easy apple sauce and canning

This is another easy autumn short-cut for making applesauce. You will need a piece of equipment like the sieve below or a food mill, otherwise this would be a little more labour intensive – you’ll have to peel and core the apples.

Wash and quarter enough apples to fill up a large pot, then add a layer of water to the bottom of the pot (about 1/2″ to 1″) – to keep the applesauce from burning on the bottom. I don’t peel or core the apples or even bother to take the stems off – it will all be caught in the sieve or foodmill afterwards. Stir occasionally to push the apples on top down to the bottom where they will cook and break up. You can use a potato masher to help this along if you want.

Let your sauce cool for a few minutes and put it through the sieve.

You can add in sugar or spices at this point – we like ours plain, so I don’t add anything.

Pour into sterilized pint jars (I use the dishwasher to sterilize mine), wipe the rim of the jars using a clean towel, add sterilized lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Also, leave about 1/2″ of head space at the top of the jar, or the boiling water bath will cause some to seep out before the lids seal tight. I learned this the messy way.

I put the jars into a pot full of warm water (should cover the jars by at least an inch over their tops) and bring it to a boil after the jars are inside. This will prevent the jars from cracking. I also use a folded towel on the bottom and tongs to lift them out, because I can’t see buying and storing the whole canning set-up for just a few items each year.

Remove the jars from the water bath and let them cool. Once they are cool, you can test the seal by pushing down on the lids – if there is any give, they didn’t seal properly and you can put that jar in the fridge to use up right away.

Linked to A Pinch of Joy, Frugally Sustainable, Mind Body and Sole, Gastronomical Sovereignty, GNOWFGLINS, Foy Update

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39 thoughts on “easy apple sauce and canning

  1. You have a beautiful little tree nymph. How sweet.

  2. Yum! and I bet the house smelled wonderful! i’d never heard of doing it this way before and it seems like quite the time saver. I’d love to get my hands on a sieve like the one in your picture!

  3. amy b. says:

    This is my favorite way to make applesauce, though, I freeze it instead of canning. Works out the same in the end, except you don’t have to worry when the freezer goes kaput.

  4. Making apple sauce is really very easy and much better than what you buy. I generally contact one of the farms in the area and buy two or three bushels of apples. A wonderful way to fill an autumn day.

    • We do the same thing with apples from local orchards – though most years we can also pick some from the trees at the farm as well. This year wasn’t a good one for our apples.we had to buy them all locally instead.

  5. shoes says:

    Such nice simple instructions and the applesauce looks great. My mom gave me all her canning paraphernalia several years back and I have not found the courage and the time to test them out.
    I remember when I moved away from home and headed off to college, the horror of store bought applesauce. I had never had it before because my mom always made it. There is really no comparison between what you can make and what you can buy when it comes to most things.

  6. I loooooove homemade applesauce 😀

  7. Ange says:

    So, you can place a towel inside your stockpot rather that a canning rack thingy? I don’t can things because I don’t want the expense of the equipment and I don’t want to have to find room to store it. The towel won’t burn? You know, like the was spaghetti sauce might if you don’t stir it? ( not that I would know anything about that……). Is there anything else you can tell this city girl?

    Love that first photo! I often have monkeys in my maple tree. 🙂

    • Nope, the towel won’t burn – though I did learn the hard way that if you put a coloured tea towel in the bottom, the colour can boil out of it. The towel just keeps the jars from rattling around, making noise and bumping into each other. Actually, at the bottom of the pot shown above, I just used a folded clean white rag.

  8. Janet S says:

    Yay! I’ve been making applesauce this summer too. I use lots of cinnamon. 🙂

  9. What a lovely way to make apple sauce. 🙂

  10. I have to make applesauce every year. Only difference is I use a little cinnamon and nutmeg in most batches. Oh and the boys like it chunky so I mash with a potato masher and skip the sieve, although that means I have to peel and core. But what’s fall/winter without home made applesauce?

    • I like the chunky kind too – this is my lazy way to make it. I’ll probably make some chunky sauce at the same time that I cut some sliced apples to keep in the freezer for crisps and pies over the winter.

  11. emmycooks says:

    Good reminder! It’s time for us to pick our apples and make a year’s worth of applesauce. I love the no-peeling method (I used a food mill at the end)–what a timesaver!

  12. The apple sauce looks lovely. How do you use the sauce?

  13. MrsYub says:

    I hope my apple trees hurry up and grow! I can’t wait to try this with mine own apples!

  14. I can almost taste your applesauce from here.
    I have never canned before, but it is on my list of changes that I want to make on my journey of simple and sustainable living.

  15. Jennifer says:

    I made my first batch of homemade apple sauce a few months ago. (In the crock pot, of course.) I never did post it….I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to store-bought now. It was just to darn easy to make! Yours turned out beautifully.

  16. Sarah says:

    If i didn’t have so darn much of the pear and apple sauce I just made, I’d be on this! THAT looks PERFECT Heidi! I love how you’ve put this together…especially minus the sugar and spices. It sounds very good.

    • Heidi @ lightlycrunchy says:

      I’m trying out your pear sauce next – I just got a half-bushel of Cortlands this weekend and need to pick up some pears. I wanted to make it this weekend, but forgot to buy the pears.

  17. Somer says:

    You make canning look so easy! I have all the supplies, but I’ve still never done it, for some reason I’m terrified of messing up.

  18. […] I hit the garden produce wall, I wrote instructions for making and canning some easy applesauce and an easy way to roast and puree pumpkins, plus some pumpkin pie spice to use with the […]

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