How to Can Apples at Home - Easily

You think making and canning your own home-canned apple slices is difficult or expensive?  Not at all!  Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. The canned apples will taste MUCH better than that over-sugared tasteless glop in the can from the grocery store, and by selecting the right apples, it will be so naturally-sweet that when you use them later in a recipe, you may not need to add any sugar at all. Perfect to use in many recipes later!

Prepared this way, the jars have a shelf life of 18 months to 2 years, and require no special attention.

Now here's how you can, too!

 


Ingredients

Equipment

 


Recipe and Directions

Step 1 - Selecting the apples

The most important step!  You need apples that are sweet - NOT something like Granny Smith's.  Yeah, I know you like them to eat fresh, but you'd have to add a lot of sugar. 

Instead, choose apples that are naturally sweet, like Gala, Fuji, Rome and always use a mixture - never just one type.  This year I used 4 bushels of red delicious and one each of Fuji, Gala and Rome.  This meant it was so sweet I did not need to add any sugar at all.  And the flavor is great! The Fuji's and Gala's give it an aromatic flavor! Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are also excellent, sweet, flavorful apples. you may want to use firmer apples - Golden and Red delicious tend to be very soft

Step 2 - How many apples and where to get them

You can pick your own, or buy them at the grocery store.  You can also get them in large quantities for prices (in 2005) in the $14 to $20 range at the real farmer's markets, like the Atlanta-Forest park Georgia State Farmer's Market and orchards in the southeast of the U.S.  You'll get about 14 to 18 quarts of apple pie filling per bushel of apples, depending upon bruises and size..

Step 3 - Wash the jars and lids

Now's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle, the water bath processing will sanitize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sanitize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot apple pie filling.

Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out.

Step 4 -Wash the apples!

I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the apples in plain cold water.

Step 5 - Peel the apples

The fastest way to peel the apples is one of these peelers!  With firm apples, it takes about 20 seconds per apple. These apple peelers don't work well on soft, mushy apples or apples with soft spots on them. In that case your stuck with a hand peeler!

Once they're peeled, remove any remaining brown spots.

These apple peelers work absolutely great on firm apples, pears and potatoes.  They don't work so well on apples that are mush or have soft spots.  There are 2 types of peelers: those that have a suction base ("Back to Basics", below) and those that clamp on to the edge of a table ("Progressive" below").  I prefer the suction type as you can use it more places.  Click on the links below for more info or to order one.

 

Step 6 - Core and Slice

You can use a knife, but the $5 corer/slicer you see in the photo is the easiest way to do it. The apple corer/slicer, available at almost any large grocery store, kitchen store, Bed Bath and Beyond, mall kitchen stores, Target and other local "big box" stores

With this or an ordinary knife, any slices that are between -inch and 1/2 inch thick will do.

Remove seeds, stems, any hard parts near the seeds and brown or soft spots.

Here are the apple slices, ready for the pie filling!

These corer/slicers are fantastic.  Think about it; it makes six slices in the time you can cut one with a knife AND it cores. The one sold here through Amazon.com is better than any I've seen in the stores because it has tall handles (so you won't knock your knuckles) and is washable in the dishwasher.   Click on the link below for more info or to order one.

 

Step 7 - Blanch/cook the Apples

It's pretty simple:  place 6 cups of sliced apples at a time in a large pot with 1 gallon of 

Boil each batch for 5 minutes after the water returns to a boil. You're not really "cooking" the apples - just blanching  and heating them.  Blanching means heating the at high temperature for a brief time to stop the enzymes that can cause the flavor to degrade during storage.  Raw packs (unblanched apples) make poor quality products.

Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Step 8 - Drain

Drain and keep the hot, cooked fruit in a covered bowl or pot. Save the liquid to use in step 10 to fill the void spaces in the jars!

