Fallen Apple Applesauce

It’s hard to believe that it is actually applesauce making season again but it is! Last weekend we put up a bunch of jars and I thought I’d share with you our process. I’m sure there are as many applesauce recipes as there are people who make it, but if you haven’t tried making your own applesauce before, you really should try. It’s so easy! We have a golden delicious apple tree in our yard and typically we make applesauce out of the ugly apples that have fallen off the tree and leave the nice looking still-on-the-tree apples for eating and for pies. So the first order of business is to send out a troop of little boys to collect the fallen apples.
See, ugly, aren’t they? It takes extra time to cut them up, peel them and cut out the bad parts, about an hour to do an entire pot full, but it’s worth it in the end for not having to waste them.
We put the cut up apples into a pot with about a cup of water and a cup of sugar and set the heat on medium-hot. As I was cleaning the kitchen I would occasionally use a potato masher to press the apples down and smoosh them up. Then we started adding more water, probably about 3 or 4 more cups of it until it reached a nice ‘saucy’ consistency. As the applesauce was getting close to where we wanted it to go (about 45 minutes of simmering) we added a tablespoon of cinnamon and more sugar to taste and started on the canning jars.
First put the jars you want to use in a large pot, then carry that over to the sink and fill up each jar with water and then add water to the pot until that water reaches to the shoulders of the shortest jar. Set these to boil on high to sterilize for a few minutes.
When the applesauce is ready to go and the jars are sterilized then we throw everything into the canning jar water to quickly sterilize, the lids, the screwtops, the funnel, the tongs, everything that is going to touch the jars, we give a quick sterilization.
Then very, very carefully, we pick the hot-water-filled jars out of the boiling water and empty them. Be prepared that chances are that you are going to get some hot water on you, so have a choice curse word on hand and Don’t Drop the Jar! Maybe it would be best to have a bowl of ice water on hand to dunk your burned hand into, that would be smart. After emptying out all the jars, place them on a heat safe surface, like your cutting board. Insert the canning funnel and fill up leaving 1/2 inch of room at the top.
After filling all the jars full, dip a clean towel into the still boiling water and gently wipe off the top of all the jars, just to make sure that everything is nice and clean. Then you’ll carefully pick up the lids out of the boiling water with tongs and place them on the lids. Then put all the screw tops on. You don’t need to screw them on super tight at this point, just securely.
Then place all the filled applesauce jars back into the boiling water and set your timer for 5 minutes. After letting them process in the hot water for five minutes, take them out, screw on the tops even tighter and wait for the tops to pop sealed.
And there you have it! Ugly Apple Applesauce! I hope you enjoy it, I know we will!


  1. says

    Looks Yummy! Our Fuji’s are just about ready to be made into applesauce and apple butter….can’t wait!!!

    ps. I love the pic of the kids under the tree canopy….very sweet :)

  2. says

    Oh I wish I had an apple tree and my crab apple just doesn’t count. I was canning some pickles yesterday. I hope to buy some apples to can up for apple pie filling and apple sauce.

    • Jennifer says

      Hi Daphne:

      I make crabapple butter in the crock pot with my parent’s crab apples. It turns out really good. Don’t knock your crabapples until you’ve tried them!

      • Darlene Judd says

        Can I get your crabapple butter recipe for making in a crockpot? I have a crabapple tree and we are thinking about cutting it down unless we can get some actual use from these apples besides feeding them to our horses!

      • asonomagarden says

        Hi Darlene, I don’t have a crabapple recipe. Sorry I can’t help in the saving of your tree.

  3. says

    Yum! My favorite applesauce I ever made was years ago with a red-fleshed early apple in New England…the applesauce turned out pink and very flavorful. Wish I could remember the variety now. I ate it on top of vanilla ice cream with real maple syrup and toasted pecans. Anyway, enjoy yours! Love the pic of your kids.

  4. says

    One of my favorite sounds of summer are the apples dropping from the tree outside our bedroom window. It used to scare me when they’d bounce across the deck but now it’s simply a sign of the season. Thanks for the inspiration ugly apple sauce!

  5. says

    YUM! I’m trying to convince the husband to go apple picking with me at the local orchard so I can make applesauce and can it up. My parents have apple trees, but they rarely ever produce apples, otherwise I’d totally love to snatch up the fallen ones like you do!

  6. says

    I never got the hang of canning myself, so I appreciate this article! I remember being a kid and my Mom canning peaches, applesauce, etc., and her counting the “pops” that the jar lid makes when it’s sealed so that she could make sure they were all sealed. Thanks for the illustrated instructions – I might actually try this this year!

  7. amanda k. says

    Whoa about that “screwing the caps on tighter” comment! I work with a local ag extension in Los Angeles and we strongly advise against tampering with the screw bands until you’re ready to remove them completely to store your canned goods. If you tighten the bands before the can has sealed, you can interfere with the seal and create a perfect environment for botulism (loose bands mean extra air can escape — helping the vacuum seal to form).
    Instead of tightening the bands, you should just leave the cans undisturbed until their fully cool (12+ hours) and then remove the bands.

    Otherwise, a lovely post about making good use out of windfall fruit! I had a wonderful time making applesauce this year with farmers’ market produce — I added grated ginger to give my sauce an extra kick!

    • asonomagarden says

      Thanks for the advise Amanda! Any added safety tips that can be added to the canning process is much appreciated.

  8. Jennifer says

    I started making apple sauce from our ugly organic apples from our 3 apple trees in our yard. Much the same process, and makes the best apple sauce! And no worry about what chemicals were used on the apples! Really have enjoyed all of you recipes and plan to try several of these. Thanks!!

  9. Erin Rothie says

    I have a canning question. I just canned blackberry jam which was AMAZING, but I filled the pot of boiling water full enough to almost cover the jars. I noticed in your pic that the water doesn’t even come halfway to the jars….. I thought you had to have enough water to almost cover the jars. What are your thoughts?

  10. JoEllyn says

    If you have a kitchenaid mixer, they make an attachment for sauce making. You don’t have to peel or even seed the apples, just chunk them, boil, and run them through the sauce maker. I’ve been doing this for a couple years now and it tastes so good… the peels give the sauce a pink color and it tastes a little more tart than applesauce made without the peels. Sometimes I can it, this year I froze it because I was suffering from serious morning sickness and just didn’t have it in me to bother with canning, but either way it tastes great. Oh another plus is the sauce maker pushes out the peels and seeds and you can run those through a second time and get even more sauce out of them, by the time you’re done there is very very little waste.


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