Canning - Pink applesauce


This is applesauce the way my grandmother used to make it: pink and hand pressed through a chinois using a wooden dowel. It gets its pretty pink colour from leaving the apple skins on during cooking, then the skins come out during the press. I didn't add any sugar to this batch because I'll be feeding a lot of this to the baby, but these apples from our backyard are naturally sweet and don't really need any added sugar anyway. The 6 lbs of apples in this recipe makes six pint-size jars/500 ml of sauce.


Prior to prepping the apples, I heat my jars in boiling water then left them in the hot water until ready to be filled. The sealing discs and ring bands were also boiled and left in the hot water until ready to use.

Here's how I made it:
6 lbs apples, cored and quartered (skins on)
8 cups of water

I brought the apples and water to a boil in a large stock pot. I reduced the heat to medium and let the apples cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a ladle, I scooped the mushy apples into the chinois in batches, churning it through the sieve with the dowel, and transferring the sauce to a large heat-proof bowl. Using a canning funnel, I ladled the applesauce into the jars, leaving 1/2 an inch of room at the top of each jar. The jar rims were wiped with a clean cloth dipped in sterile (boiled) water, then the sealing discs were secured in place with the bands.


Using the rack in my waterbath canner, the jars were lowered into boiling water, with a couple of inches of water above them, and processed for 15 minutes. The jars were removed from the canner and left to cool for 24 hours (sometimes I just leave 'em for 12 hours, as long as they've sealed). Lucky for me, they all made that satisfying POP and sealed nicely!


Unsweetened applesauce is perfect for feeding to the baby and for use in baking where sugar amounts are added separately. It also just makes me feel good to see it sitting there on the shelf, all backyardy and homemady 'n stuff!

Are you doing any canning this year? What sorts of things would you like to make in jars? Tell me all about it!

13 comments:

  1. this looks amazing! i was so addicted to canning last year... and never did anything this year! makes me want an apple tree so bad! if I don't have one... what kind of apples would you use? great photos!

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  2. Amy - I like a sweet apple for making applesauce because you can get away with adding less or no sugar. Something like a Fuji, Gala, or McIntosh would work nicely and all are commonly available.

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  3. We love pink applesauce at our house! It never lasts the whole year to the following season. We use mainly Fortune apples {along with a few others} to make our sauce, adding no sugar. Also, we use freezer {plastic} jam jars instead of canning. Thank you for getting me in the applesauce making mood!! =)

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  4. This looks like so much fun! How long do they last and do they store in fridge or in pantry? Thanks!!

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    1. Hi Ree - Great question! Home-canned food can be stored at room temperature, and ideally in a space that doesn't get a lot of sunlight as that can sometimes discolour your beautiful homemade goodies. Food in unopened jars is safe to consume for up to a year after processing. Once opened, store your jars in the fridge just like any other jam, chutney, pickle, etc.
      Happy canning!

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  5. It's the middle of winter but I just came across your article...and I'm going to make some applesauce! My kiddos love applesauce too and lucky for me that they are on sale for $.50 a pound right now!

    Not as good as free but it'll for winter. And it's better than the store bottled stuff.

    Thank you so much for sharing...You explain it so well...I can totally do this!

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    1. Yay! Go for it. Not to worry about doing it in winter. In fact, here in BC February is apple month.
      Happy saucing!

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  6. If you are going to leave the peels on PLEASE use ONLY organic apples!!!

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    1. Yeah, but then you have to strain out all the worms! And they don't wash off like bird poop and pesticides do. Seriously, apples are easy enough to wash; many things aren't, with too many crevices, etc. It's not much of an issue with apples...

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  7. This recipe is going on my list of "must can" this year! One question: Does the water reduce as the apples cook; do you add all the liquid as you "mill" the cooked apples? My mother (95 yrs old!) started canning when she was a child and didn't stop until 3 yrs ago! She is such an inspiration!!

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    1. Your grandmother sounds like she'd be quite a resource for canning advice! The apples break down in the water and all the liquid goes into the final sauce. If you want a thick sauce you could add less water, but you'll end up with less volume overall.
      Happy canning!

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  8. Amy, I am excited to try this recipe for our 14 month old granddaughter who loves apple sauce. My question is how many jars did this make for you and what size jars did you use?

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  9. All of us adore red applesauce from our home! This in no way endures the entire 12 months towards the subsequent period. All of us make use of primarily Lot of money celery along with a few others to create the marinade, including absolutely no sugars. Additionally, all of us make use of deep freeze plastic quickly pull jars rather than canning. Thanks so you can get me personally within the applesauce producing feeling!!


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