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Bulletin #4035, Let’s Preserve Apples

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Let’s Preserve

Apples

applesDeveloped by Penn State Cooperative Extension with special project funds from Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Preparation of Apple Products

Prepare apple products as described in the following pages. Wash jars. To sterilize empty jars, put them right side up on a rack in a boiling-water canner. Fill the canner and jars with hot (not boiling) water to 1 inch above the tops of jars. Boil jars 10 minutes. Remove and drain hot sterilized jars one at a time and fill immediately with food. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place products hot into jars. Wipe sealing edge of jars with a clean, damp paper towel. Add lids and tighten screw bands. Process jars in a boiling water or pressure canner.

To process in a boiling water canner, preheat canner filled halfway with water to 180°F. Load sealed jars onto the canner rack and lower with handles; or load one jar at a time with a jar lifter onto rack in canner. Add water, if needed, to a level of 1 inch above jars and add cover. When water boils vigorously, lower heat to maintain a gentle boil and process jars according to the time shown for each product in Table 1.

Process Times

Table 1. Recommended Hot Pack Processing Times in a Boiling Water Canner

Minutes of processing time at altitudes of

Product Jar size 0 – 1000 feet 1,001 – 3000 feet
Apple butter

Half-Pints or Pints

Quarts

5

10

10

15

Apple juice

Pints or Quarts

Half-Gallons

5

10

10

15

Applesauce

Pints

Quarts

15

20

20

25

Sliced apples Pints or Quarts 20 25
Spiced apple rings Half-Pints or Pints 10 15
Spiced crab apples Pints 20 25

To process in a pressure canner, place jar rack, 2 inches of water, and sealed jars in canner. Fasten lid, and heat canner on high setting. After steam exhausts 10 minutes, add weighted gauge or close petcock to pressurize the canner. Start timing the process when the desired pressure is reached. Regulate heat to maintain a uniform pressure, and process jars for the time given in  Table 2.

Table 2. Recommended Hot Pack Processing Times in a Pressure Canner
Dial gauge canner Weighted gauge canner
Canner gauge pressure at altitudes of
Product Jar size Process time (min) 0 – 2000 ft (lbs) 2,001 – 4000 ft (lbs) 0 – 1000 ft (lbs) Above 1000 ft (lbs)
Sliced Apples Pints or quarts 8 6 7 5 10
Applesauce

Pints

Quarts

8

10

6

6

7

7

5

5

10

10

When processing is complete, remove canner from heat. Air-cool canner until it is fully depressurized. Slowly remove weighted gauge or open petcock, wait 2 more minutes, and carefully remove canner lid.

Remove jars from canner with a jar lifter and place on a towel or rack. Do not retighten screw bands. Air-cool jars 12 to 24 hours. Remove screw bands and check lid seals. If the center of the lid is indented, wash, dry,  label, and store the jar in a clean, cool, dark place. If the lid is unsealed, examine and replace jar if defective, use new lid, and reprocess as before. Wash screw bands and store separately.

Products are best if eaten within a year and safe as long as lids remain vacuum sealed.

Freezing Procedure

Don’t freeze more than 2 pounds of food per cubic foot of freezer capacity per day. Steam-blanch sliced apples 3 minutes, or place 6 cups at a time in 1 gallon of boiling water and blanch 1-1/2 minutes after water returns to a boil. Cool in very cold water and drain. Cover surfaces with 1/2 cup sugar for every 4 cups of sliced apples. To package, fill pint or quart size freezer bags to a level of 3 to 4 inches from their tops, squeeze out air, seal, and label. Before freezing, bags may be inserted into reusable, rigid plastic freezer containers for added protection against punctures and leakage. Applesauce can also be packaged and frozen this way.

Apple Juice

Quality

Good quality apple juice is made from a blend of apple varieties. For best results, buy fresh juice from a local cider maker within 24 hours after it was pressed.

Preparation

Refrigerate juice for 24 to 48 hours. Without mixing, carefully pour off clear liquid and discard sediment. If desired, strain clear liquid through a paper coffee filter or double layers of damp cheesecloth. Heat quickly, stirring occasionally, until juice begins to boil. Pour immediately into sterile pint or quart jars, or pour into clean half-gallon jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process jars as described in Table 1.

Applesauce

Quantity

An average of 21 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 13-1/2 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 48 pounds and yields 14 to 19 quarts of sauce. An average of 3 pounds makes a quart of canned applesauce.

Quality

Select apples that are sweet, juicy, and crisp. For a tart flavor, add 1 to 2 pounds of tart apples to each 3 pounds of sweeter fruit.

