During the fall, a fun activity that many people like to partake in is heading to the local farmers market or orchard to gather fresh, delicious apples. Canning apples is the perfect way to preserve these fall treats for use year-round.
Whether this is your first time canning apple slices, pie filling, or applesauce, or your hundredth, you want to utilize a boiling water bath canner for the process and follow the typical canning procedures. Plus, having canned apples on hand makes for an easy dessert when unexpected guests show up at your door.
When you know how to can apples, you will find many different recipes for canning apples so you can enjoy them throughout the whole year. Check out our recommendations for the best ways to preserve your apples.
How to Can Apples
You can maintain the apples by canning them for applesauce, apple pie filling, or apple slices to use as toppings for meat and bread. There are a variety of apples that you can choose when canning apples.
However, you want to stick to crisp apple varieties, like Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonagold, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp, rather than a mealy apple. After you’ve chosen the type of apple that you want to can, follow the canning recipe for canning apple slices. You may never need to visit the canned aisle at the grocery store again.
Sterilize the Jars and Lids
Before you get started on preparing the apples for canning, you want to get your jars and lids ready so you aren’t rushed later. You can use the dishwasher to sterilize the jars and lids; especially if your dishwasher has a sanitize cycle. If you don’t own a dishwasher with a sanitizing feature, you can wash the containers by hand in hot, soapy water and rinse them.
Boil the jars for ten minutes to sanitize them. Keep the jars in hot water until you are ready to use. Keeping them in hot water prevents them from breaking as you fill jars with the warm apples and syrup.
To sanitize the lids, place them in a pan of boiling water for five minutes. To lift them out of the hot pan, use a magnetic lid lifter wand to reduce the risk of getting burned. As you pull the lids out of the water, place them on a clean towel until you need them.
Prepare the Apples
Any time you are doing home canning with fruit, it is essential to start with ripe, unmarred fruit that is thoroughly washed. If your recipe with canned apples calls for them to be peeled, take the time to peel the apples, core, and slice apples as outlined in the canned apple recipe.
Once you peel and cut the apples, they will start to become discolored. Remedy this situation by placing them in a lemon water bath.
To make a lemon-water bath, combine a gallon of water with ¾ cup lemon juice, and put the apples in the solution. When you are ready to use the apples, drain them before continuing.
Make the Syrup
Most of the canning recipes that you will come across include syrup already, but if you don’t have a method or want to make a basic syrup, here’s what you’ll need to do. Determine the sugar level and place the following ingredients in a large pot.
For very light syrup, use one cup of sugar and four cups water. Light syrup takes 1 ⅔ cups of sugar and four cups of water. If you want medium syrup, use 2 2/3 cups of sugar and four cups of water. Finally, for heavy syrup, use four cups of sugar and four cups of water.
Decide what kind of syrup you want to make, then place the ingredients in a large pot. Heat the solution until the sugar dissolves. If you want a clearer syrup, skim off any foam that forms.
Make a Hot Pack
When canning apples with a boiling water canner, the preferred method is a hot pack when preparing to store apples. Precooking apples helps to break them down to eliminate air, which decreases the chances that they will spoil; it also keeps them from floating in the canning jars. Packing hot apples also allows you to fit more apples in fewer jars and decrease the processing time because the apples are already hot.
After you’ve made your syrup, add the prepared apple slices to the hot syrup in the saucepan. Bring the syrup to a simmer and allow the apples to cook for about five minutes, making sure to stir the mixture occasionally.
Add the Apples to the Jars
Spoon the hot apple wedges into the hot jars, making sure to leave a 1/2 inch headspace at the top. Pack the apples tightly into the jars and fill the jars with the remaining syrup from the pot. If you want your apples extra sweet, you can add one to two tablespoons of sugar or some apple juice to the top of the jars.
Run a knife around the inside edge of the jar to remove any air bubbles from the syrup. Wipe off any spills and sugar from the jar rims using a paper towel or clean cloth. Place the lid and screw top on the jar and tighten until it is secure.
Use a Water Bath Canning Method for Canning Apples
Place jars in a canning rack and process pint and quart jars in the canner. Lower the jars into the canner and heat the water to boiling. Leave the jars in the boiling water for 20 minutes. You might need to adjust this time depending on your altitude.
When the processing time finishes, turn off the heat. Use your jar lifter or pot holders to remove the canning rack from the canner, resting the tray handles on the side of the canner. Let the canner load of jars cool in place for several minutes.
Place a towel on the counter, remove the jars from the canner, and place them on the cloth. Leave the jars to cool for at least 12 hours, then test to make sure that the lids are sealed. If the seal failed, place the jar in the refrigerator and eat the apples within a few days.
How to Can Apple Pie Filling with a Pressure Canner
A pressure canner is a kitchen tool that you can use to quickly cook, sterilize, and preserve low acid foods, like apples, for future use. An excellent application for a pressure canner is to can apple pie filling so you can make homemade apple pie any time of the year. Here’s how to use a pressure canner to can apple pie filling.
Place the jars and rings in the dishwasher to sterilize the items. Peel, core, and slice the apples. Add the cornstarch, spice, and sugar to a large pot, then add the salt and water.
Stir the mixture to combine thoroughly. Turn the heat onto medium high and boil the mixture until thick, making sure to stir regularly. Remove from the heat.
Raw pack the apples into the hot canning jars, making sure to leave an inch headspace. Fill the jars with the hot syrup and use a knife to remove any air bubbles from the jars. Wipe the outside rims of the jars with a clean, damp rag and place the lids and rings on the jars, tightening to secure.
Place the jars in the pressure canner and process at 10 pounds for eight minutes. Once the processing time finishes, remove the jars from the canner and allow them to cool for 24 hours.
How to Use Your Canned Apples – A Recipe for Canning Apples
There are several different ways that you can use the apples that you canned to make delicious recipes year-round. From apple pies to applesauce, the possibilities are endless. One of our favorite methods for utilizing canned apples is this delightful and healthy apple butter recipe.
Add your canned apples to a slow cooker, and pour in the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Stir the ingredients, then cook on the high setting of the slow cooker for an hour. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook for an additional 9 – 11 hours or until the butter is thick and dark brown.
Make sure to stir the ingredients occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove the lid from the slow cooker and cook on low for another hour. Turn the crockpot off and allow the mixture to cool completely.
Once the butter has cooled, spoon the apple butter into freezer containers, leaving a half-inch headspace and place in the freezer. If you want to try your apple butter right away, place it in an airtight container and set it in the refrigerator.
Canning apples is a simple process that allows you to preserve apples for use in the future. With the right equipment and an afternoon of free time, you can start canning apples for use in delicious, sweet recipes throughout the year.
You no longer have to wait until the prime apple season to enjoy this delightful treat. Learn how to can apples and start enjoying them whenever you find yourself in the mood.
We hope you found this guide on how to can apples helpful. If you enjoyed the tips and recipes for apple canning, please be sure to share these different recipes for canning apples on Facebook and Pinterest.