It’s Apple Season! Learn How To Preserve The Harvest

Apple Harvest

Fall announces its arrival with a sharp bite in the air and changing leaves.  Apples are hanging from trees – ripe, delicious and ready for picking.

What if you could preserve the delicious taste of apples throughout the rest of the year?  It is easy to make your own homemade applesauce and apple pie filling.

Apple trees

Apple season on our family farm arrives a bit early – June to be exact, which is when they ripen in our zone 9 garden.  Cooler climates enjoy their apple season later in late summer or fall.

picking apples

My children and I gather all the apples we can.

ripe apples

It is so easy to pick an apple off the tree and eat it with one hand while using your other hand to pick apples.

apple tree

We aren’t the only ones who enjoy apple season ;-)

canning apples

Once we cart our apples indoors, it is time to make applesauce.

Now, you may think that applesauce is fine to eat, but nothing exciting.   Well, that is because you have never tasted freshly made applesauce.  It is DELICIOUS!

12 pounds of apples are peeled, cored and cut into small chunks (about 36 medium apples).

apple cores

If you have an apple peeler/corer device – this step is easy.  However, if you do not – it helps to have someone help you with peeling and coring the apples.  My daughter and I both made quick work of peeling and coring together.

*If you have a food mill – you don’t have to peel your apples.

cooking apples

Lemon juice is added along with 1 cup of water to keep the apples from browning and sticking while being cooked over the stovetop.

On medium-high heat bring to a boil before reducing the heat.  Cook 5 – 20 minutes, stirring very once in a while until the apples are tender.

apples ricer

Add the cooked apples, a little at a time, to a food mill.  OR, if you don’t have a food mill, then use a food processor or potato masher.

making applesauce

Put the pureed apples back into the pot and add 3 cups sugar and 4 Tablespoons of lemon juice.

Bring back to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  At this point, you can eat your applesauce once it cools  - it is so good!

You can also freeze your applesauce, which will allow your applesauce to last a long time – I like to use it within 1 year.

boiling water canner

In order to preserve your applesauce without having to refrigerate it, they must be processed in a boiling water canner.  Simply pour the hot applesauce mixture into sterilized jam jars and process them in a boiling water canner.  Don’t be intimidated by using a boiling water canner.  The equipment is inexpensive and you can can all sorts of fruits and vegetables.  They will last for over a year in your pantry.  For detailed instructions on how to can fruit, click here.

homemade applesauce

homemade applesauce

Homemade applesauce is so delicious.  So whether you freeze it or can it – you will be enjoying the fresh taste of apples, even when apple season is a faint memory.

For a recipe on how to make your own applesauce, click here.

**Sometimes when I am finished making applesauce, I have leftover apple slices…

apple pie filling

Because I love to bake pies, I simply take my leftover apple slices and make homemade apple pie filling.  Simply add your favorite apple pie seasonings and put them in a plastic freezer bag and keep them frozen until you are ready to make a pie.

I hope you are inspired to preserve your apple harvest by making applesauce and/or your own homemade apple pie filling.

For more information on how to preserve fruits and vegetables, check out the National Center For Home Food Preservation, which has detailed instructions on how to can food along with recipes.

  1. Barbara says

    I’ve been told that I should cook the apples with the skin on to get the nutrients from the skin. Is that true? Because if you’re going to put them through a food mill after they’re cooked, you’re not eating the skin. What do you think of this?

  2. Christine Zook says

    Freezing home made apple pie filling in aluminum pie pans, lets you slide the pie filling into the crust without first having to thaw it.

  3. Jason Eikmeier says

    My only concern with this recipe, is the addition of all that sugar. If you are using sweet apples (like mcintosh) you don’t need to add the sugar, just cinnamon to taste. Also leaving the peels on is a great way to add flavor.

    but to each their own I guess.

  4. says

    I used to make applesauce and used McIntosh apples. I think I will start making it again this year. You can add pears to your apple pie filling because it is sweet enough that you don’t have to add sugar, just add your spices.

Trackbacks

  1. […] This fall, we talked about apples and how to make homemade applesauce, which is so much better then store-bought.  I had so many apples that I had extra leftover, so I sliced them and added ingredients for pie and froze them.  They are ready to thaw and put into apple pie whenever I need them.  Find out how to preserve your own apples here. […]

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