Love and Olive Oil

Homemade Applesauce

Homemade Applesauce Printable Labels

Be sure to pick up a copy of today’s Tennessean, where this recipe for Homemade Applesauce (excerpted below) is featured in my monthly blogs column. And don’t forget to click through to the end of this post where you can download some adorable labels for your newly-canned applesauce!

It’s hard to think of fall and not think of applesauce, despite the heat that still reminds us we are not through with summer just yet. But there is no ignoring the fact that apple season is upon us nonetheless. The markets are overflowing with Galas, Golden Delicious, and Pink Ladies just waiting to be peeled, processed, and pureed with sugar and spice and everything nice.

Homemade Applesauce

Homemade applesauce is a great introduction into canning if you haven’t done it before. There is no complicated cooking procedure and you don’t have to worry about gel-tests or pectin. Just core, cook, and process. You’ll want to give yourself a solid 2 to 3 hour block of free time with no interruptions during the process, especially if this is your first time canning. But the result will be eight gorgeous jars of homemade applesauce.

Homemade Applesauce

If you can bring yourself to part with them, homemade applesauce makes a wonderful hostess gift or token of appreciation during the holidays. But no one will blame you if you decide to hoard the entire batch all to yourself. It’s so good, you may never buy store bought again!

Homemade Applesauce

Going Local? There are multiple orchards in middle tennessee where you can purchase local apples or, better yet, pick your own. For applesauce, windfall apples (also known as “seconds” or “culls”) are the most economical option if you can find them. While they may not be the prettiest apples, but no one will know the difference but your wallet.

Homemade Applesauce

Did you make this recipe?


12 pounds apples (a mixture of sweet apple varieties, such as Gala, Fuji, Rome, Golden Delicious, or Pink Lady will make the best applesauce)
2 lemons, juiced (about 4 tablespoons)
1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, to taste)
Other spices as desired, such as nutmeg, allspice, or cloves (optional)


Prepare canner and wash/sterilize 8 pint-size mason jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use. Warm lids in hot (not boiling) water to sterilize and soften seal.

Core and quarter apples, removing any obvious bruises or blemishes. Place apples in a large, heavy saucepan filled with 1 inch of filtered tap or spring water. Cover and simmer over high heat until apples are soft, about 10 to 20 minutes (cooking time will depending on the variety and ripeness of your apples).

Run cooked apples through a food mill to remove skins and seeds. Return to saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add lemon juice, along with sugar and spices to taste (the sweeter your apples, the less sugar you will need. Start with a little bit, then taste, and add more as desired).

Ladle hot sauce into jars, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles, and carefully wipe jar rims and threads. Center lids and screw on ring bands until fingertip-tight. Place jars in water bath, ensuring they are completely covered by at least 1-inch with water. Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 20 minutes. Uncover and remove from heat; let sit for 5 minutes to allow the pressure to equalize. Carefully lift jars from water and arrange on a wire rack. Let cool completely, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks.

**No food mill? No problem. While a food mill is the quickest and easiest way to make applesauce, you can do it without one. You’ll want to peel your apples first before coring and cooking them. After cooking, mash with a potato masher for a chunkier sauce, or puree in a food processor or blender (in batches if necessary) for a smoother sauce.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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Printable Homemade Applesauce Canning LabelsBonus! Take your homemade applesauce up a notch with gorgeous labels. Simply download the printable file, then print onto full-sheet sticker paper (which can be purchased online at or locally at most office supply stores). Cut out the circles and apply directly to the lids of the finished jars. These labels are perfectly sized for standard canning jar lids.

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Disclaimer: Copyright Love & Olive Oil. For personal use only. If you post about or share these labels, please credit appropriately and do not link directly to the downloadable file but rather to this post. Please do not distribute these downloadable files. Thank you much!

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  1. If you do alot of apple canning or freezing a apple corer, peeler, slicer is the only way to go they sell them at bed, bath and beyond for 20.00. It will be the best 20 you ever spent.

  2. Just made this recipe! So awesome and easy and super tasty!(: thank youuu!!! 

  3. I made this recipe and it’s so delicious! I have a question…. I processed the jars and it seems that while in the canner the applesauce expands right to the top of the jar. The jars are sealed but they didn’t pop, do I need to reprocess the jars again?  Thanks

  4. So easy, I might be able to do this without a canning kit. Quick question though, will a stockpot be a heavy enough pot?


  5. Love the packaging. I’ll be making some probably late September. My college boys love it! :)

  6. LOVE this packaging for homemade applesauce ~ we make ours year round too. I never have tried canning it though.

  7. I love it! Unfortunately nowhere to pick apples near me, but might entice me to try canning!

  8. Is there anything as lovely as the smell of applesauce bubbling on the stove? I think not. ;) Thank you for the beautiful labels!

  9. This looks fantastic!! Absolutely love the pictures, recipe, & how you use a global knife. I absolutely love mine. I also love the labels you made for the jars. So adorable.

  10. Wow, that’s a lot of apples! I’ll save this one for a rainy day!

  11. This is what i am making in the next few weeks, especially for my little on just starting to eat – I used this recipe in my newsletter this month, here is a link –

  12. Love these designs, simple and sophisticated.

  13. OOH, this looks so good! I may just have to make this soon! I just recently borrowed all my moms canning stuff to can tomatoes… but we ate most of them fresh and I didn’t have enough to can. I guess now I’ll try with apples!
    Thanks for the labels too!

  14. Those labels are so beautiful! I love canning and your homemade applesauce looks wonderful.

  15. Lindsay,
    head on over to (9/6/12/ post). I shouted out love and olive oil and Purr Designs on the post. I also tried the distressed wod photo backdrop as promised. Again, I am very grateful!

    Also, my hubby and I always make home made applesause. It’s surprisingly easy. Thannks for the reminder we need to get started for this year.

  16. When I’m feeling decadent, I use real maple syrup instead of the sugar. Mmmmmmmmmm.

  17. Love homemade applesauce and your labels are such a fun way to dress it up.

  18. This is a very solid recipe!

  19. Homemade applesauce is definitely on the list of things to can this fall! This sounds so wonderful–and you know it will be the best thing ever to whack on top of a square of spice cake this winter. :)

    • Once you make your own applesauce you will not want store bought again. The smell of them is heavenly and is well worth every second f work.

  20. Those labels are too cute!!

  21. I never thought about windfall apples for applesauce, who cares what they look like. Great idea!

  22. Gorgeous applesauce! I admit I usually just take whole apples and blend them in the Vita until I wind up with applesauce and add cinnamon & vanilla but need to try the old fashioned method.

  23. This actually looks easy enough to make! :D I’ve got a bag of apples from my aunt’s tree in the refrigerator…may have to give this a try. Oh, and those labels are adorable. :)

  24. Could this be any prettier? No. No. I love the lids and the jars and HOW CUTE!

  25. I cannot wait to make homemade apple sauce this fall! I am counting down the minutes, and your labels are adorable!

  26. Now that I’ve wrestled my first alligator (canning tomatoes), I’m so ready for this one! Gorgeous pictures, labels, and a procedure that looks so easy… suspiciously easy… I’m bound to encounter something! Will let you know if I have questions. Keep up the great design and recipes!

  27. The colors in the photos are gorgeous. There are so many apple trees in our area that I definitely need to give homemade applesauce a go.

  28. i’m so glad you posted this! there are a lot of fall parties coming up and i always like to find something unique to bring the host/hostess – so these are perfect.

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