It’s apple harvest time! Whether you have an apple tree, or are planning a trip to a u-pick orchard or local farmers market, you can enjoy the delicious flavor of fresh, chunky apple sauce for months to come when you preserve quart jars of the golden goodness.
With two apple trees in our yard, canning jars of apple sauce is an annual event. Thin, watery apple sauce, like you find in the grocery stores, reminds me of baby food, and is not appealing to my adult palate. However, I do love this chunky version with raisins and raw honey.
If you can jars of apple sauce or pie filling annually, an apple peeler-corer is a wise investment. An apple peeler-corer isn’t a necessity, but it does the job efficiently and speeds the process. I enlist the help of my teen son to wield the apple peeler-corer. A bonus is spending time with him, chatting and working together in the kitchen. We’ve been doing this as a team for years. With him starting his senior year in high school, I especially treasure the time we spent together this harvest. Seasons come and seasons go ever so quickly; so, grab the kids and make delicious memories in your kitchen that you will all treasure for years to come.
Canning Supplies you’ll need:
glass canning jars, ladle, funnel, canning lids and rings, water bath canner and lid, and canning jar lifter
How to Make and Preserve Chunky Apple Sauce with Raisins
This sauce is lower in sugar than traditional recipes. The natural sweetener stevia sweetens without elevating blood sugar levels or negatively impacting health the way sugar or artificial sweeteners can. A minimal amount of raw honey adds a subtle natural sweet flavor while counteracting any bitter after taste that may occur with stevia.
Cinnamon or apple pie spice blend
Note: Inspect the rim of each canning jar before filling. Discard any with nicks or cracks in the glass.
- Peel and core apples. Rinse in water and chop into chunks.
- Add water to water bath canner until ¾ full. Place canner on stove-top over high heat.
- Place apple chunks in a large, wide pot with enough water to cover the bottom and cover with lid. (I fill two 5-quart pots at once, to expedite the process.) Cook apples on medium-high heat, stirring every few minutes.
- Cook until apples have softened. Test with a potato masher. When done, apples should mash easily. When the mixture reaches a consistency you like, turn off heat, hand mash with a potato masher, leaving the sauce chunky.
- To each 5-quart pot of cooked apples, stir in: apple pie spice or cinnamon to taste, ¼ teaspoon stevia powder, and a squirt or two of raw honey, to taste, and a handful of raisins.
- Place a stainless steel funnel on top of a sterilized quart canning jar and ladle in hot apple mixture. Leave a 1-inch headspace at the top of each jar.
- Wipe the top of each jar with a dry napkin or cloth to remove moisture. Affix canning lid and ring to each jar and tighten.
- Lower each sealed jar, using canning jar lifter tongs, into boiling water within the water bath canner and cover with lid.
- Process quart jars in boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove jars with the canning jar lifter. Place hot glass jars on a towel on the kitchen counter and allow to cool at room temperature, undisturbed overnight or for several hours.
- Once the jars have completely cooled, remove the rings to make sure the lids sealed. Any jars that didn’t seal should be refrigerated and consumed within a few days.
- Store sealed jars on pantry shelves. Chill before serving, if desired.
*1 bushel (48 lbs.) of fresh apples yields 11 quarts of canned fruit; 2.5 to 3 lbs. of fresh apples will yield 1 quart canned.
New to preserving fresh fruits? Consult your local County Home Extension office or the latest Ball canning guide for detailed canning instructions.