Here in the Midwest, there are so many apples that go to waste on trees in backyards during the fall. Rather than letting the bruised, imperfect, or apples that have fallen to the ground go to waste, you can make and can your own applesauce.
Apples out of the backyard are perfect for making applesauce. Even apples that are bruised or not a great flavor for eating fresh still make a delicious applesauce. If you’re new to canning, water bath canning applesauce is a great way to get started!
What Type Of Apples Work Best For Applesauce
Whether sweet or tart, any type of apple will go great in your applesauce. I prefer a combination of both sweet and tart in my applesauce. I also like a blend of textures which includes softer apples in addition to apples with more crisp or crunch. This variety gives you applesauce great flavor and texture.
However, the great thing about applesauce is that you can use whatever you have on hand. Learn more about how to make your own applesauce here!
How To Can Applesauce
Prepare Applesauce For Canning
If you had been storing your applesauce in the fridge, bring it out, put it in a pot, and reheat it to a boil. If you made it fresh, just keep it warm while you prepare the canner and canning supplies.
To prevent spoilage and ensure a safe canning process, it’s crucial to sterilize your jars and lids. Submerge the jars in hot water for 10 minutes, and boil the lids for 5 minutes. Use a jar lifter to remove the sterilized jars from the water, and place them on a clean towel.
Fill the Jars
Ladle the hot applesauce into the sterilized jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Use a bubble remover tool or a non-metallic spatula to eliminate air bubbles by running it along the inside edge of the jar.
Wipe the Jar Lids and Apply Lids
Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue or sticky residue. Place the sterilized lids on the jars and secure them with the bands. Ensure the bands are fingertip-tight—tight enough to hold the lids in place but not so tight that air can’t escape during processing.
Process Jars In Water Bath Canner
Once the jars are filled and sealed, it’s time to process them in a water bath canner. Ensure that the water level covers the jars by at least an inch. Bring the water to a rolling boil and process pint jars for 15 minutes and quart jars for 20 minutes. The processing time varies depending on your altitude, so consult your local guidelines for precise times. As a general rule of thumb:
For sea level to 1,000 feet in altitude, process pints and quarts for 20 minutes.
For 1,001 to 3,000 feet, process pints and quarts for 25 minutes.
For 3,001 to 6,000 feet, process pints and quarts for 30 minutes.
For 6,001 to 8,000 feet, process pints and quarts for 35 minutes.
Remove Jars and Cool
Using the jar lifter, carefully remove the processed jars from the water bath canner and place them on a clean towel or cooling rack. Allow the jars to cool completely, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours. As the jars cool, you’ll hear the satisfying “ping” of the lids sealing, indicating that the canning process was successful.
Check Seals and Store
After the jars have cooled, check the seals by pressing down on the center of each lid. If it doesn’t pop back, the jar is sealed correctly. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and consumed within a few weeks.
Label the sealed jars with the date and store them in a cool, dark, and dry place. Properly sealed jars can be stored for up to a year, ensuring you have a taste of autumn whenever you desire.
Ways to Enjoy Canned Applesauce
Desserts: Applesauce with ice cream or whipped cream makes for the perfect little sweet treat!
Snacks: Add to yogurt, kefir, smoothies, or just have it plain. Applesauce is great cold or warmed up.
Breakfast: Applesauce makes a great topping for pancakes or waffles. Use it in place of or along side maple syrup or honey.
Baking: Use your applesauce as a natural replacement sweetener in breads or other baked goods.