Can Whole Apple Applesauce With A Pressure Canner

This past weekend I made home canned applesauce and thought you might like to see how I make it.
I almost always make canned applesauce over the course of two days and use a pressure canner to can it. On the first day the applesauce is made and on the second day I can it.

My applesauce is a “whole apple” applesauce. That means the entire apple is used except for the core. I frankly don’t have the time or patience to peel apples for applesauce and I prefer the rosy or caramel color of whole apple applesauce. If you want white applesauce you’ll have to peel the apples to get it.

Whole Apple Applesauce Isn't White

Whole Apple Applesauce Isn’t White

I save time and cooking fuel by pressure canning applesauce instead of water bath canning it. By pressure canning applesauce the canning processing time is cut by more than half.


First apples are gathered and washed in warm soapy water and thoroughly rinsed. You’d be shocked at how dirty fresh picked apples can be. If you are buying apples from a farm stand or from a grocery store, your apples are probably already washed and you can skip this step. I get about  25 pints of applesauce from a bushel of apples.

Washing Fresh Picked Organic Apples

Washing Fresh Picked Organic Apples

After washing, the apples are cored and any bad spots are cut away. Then the apples are placed in a large pot with just enough water so that they won’t stick to the  bottom of the pan. About a cup of water is a good place to start.

The apples then are heated slowly and cooked until they are soft and mushy. It is usually a good idea to stir the pot every now and then to prevent burning or scorching the apples. It takes a few hours to properly cook down about a half bushel of apples. And about another 4 – 5 hours to cool down the apples enough to comfortably handle them and proceed to the next step.

This is where I often stop for the day. Unless I happened to have started my day very early, the apples are put some place cool overnight like a refrigerator or on a cold porch.
The next day I pick up where I left off, and use a food mill to puree the cooled apples into a large pot.

I suppose if you didn’t have a food mill you could use an electric blender or food processor.

Food Mill To Puree Applesauce

Using A Food Mill To Puree Cooked Apples

I never sweeten my applesauce. But if you prefer sweet applesauce this is the point to add sugar to your personal taste. The applesauce is next heated to very hot. Be mindful and stir it often because it will burn.

Once the applesauce is very hot, it is ladled into pint or quart jars leaving a ½” of head space. I slide a non-metallic object down the side of the jar (I use my trusty wooden chop stick) to release any trapped air bubbles. The rim of the jar is carefully wiped clean and a hot lid and band is applied to the jar.

Lid & Band Applied To Filled Jar

A Lid & Band Are Applied To A Filled Jar

The jars are then placed into a pressure canner and the pressure canner is vented according to the manufacturer’s instructions – usually about 7 – 10 minutes. After the canner has been vented the weighted gauge is applied.

The processing time for hot pack applesauce in a weighted gauge pressure canner is:

Jar Size Process Time Sea Level – 1000ft Above 1000ft
Pint 8 Minutes 5 lb. 10 lb.
Quart 10 Minutes 5 lb. 10 lb.

Processing time is counted from the moment the first “jiggle” of the weight gauge is heard.

After the processing time is complete, the canner is allowed to return to normal pressure. The jars are then removed from the canner and allowed to cool away from a draft and undisturbed for 8 – 12 hours.

Allow Jars To Cool

Allow The Jars To Cool For 8 – 12 Hours

After jars are cooled remove bands and check the seals. Wipe the jars clean, label and date the jars and store in a cool dark location.


You can most definitely water bath can applesauce. The processing time is 20 minutes for both pints and quarts.  Processing time is counted from the time the water begins to boil after the jars have been placed in the canner. Applesauce can also be frozen for up to 9 -12 months.

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  1 comment for “Can Whole Apple Applesauce With A Pressure Canner

  1. Angie unduplicated
    January 5, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    A “flame tamer” under the pit helps keep from scorching the apples. EBay has them, cheap.

    If you have electricity, you can use a turkey roaster to cook your apples down. This substantially reduces the risk of scorching. You can also take some of that applesauce and cook it down into apple butter in the same appliance. If you are blessed with old fashioned seedling pear trees, make pear sauce and pear butter.

    Turkey roasters often can be found at estate sales for reasonable prices.

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