Applesauce for Home Canning

Due to the great response to the home canning workshops organised by the Richmond Food Security Society, Arzeena and Karen decided to hold three more workshops on home canning.  This time, it’s home canning apple sauce as it’s the season for apple harvest.


The apples we used were donated by various sources which include groceries stores and people’s backyard who has planted apple trees.  You dont have to use perfect apples, just trim off the bruises.


  • 12 to 14 pounds apples, roughly chopped; peeled and cored if desired
  • 3 cups sugar (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice or 2 teaspoons citric acid, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
  • ground spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamon and allspice for flavoring (optional)
  • 8 x 500 ml jars


Applesauce is a great snack especially for kids and babies.  It is also a good substitute for fat in baked goods.  Substitute half of the fat in baked goods for a reduced fat diet.  It is not advisable to substitute all the fat in baked goods as the result will be denser and chewier and not as tender as those baked with fat.  To use the applesauce to substitute for fat, the applesauce must be of a thicker consistency.

Applesauce can also be used as a savory glaze on poultry.  Season the applesauce with thyme or rosemary and salt.  Glaze on roast chicken about half way through the roasting time.

A thicken applesauce can also be used as a filling for cake like swiss roll or used as a spread for your toast.


There are two ways of making the applesauce.  The first method will result in a smooth apple sauce using a food mill.  For this method, just cut the apples into chunks.
If you like coarser applesauce, peel and core the apple and cut into small chunks.
In a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan, combine apples with just enough water to prevent the apples from sticking, about 1/2 cup.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender (10 to 20 minutes).  Remove from heat and cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
We find that the apples which had been peeled cooked much faster than those with peels.
The apples with peels takes longer to cook.
For the coarser applesauce, crush the cooked apples with a potato masher until the preferred consistency.
For the apples with peels, working in batches, transfer the apples to a food mill (or processor with metal blades), and puree until smooth.  We noticed that the apples with peels yield a more pinkish apple puree.
Canning-Apple-Sauce-7-300x200 Return the apple puree to the saucepan.  Add sugar and spice if using.
Canning-Apple-Sauce-8-300x200 Add lemon juice or citric acid solution.  Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
Canning-Apple-Sauce-9-300x200 Ladle hot applesauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch (1 cm) head space.
Canning-Apple-Sauce-10-300x200 Remove air bubbles with plastic utensils.  Never use a metal object to remove bubbles as it may scratch the glass and cause breakage during the hot water bath.  Do not tap the bottle to remove bubbles.  Adjust head space, if necessary, by adding hot applesauce.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
Canning-Apple-Sauce-16-300x200 Place jars in canner, ensuring they are covered with water by at least 1 inch (2.5 cm).  Bring to a boil and cover with lid and process for 20 minutes for 500ml (pint) and 1L (quart) jars.  Remove canner lid.  Wait for 5 minutes or until bubbles subside, remove jars, cool and store.Applesauce can be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to one week.  Or, transfer to heavy, resealable plastic bags or containers to freeze for up to one year.Karen and Arzeena, thank you for organizing the applesauce canning workshop.

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