Recipes for applesauce abound, I know, but this chunky applesauce recipe is quick and easy when time might be short.
Canning chunky applesauce is done with minimal equipment and open to customization. It is also a great way to reduce waste and save time in your preservation efforts.
Skip the Peeling
I know this is going to sound odd to many folks and certainly to applesauce purists but there’s no reason to peel in most cases. If someone, is really opposed, by all means peel but around here we don’t.
Just cut out the bad spots, core and quarter those apples.
You will not likely win a blue ribbon at the fair if you skip the peeling. However, you will get a bunch more done in a hurry if that’s important.
To Pre-Treat or Not?
Apples brown and quickly too, once cut. This is way the standard canning advice is to pre-treat them prior to canning.
I honestly, skip this step. Yes, the apples will get a little brown but once they’re boiled, the color is just fine and normal to me. You can see in the photos that the applesauce isn’t some weird brown color that is unappetizing.
If you want to pre-treat do so by dipping the slices into a bath of either:
Ascorbic acid: you can buy this like ‘Fruit Fresh’ right in the grocery store. Sometimes health food stores will sell it in the bulk section. Follow package directions but usually it is 1 teaspoon ascorbic acid dissolved in 1 gallon of water.
Lemon Juice: add ¼ cup lemon juice to 4 cups of water.
Simply remove slices with a slotted spoon and then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Toss those apple quarters into a pot with about two inches of water in the bottom. Add some lemon juice. Put a lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Cook until the apples are very soft.
The time is going to vary based on a number of things just keep an eye on the pot.
Remove from heat.
Use a potato masher and mash those apples to a desired level of chunky.
Return the pan to the stove and sweeten and add spice, if desired.
Sugar & Spice
If you want to add sugar and/or spice to your applesauce, do it after mashing.
How much and what is completely up to you. The sugar does not do the preserving, the canning process does. So you can skip it if you want. I usually do.
If you’d like to make a spiced applesauce – add up to 3 teaspoons of spice for every 12 pounds of apples.
Ground cinnamon, ginger, apple pie spice, etc. all work well. Use what you like or skip it entirely.
If you’re unsure of how you’re going to use the applesauce later – leave it plain. You can always sprinkle it with spice when serving.
Make a batch of plain and a batch of spiced if you so desire to have options on your pantry shelves.
Bring the mashed and sweetened / spiced applesauce boil again. You want the mixture boiling before ladling into your jars.
Put in Jars
Add the chunky applesauce to hot jars leaving 1/2″ headspace for canning (1″ headspace for freezing). Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes (adjusting for elevation).
If you don’t want to can, freezing is an option. Simply put into freezer safe containers, leaving room for expansion. Eat within 6 months.
How to Use Chunky Applesauce
Around here, we just eat it as a side dish or a snack a great majority of the time. Sometimes it gets mixed with yogurt or eaten over pancakes. But plain is generally it.
However, I also use applesauce in a number of sweet and savory ways. Generally, when baking with applesauce one wants it smooth not chunky. On those occasions, I just puree the chunky applesauce in a blender and proceed.
Easily Doubled or More
Use the recipe as merely a guideline.
Feel free to double, triple, or more. Unlike jam you don’t need to worry about it setting so simply put as many apples as you can fit into a pot and proceed.
That’s exactly how we did around here because we’re trying to get as much done as quickly as possible.
- 12 lbs apples, cored, quartered
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice
- Sugar, optional (up to 3 cups)
- Put the apples into a heavy pan with two inches of water and the lemon juice. Cook until the fruit is soft.
- Once the fruit is soft, remove from heat. Mash to the desired texture.
- Return the mashed fruit to the pan and reheat. Add sugar, if desired. Heat until just boiling and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Pour the sauce into hot jars, leaving ½” headspace at the top. Process for 20 minutes, adding time for elevation.
Serving Size:1 Cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 8gSugar: 36gProtein: 1g
We try our best but cannot guarantee that nutrition information is 100% accurate.