Preparation

Wash, peel, core, and slice apples. If desired, keep slices in water containing ascorbic acid to prevent browning, as described in making sliced apples. Place drained slices in a large 8- to 10-quart saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water and stir occasionally to prevent burning. Heat quickly until tender (5 to 20 minutes, depending on maturity and variety). Press through a sieve or food mill, or skip the pressing if you prefer chunky style sauce. If desired, add 1/8 cup sugar per quart of sauce. Taste and add more sugar if preferred. Reheat sauce to boiling. Fill jars with hot sauce, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process jars as described in Table 1.

Sliced Apples

Quantity

An average of 19 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 12-1/4 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 48 pounds and yields 14 to 19 quarts — an average of 2-3/4 pounds per quart.

Quality

Select apples that are juicy, crisp, and preferably both sweet and tart. Raw packs make poor-quality products.

Preparation

Wash, peel, core, and slice apples. To prevent discoloration, keep slices in water with vitamin C, made by mixing 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid crystals, or six 500-milligram vitamin C tablets in 1 gallon of water. Place drained slices in a large saucepan and add 1 pint water or very light or light syrup for each 5 pounds of sliced apples. To make syrup, dissolve 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar in 2 cups of water. Boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Fill jars with hot slices and hot syrup or water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process jars as given in Table 1.


Spiced Apple Rings

Ingredients
12 lb firm tart apples (maximum diameter 2-1/2 inches)
12 cups sugar
6 cups water
1-1/4 cups white vinegar (5%)
3 tbsp whole cloves
3/4 cup hot red cinnamon candies or 8 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp red food coloring (optional)

Yield: about 8–9 pints

Preparation: Wash apples. To prevent discoloration, peel and slice one apple at a time. Immediately cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices, remove core area with a melon baller, and immerse in an ascorbic acid solution made as described in making sliced apples.

To make flavored syrup, combine sugar, water, vinegar, cloves, cinnamon candies or cinnamon sticks, and food coloring, in a 6-quart saucepan. Stir and heat to boil, and simmer 3 minutes. Fill jars (preferably wide-mouth) with drained apple rings and hot flavored syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process jars as described in Table 1.


Spiced Crab Apples

Ingredients
4-1/2 lb crab apples
4-1/2 cups apple vinegar (5%)
3-3/4 cups water
7-1/2 cups sugar
4 tsp whole cloves
4 sticks cinnamon
6 1/2-inch cubes fresh ginger root

Yield: about 9 pints

Preparation: Remove blossom petals and wash apples, leaving stems attached. Puncture the skin of each apple four times with an ice pick or toothpick. Mix vinegar, water and sugar and bring to a boil. Add spices tied in a spice bag or cheesecloth. Using a blancher basket or sieve, immerse one-third of the apples at a time in the boiling vinegar/syrup solution for 2 minutes. Place cooked apples and spice bag in a clean 1- or 2-gallon crock and add hot syrup. Cover and let stand overnight. Remove spice bag, drain syrup into a large saucepan, and reheat to boiling. Fill pint jars with apples and hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process jars as described in Table 1.


Apple Butter
Recommended varieties: Jonathan, Winesap, Stayman, Golden Delicious, or MacIntosh

Ingredients
8 lb apples
2 cups cider
2 cups vinegar
2-1/4 cups white sugar
2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cloves

Yield: about 8–9 pints

Preparation: Wash, remove stems, quarter, and core apples. Cook slowly in cider and vinegar until soft. Press apples through a colander, food mill, or strainer. Cook fruit pulp with sugar and spices, stirring frequently.

To test for doneness, remove a spoonful and hold it away from steam for 2 minutes. It is done if the apple butter remains mounded on the spoon. Another way to determine when the butter is cooked adequately is to spoon a small quantity onto a plate. When a rim of liquid does not separate around the edge of the butter it is ready for canning.

Spoon hot product into sterile half-pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Quart jars need not be presterilized. Adjust lids and process jars as described in Table 1.


Nutritional Information

Average content of a 1/2 cup serving (4 to 4.4 oz.) of apple products
Canned
Raw fresh apple, with peel (sliced) Raw, peeled (sliced) Apple Juice Applesauce (Unsweetened) Applesauce (Sweetened) Apple butter
Calories 31 30 60 50 116 262
Carbohydrates 8 8 15 13.5 30 66
Fats, g 0.3 0.2 no value available 0.2 0.15 1.15
Protein, g 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.25 0.55
Sodium, mg 0.5 1.0 1.0 2.5 2.5 3
Dietary fiber, g no value available 1.3 2.9 2.8 2.9 3.2

Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2000
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