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Make Your Own Chunky Applesauce!

Make Your Own Chunky Applesauce!

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.


Raw honey
Cinnamon or apple pie spice blend
Stevia (optional)


Note: Inspect the rim of each canning jar before filling. Discard any with nicks or cracks in the glass.

  1. Peel and core apples. Rinse in water and chop into chunks.
  2. Add water to water bath canner until ¾ full. Place canner on stove-top over high heat.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Lower each sealed jar, using canning jar lifter tongs, into boiling water within the water bath canner and cover with lid.
  9. Process quart jars in boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.


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  • Brenda says:

    I do mine a lot differently. I core the apples, after I wash them, leave the skins on, and then cut them in quarters. I throw them in a crock pot, with a tablespoon of lemon juice (natural citric acid preservative) and a host of yummy spices like cinnamon, a pinch of cloves, nutmeg, pinch of cardamom, then balance it out with 1/2 cup of raw wild honey. I let this marvelous concoction cook on low for about 5-6 hours, and when the house smells like an apple pie, I lift the lid and the apples have slowly cooked down. With an immersion blender, I blend it up creamy and thick and put it in jars, hot water can it for 20 mins and the stuff flies out of my pantry faster than I can make it! My grand kids eat it like apple sauce, my kids spread it on toast like apple butter, and my husband uses it as a ‘dip’ for pork chops or with his biscuits and breakfast ham. I use all kinds of apples, whatever is in season and have even mixed different kinds of apples as long as they are sweet. The only apples this doesn’t work with is green Granny Smith, crab apples, Mountain apples, and Arkansas Blacks.

  • Carol says:

    I always make chunky applesauce, this particular recipe sounds delicious exactly as described. Will certainly try this version next time . Thank you!

  • Susan says:

    Gosh, I’ve been making applesauce for years, just the way my great granmother made it – without adding ANT sugar or sweetner. Apples are already sweet, right? So keep it healthy – and omit the honey, stevia, and for goodness sake, omit the spelnda. You’ll love it!!

  • Janey Cain says:

    I would never use Splenda! It is made with chlorine. Do a web search re Splenda

  • Robyn says:

    What is the best container to freeze applesauce in????

  • Sue says:

    If you put fresh cranberries (1-2 cups) in with the apples, instead of raisins, you’ll have lovely pink applesauce. You may want a bit more sweetener and skip the spices. I always freeze my sauce.

  • Dreighton says:

    Splenda in place of stevia? Do you have any knowledge and/or opinions pro or con?

  • Babette says:

    My mom froze the applesauce. It was a great treat the winter months with hot buttered toast.

  • bikpet says:

    @NITA not the rubber ring,just the screw top

  • Deanna says:

    Nita, you were reading that wrong. It said take off the ring around the jar to ck that the lids sealed. Do not take the rubber seal off the lid. Leave the lid on just ck that the lid did seal onto the jar. 🙂

  • cynthia carter says:

    can the applesauce be frozen rather than canned ?

  • NITA says:

    My mom did a lot of canning when I was 4-5-6 year old — that was 70 years ago—the only thing that I do not understand in the apple sauce recipe — is taking the rubber ring off when done I do not remember her doing that. or am I reading it wrong — Thanks I would like to have an answer to that.

  • Beth says:

    Using golden delicious apples (sweeter) plus golden raisins (typically sweeter) and adding tangy ginger (powdered is great for this purpose) makes chunky applesauce even better. Also, do not peel the apples for added texture and fiber. Apples with the skin left on have nearly double the amount of fiber, plus much more potassium and vitamin C as peeled apples. I’ve been doing it this way for years. And using these elements, beyond the honey you absolutely don’t need to add an additional sweetener: natural or otherwise.

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