Canning Applesauce

Select Michigan apples that are sweet, juicy and crisp. For a tart favor, add 1 to 2 pounds of tart apples to each 3 pounds of sweeter fruit. An average of 21 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 13½ pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints.

Graphic of Michigan applelesauce recipe card


  • Apples (gently rub produce under cold running water)
  • Ascorbic acid (If desired)
  • Ascorbic acid (If desired)


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Wash, peel and core apples.
  3. If desired, slice apples into water containing ascorbic acid to prevent browning. While preparing a canner load of jars, keep peeled, halved, quartered, sliced or diced apples in a solution of 3 grams (3,000 milligrams) ascorbic acid to 1 gallon of cold water. You can get ascorbic acid in several forms: pure powdered form, vitamin C tablets, or commercially prepared mixes of ascorbic and citric acid. If you choose to use these products, follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  4. Placed drained apple slices in an 8- to 10-quart pot.
  5. Add ½ cup water.
  6. Stirring occasionally to prevent burning, heat quickly until tender (5 to 20 minutes, depending on maturity and variety).
  7. Press through a sieve or food mill, or skip the pressing step if you prefer chunk-style sauce.
  8. Sauce may be packed without sugar. If desired, add 1/8 cup sugar per quart of sauce. Taste and add more, if preferred.
  9. Reheat sauce to boiling.
  10. Fill jars with hot sauce, leaving ½-inch headspace.
  11. Adjust lids and process as listed below:
    1. Boiling water canner: pints - 15 minutes, quarts - 20 minutes.
    2. Dial gauge pressure canner at 6 pounds of pressure: pints - 8 minutes, quarts - 10 minutes
    3. Weighted gauge pressure canner at 5 pounds pressure: pints - 8 minutes, quarts - 10 minutes
  12. After processing, cool for 12 to 24 hours undisturbed.
  13. Label and date your applesauce before storing.

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