When my apples on my McIntosh apple tree are ready to pick, I am reminded that fall is just around the corner. Making applesauce is the beginning of all my fall canning projects and I love it because it is such a rewarding simple recipe to make. All you need is water and apples, but if you want to sweeten it up or add spices or frozen berries you can do that too.
YIELD : 5-8-500 ml jars
WATER BATH PROCESSING TIME: 15 minutes for altitudes of 1000 feet or below. Adjust processing time for other altitudes.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Water Bath Processing Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course breakfast, snack
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 5 500 ml jars


  • 12-litre stainless steel heavy bottomed pot
  • canning pot
  • wire basket or tray for the bottom of the canning pot
  • jar lift
  • magnetic wand for lid placement
  • 5-8-500 ml sterilized jars with lids and rings
  • optional: food mill fitted with a coarse blade
  • optional: blender-you will need if you do not have a food mill


For unsweetened applesauce:

  • 6-8 lbs McIntosh apples, Empire and Jonathans are also good choices
  • 1½-2 cups water

For a sweetened applesauce:

  • ½-1 cup brown sugar

For a sweetened spiced applesauce add the sugar and:

  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • tsp allspice
  • tsp cardamon
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks

For a raspberry or strawberry applesauce:

  • 1 pound raspberries or strawberries instead of one of the pounds of apples
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice strained


  • Core and quarter the apples. (If you do not have a food mill, you will also have to peel the apples.) Add them to a 12-litre heavy bottomed stainless steel pot and add the water. If you are using 6 lbs of apples then use 1½ cups of water: if you are using 8 lbs of apples use 2 cups of water.
  • If you are making berry applesauce- substitute 1 lb of the apples with the berries and add only 1 ½ cups of water for 8 lbs of fruit total. Also add the lemon juice.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a low simmer, with the lid on the pot, and cook for 10-20 minutes or until the apples break down and the peel starts to break away from the apple. The time will depend on the variety of apple you are using. McIntosh apples are a soft apple and so on my stove usually take only 10 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently to prevent the apples from burning on the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove from heat and remove the cinnamon sticks. Run the mixture through a food mill to remove the peels and, if using, the seeds of the berries. If you do not have a food mill, you will have to blend the applesauce in a blender.
  • Return the puree to the pot and, if using, add the spices and sugar. Heat to boiling.
  • Ladle the applesauce into hot sterilized jars, leaving ½" headspace. Run a sterilized knife or thin kitchen utensil through the preserve to remove air bubbles. Top each jar with a washed and briefly warmed snap lid. (I put the snap lid in boiling hot water for 30 seconds, this softens the seal.) Add the sterilized ring and tighten to finger tip tightness. Process using the boiling water method in a canning pot for 15 minutes. Shut the stove off and let the jars rest in the pot for 5 minutes before taking the canning pot lid off.
  •  Remove the jars and cool on a board or metal rack. Don't disturb for 24 hours.
  • Remove the rings and inspect the jars. If some of the applesauce has leaked out onto the jars, wipe them clean with a soapy cloth. Store the applesauce without the rings on in a dark cool place for up to a year.
  • Store jars that don't seal in the fridge and use immediately.
Keyword apple, applesauce, canning, water bath processing
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