Appalachia Appalachian Food Preserving/Canning

How to Make Applesauce and How to can it!

How to make applesauce and can it

The Blind Pig Family loves applesauce! There’s is just something so satisfying about eating applesauce along with supper on a cold winter day. We always run out of applesauce before spring arrives.

How to make applesauce

I learned how to make and can applesauce from Granny and from Miss Cindy. Since there are only 2 ingredients (not counting water) I never worry about how many apples I need or how much applesauce I’ll end up with. If I’ve got at least a bucket full of apples I just go for it!

Before you get started give your apples a good wash. I know mine haven’t been sprayed with anything but since I leave the peelings on when I make applesauce I want to make sure I get rid of any dust, grit, or bugs.

The Ball Canning Book says to peel your apples before turning them into sauce-but I think Miss Cindy and Granny’s way is so much easier! Leaving the peeling on saves time and energy, and it allows you to get every ounce of apple goodness.

I take a small paring knife and cut the blossom end out of the apple and remove the stem. Then I quarter the apple. If I see a bad place or a worm I remove them with my paring knife. I don’t worry about the seeds-I leave them.

Place quartered apples in a large sauce pot and enough water that you can see it began to come up around the apples. Cook until apples are soft.

How to make applesauce and can it


Once apples are cooked, drain and then run them through a ricer or food mill to separate the lovely sauce from the peelings.

Discard peelings-my chickens love them.

Easy recipe for applesauce

Put applesauce in a large sauce pot. I sit my ricer over my pot so that’s one less dish to wash.

Add sugar to taste. I don’t add much sugar at this point-because I know I can add it when I open a jar to serve. If you’d like to add cinnamon or other spices this is the place where you would add them to taste.

Bring applesauce to a boil. Make sure your lid is on the pot and make sure you don’t wander away to far from the stove. Applesauce pops and squeaks and makes the biggest mess when it begins to boil. It also scorches very quickly.

How to can applesauce

Ladle hot applesauce into sterilized jars and seal. Process jars for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath. Allow processed jars to cool and double check that each jar sealed-if one didn’t pop it in the frig and eat it first.

Applesauce freezes very well too, so if you don’t feeling like canning, freeze applesauce in serving size portions.

Applesauce is really easy to make and can-its the perfect thing for a beginner to try their hand at.



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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    September 2, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    As kids, like most kids, we at a lot of applesauce and ketchup. Dad tried making both. We didn’t like his applesauce cause it was chunky cause he didn’t strain it. (You know how kids can be particular about texture). His ketchup turned out brown and tasted like molasses. He ended up eating his applesauce himself and used his ketchup in baked beans and BBQ sauce where it worked fine. But I bet if he’d been able to Google for recipes, he’d have gotten it right, cause it sounds like we would have loved this applesauce recipe here just fine cause it would be smoother.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    September 2, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Quinn-I’m sorry I should have made that clearer : ) Apples and sugar are the 2 ingredients.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Did I miss your second ingredient, Tipper? All I saw was apples, and they sure look good 🙂

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 1, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Shucks, hit the m instead of the comma after cored…Oh well, I’m near blind by this time of day and a tarred old Tar Heel!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    and Deanna…after reading your comment it brought to mind my Mother, who on occasion would add Cinnamon Red Hots to her applesauce. I had almost forgotten. I remember one time questioning her about the pink applesauce when it was sitting on the counter cooling. She loved those Red Hots and savored the Red Hot applesauce for her ownself. But back then us kids didn’t like much hot stuff! My main like was Apple butter and peanut butter on white bread…ha ha
    Mom also made, and I still do, coredm sliced apples cooked in Red Hots candy…they are so good and make a beautiful side dish at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
    Thanks for the memory,

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 1, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Babe Burnett was just making applesauce back in 1920 when Hol Rose came snooping around inquiring about the recipe. Babe was noted in those parts for his applesauce and secretive about the ingredients. He invited Hol and his partner to be on their way and fired a warning shot trying to convince Hol of his seriousness. Babe was good at making applesauce but not much of a shot. His warning missed completely and killed Hol Rose on the spot. Charlie Beck was lucky. Babe never fired another warning shot.
    Such goings-on were not all that uncommon in them days but somebody saw fit to put this one in a book. Somebody else even wrote a song about it.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    September 1, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Looks so good! My mother-in-law eats a lot of applesauce & I have a bunch of jelly size jars. If we get any apples I may try canning her some applesauce in them. Squirrels have toted off all our apples & pears this year but a cousin usually shares with us so hope we’ll get some.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Your Applesauce looks so good! I
    think you get more of the vitamins
    by leaving the skin on while
    preparing. We never had to spray
    our apple trees either. Thank you
    for the instructions…Ken

