand masher and add a dash of cinnamon. But I have never canned it. I always made it for my little man, when he was a baby. Now I'm going to make some for they families babes, so it will have to be canned. Could of made them sick I guess.

MrT (author)2006-05-14

Hey, Great instructable. Thanks. I went on holiday recently and a girl I know suggested we do a similar thing you're doing but with a meat stew! I was a bit nervous about it but we tried it as her grandma swore by it. The jars sat in a hot car for 2 weeks and it was perfect when we came to eat it. What do you reckon, risky?

dnsnthegrdn (author)MrT2008-08-02

As long as they were canned properly with the right weight (pressure) and time period. It should be no different than having some cans of stew bought from the store. Were they hot enough from the heat of the car to eat straight from the car? That would be handy! :)

spinach_dip (author)MrT2006-08-03

Risky unless you pressure canned. Hot water bath is not enough. The main nasty is botulinum, which as stated can't live in an acidic medium. Your stew however, would be a perfect medium. People have taken a spoonful of botulinum infected food, spit it out without swallowing, and still died. Pretty toxic stuff.

flio191 (author)2008-04-10

looks great! i do a lot of rhubarb jam over here in chicago (well, its cause its one of the only real fruit we can grow here) ill have to try your recipe sometime

canida (author)2005-12-17

Sorry for being so vague; I tend to do everything by eye and by taste after I've got a basic reference. Try the recipe below, but taste your apples first (and frequently during the process) and modify the recipe according to what you find. My favorite canning reference book is Stocking Up, third edition, by Carol Hupping. They recommend: 4lbs apples/pears 1c water 1c lemon juice (optional) 1/2c honey cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg to taste (optional) The lemon juice serves to lower the pH of the sauce, and it works with the honey to maintain color. Honey (or sugar) also helps with maintaining shape and flavor, and can give added depth to a somewhat flat-tasting fruit. High-acid foods are vulnerable only to heat-sensitive organisms, so boiling-water processing is sufficient. Clostridium botulinum can't live in an environment with a pH<4.6. Most fruits, pickled vegetables, and tomatoes fall well under this limit, but it never hurts to augment with lemon juice or vinegar when possible.

Labot2001 (author)canida2008-02-17

great recipe; i'll have to try it!

canida (author)canida2005-12-17

Sorry, I got cut off! Clostridium botulinum can't live in an environment with a pH lower than 4.6. While most fruits hit this number, it never hurts to augment your canning recipes with lemon juice or vinegar when it's easy to do so.

Labot2001 (author)2008-02-17

Awesome Ible! +1 and Fav'd!

You said to add "water, lemon juice, honey, and spices"; about how much of each would you per X amount of applesauce?

Ferrite (author)2007-03-21

I used to make apple sauce with my mom when I was about 5 years old. We even used to pick the apples, but we didn't can it. It was always gone soon after we made it.

Vendigroth (author)2007-03-17

i've worked out that he has at least 3 hands

Punkguyta (author)2007-02-06

If you're looking for a delicious apple sauce recipe, try adding an equal amount of pears to the apple sauce, brown sugar to taste and try a tbsp of mrs.dash. It's some of the best apple sauce you've ever tasted. But what ewilhelm is doing here is food storage not making "Grandma's raunch styled applesauce". But non the less I found this very clear and until now didn't really know how canning went on. Thanks.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-02-05


new canner (author)2006-10-15

i'm really trying to get into this canning thing, but i'm lacking info. i would like to make applesauce (canida, the recipe above was helpful by the way...). i heard about an oven canning method. the only information i was given is to put my applesauce in the jars while hot, apply the lids, then put in the oven at 275 degrees fahrenheit. can anyone confirm this and tell me the length of time i should leave them in the oven. also, does the location/height of rack in the oven matter? (treywaters - your tips were helpful as well.)

Fredini (author)2006-10-11

My mom always added cinnamon red hot candies to applesauce (the small chewy hear shaped ones) - it gives it a nice pinkish color and adds a cinnamon flavor. I highly reccommend it!

TreyWaters (author)2006-01-24

THX for the idea/info! I've been making my own jams for about 2 years now, and this seems like something new to try. Also, some pointers for others new to canning: - A Special canning pot is not required. All you need is a large stock pot that can hold enough water to cover your jars by at least 1". You will want to put a cake rack or towel in the bottom of your stock pot, though, since the bubbles forming on the bottom of the pot will rattle your jars. (Not necessary if you have a canning pot with the rack) - I definitely recommend investing in a canning funnel and jar tongs if you plan on canning more than once. The funnel makes pouring much easier. Trying to use regular kitchen tongs on anything larger than small jelly jars can be tricky (and messy when you drop a jar). Those silicone oven mitts work OK, too. - Past that, just keep things as CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN as you can. -A few points the guide misses, that canning newbies may not know: 1. If a lid doesn't seal after the hot water bath, the contents are fine. Just refridgerate, and eat that jar first. 2. When you store your applesaue, store the jars WITHOUT the rings. The rings are just there to hold the lid in place while boiling (and after you open a jar). When you pull out a new jar to consume, if anything is growing inside, the lid will pop off. This will be much easier to notice if the ring is not holding the lid down. If you did your canning right, the lid will be stuck down pretty darned tight.

Naugahyde (author)2005-11-21

This is a really great tutorial, but a sample recipe would be really nice.

xinit (author)2005-08-21

The jars should be boiled for approximately ten minutes. The disc portions of the lids (which should not be reused) should be put into boiling water as well, but only about 5 minutes before you start filling the jars. Dishwashers, hot tap water, and roasting in the oven aren't accepted as good enough to kill bacteria.

About This Instructable




Bio: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through ... More »
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