Step 9 - Fill the jars with the apple slices

Pretty self explanatory.  Fill jars with hot slices, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

A jar funnel helps.  Gently jostle the jar and lightly press the slices to help them settle in the jar and reduce the amount of air space.

Step 10 - Pour the liquid over the apples in the jars

Fill them to within 1/2 inch of the top with hot syrup (see steps 7 and 8) or water. Wipe any spills off of the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.

Step 11 - Process the filled jars in the water bath

Put them in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 or 2 inches of water and boiling. if you are at sea level (up to 1,000 ft) boil pint and/or quart jars for 20 minutes.

 

If you are at an altitude of 1,000 feet or more, or what to use a pressure canner, see the tables below.

 

Processing directions for canning sliced apples in a boiling-water, a dial, or a weighted-gauge canner are given in below

Table 1. Recommended process time for Apples, sliced in a boiling-water canner.

  Process Time at Altitudes of
Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000
Pints or Quarts 20 min 25 30 35

 

Table 2. Process Times for Apples, sliced in a Dial-Gauge Pressure Canner.

  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Jar Size Process Time
 
0 - 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Pints or Quarts 8 minutes 6 lbs/in2 7 lbs/in2 8 lbs/in2 9 lbs/in2

 

Table 3. Process Times for Apples, sliced in a Weighted-Gauge Pressure Canner.

  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Jar Size Process Time (Min) 0 - 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Pints
or Quarts
8 minutes 5 lbs/in2 10  bs/in2

 

This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 1994.

Reviewed June 2006.

 


Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter - to remove lids from the pot of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lid - disposable - you may only use them once
  4. Ring - holds the lids on the jar until after the jars cool - then you don't need them
  5. Canning jar funnel - to fill the jars


Frequently Asked Questions


Ball home canning kit water bath canner

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner and "Ball Blue Book" of canning.
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.


Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Home Canning Kits

Features:

  • Everything you need to get started with waterbath canning (fruits,pickles, jams, jellies, salsa, sauces and tomatoes)
  • 21-1/2 qt. enamel water bath canner
  • Funnel, jar lifter, lid lifter, bubble freer spatula
  • Ball Blue Book

This is the same type of  standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from apple pie filling to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. You'll never need anything else except more jars and lids!

Victorio V250 Food Strainer (the same as the comparable Villaware and Roma models)

With this Food and Vegetable Strainer, you'll be able to prepare more healthy foods, make natural sauces, soups and jams - even your own baby food! The tedious job of peeling and coring is eliminated as the strainer continuously separates the seeds and skins from the juices and pulp with just a turn of the handle. The highly polished body contains no paint or coatings that can chip or peel off, is easy to clean, and stands 19-in. high with the attached hopper. Click at left for more information, images accessories or to order.

Features:

  • Stainless-steel construction
  • Manual crank system
  • Replaces peeling and coring
  • Assembly required
  • Wash all parts in hot, soapy water
  • Optional additional screens for berries, pumpkin, salsa, tomato/applesauce
 

Deluxe Food Strainer & Sauce Maker

See this page for more information, reviews, descriptions of other strainers and supplies or to order!

With the Deluxe Food Strainer/Sauce Maker, you can make creamy apple sauce and smooth tomato sauce without having to peel and core! This multi-use strainer forces food through a stainless steel screen, automatically separating the juice and pulp from the seeds, shins, and stems. Perfect for purees, creamed soups, baby foods, pie filling, juices, jams, and more. Save time, effort, and money by preparing your own tasty sauces to be used immediately or boiled for future use. Do bushels with ease and in a fraction of the time. Includes the tomato/apple screen with easy twist on design and instruction/recipe booklet.

The Deluxe model comes with the standard Tomato/Apple Screen; as well as the Berry Screen, Pumpkin Screen, and Grape Spiral. Note

 

 

     

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!

 

 

Home Canning Kits

This is the same type of  standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids! To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!For more information and current pricing:

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Usually ships in 1-2 business days

     

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

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