  • Reply
    September 1, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I love making applesauce. My grands and great-grands like the lumpy kind so I do not put thru a ricer. Consequently I peel and take out stems & seeds before cooking. Add a little water so they do not scorch in the roaster. Mash if you must, or just cook till they are well done. Add sugar to taste. We, too, use very little. More can be added at the table for those with a bigger sweet tooth. I do like to add a handful of “red hots” for a bit of flavor and a pretty pinkish color.
    Here is a story about the red hots. One summer some time ago, I bought all the red hots I could find from the grocery, from the Walmart and other stores. Finally went to the Amish at Hazelton and ordered a big box of them. Turns out they were in a 35# box. Ben Miller, the Amish guy who runs the store, asked me what in the world I was going to do with all those candies. I told him I would jar them up and use them when I made applesauce. He said he liked that idea and they were going to do the same thing. Belinda, his wife has died now but he still cooks and cans and sometimes his daughters and granddaughters help him with his canning. I’ll ask him next time we shop in his general store if he still uses red hots in his applesauce.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2015 at 10:38 am

    That looks so good and it looks like it is easy to assemble. I might just get some apples and try this one.

  • Reply
    Chuck Howell
    September 1, 2015 at 10:30 am

    My sisters and I make a trip back to our old home in Cass W. Va. now and then. Cass is now a State Park. Cass Scenic Railroad. The “Company” town is very popular with Railroad fans from all over. Wooden sidewalks, restored houses in a row, “Monopoly” style, all the same. We lived in one of these in the late 40’s. It’s now rented out to tourists including us of course. Cass was becoming a “Ghost” town until Railroad Buffs saved it, or part of it. Many structures just fell down after serious winter snowfall. Now the story: Apple trees, plum trees & lilac bushes grow wild where the people used to live not so long ago. Well, while we are visiting with Johnny Davis, Barbara Slaven, old school friends, I compete with the Deer and an occasional Bear for fallen “Fruit.” I make applesauce, fried apples apple butter etc. Lefty, the Barber, who just recently raised his price to $5.00, shortly before he died, told me “The best apples are in the yard at the old home of Clark Phillips, my dad’s Boss, while we lived there. He was right. My sister on first bite, “Now that’s, a good apple,a Cass apple.”
    One of my favorite Singer / Songwriters wrote a song about a conversation between a Lilac Bush & an Apple tree living in an abandoned Sawmill town. Kate Wolf. Beautiful, I don’t know if the Pressley Girls Do it. Please do Chuck

  • Reply
    barbara Gantt
    September 1, 2015 at 9:27 am

    I love canning applesauce. So easy and tasty. My Aunt would always can apple slices. They would be so pretty and white in the jars. She would soak the slices in salt water, then rinse right before putting them in the jars. We made fried apple pies with her canned apples. Barbara

  • Reply
    Suzy J
    September 1, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Here in Union County, GA at the cannery they have the most awesome machine for applesauce. You take one of those apple slicers and cut up all your apples, just wash, you can leave stems and all. You put them into the machine and on one side comes out perfectly textured applesauce and the other side all the stems, seeds and peel. Season to taste, put in your jars and they can it for you. Love our new cannery!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 1, 2015 at 7:36 am

    I would like to try that sometime, hard to get enough apples around here though

  • Reply
    Wendy Bouvier
    September 1, 2015 at 7:32 am

    The “Pork chops and applesauce” quote was definitely on the Brady Bunch. Peter said it. I love homemade applesauce. I’ve never tried making it with the skin on the apple. That would be quite a bit easier!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 1, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Speaking of winter suppers and applesauce, can anyone remember who said, “Pork chops and applesauce”!
    Was it Humphrey Bogart, W.C. Fields or from the Brady Bunch?
    I always thought it was from the movie ‘Casablanca’ with Humphrey Bogart!
    Anyhow, I love applesauce and pork chops for supper on a cold winter evening.
    Your applesauce looks great!
    Put my name in the hat for a jar!
    Just kidding’!
    Thanks for this post and how to directions…

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