Love and Olive Oil

Blackberry Applesauce

Blackberry Applesauce

Fall meets summer. Summer meets fall.

Homemade applesauce is one thing, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the batch I made last year. But even with cinnamon, applesauce is always sort of plain (in fact, it’s one of my ‘safe’ foods when I’m feeling under the weather). Otherwise, I eat it with sour cream on my latkes and that’s about it. Guess I’m just not really an applesauce kind of person.

But take that plain old applesauce and throw in a few cups of frozen blackberries (smartly preserved earlier in the summer when I knew I had no time to deal with them) and you have a mind-blowing, life-altering, hot pink applesauce.

And is (naturally) hot pink food ever a bad thing?

Blackberry Applesauce

The blackberries give the sauce not only its gorgeous color, but also a unique tart flavor. Vibrant and fruity and even more apple-y than regular applesauce (if you can believe it). The blackberries do warrant more sugar to counteract their tartness, but you can add as much or as little sugar as you want. How much will depend mainly on the sweetness of your apples. Seriously, grab a spoon, taste some, then add more sugar if you think it needs it, or not if you like it with a bit of pucker.

Blackberry Applesauce

I used a mix of Golden Delicious and Rome apples for this sauce, the faint pink flesh of the Romes seemed to beg for a companion to enhance their delicate color.

The apples are local, coming from the same orchard as the blackberries earlier this summer. Tennessee is not Michigan, apples do grow here but not quite so abundantly, so local apples are most definitely something to be savored.

Blackberry Applesauce Free Printable Labels

For the packaging I printed my design (and be sure to click through to the end of this post to download the free printable file for yourself!) onto kraft label paper, then stuck them to the jars along with a decorative strip of silver striped washi tape.

The jars I bought in bulk from SKS (I like these because they do not have any raised designs that interfere with the labels), but I used standard two-piece lids on them. As Marisa described in her great article on canning with hex jars and lug lids, the plastisol lining in the lug lids isn’t suitable for longer processing times. I don’t necessarily think 15 minutes is a long processing time, but I didn’t want to risk it. I’ll save those jars and lids for regular jams and jellies, and use the standard two-piece lids for anything, like this applesauce, that requires a longer boil. I put another circle of blank kraft label paper just to cover up the unattractive writing on the tops of the lids (why don’t they sell unbranded ones? Seriously!)

Blackberry Applesauce

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5 pounds apples (a mixture of sweet apple varieties, such as Gala, Fuji, Rome, Golden Delicious, or Pink Lady will make the best applesauce)
1 lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar (more or less to taste)
8 ounces (2 cups) fresh or frozen blackberries


  1. Prepare canner and wash/sterilize 8 half-pint (or equivalent) 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Meanwhile, cook blackberries in a small saucepan over medium heat until softened, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Run cooked apples and blackberries through a food mill*, discarding skins and seeds. Return mixture to saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add lemon juice, along with sugar to taste (the sweeter your apples, the less sugar you will need. Start with a little bit, then taste, and add more as desired).
  5. 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 15 minutes (20 minutes if you are using larger pint jars). 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.

*If you don’t have a food mill, 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. Mash and strain your blackberries through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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Free Printable Blackberry Applesauce Canning LabelsBonus! Because there’s nothing more depressing than a naked jar. These pretty, rustic labels will make your jam as sweet on the outside as it is on the inside.

I’m offering these jam labels to you, free for personal use. Simply download the printable file, then print onto full-sheet sticker paper (I used a brown kraft label paper from, but you could use white or any color, really). Cut out the labels and apply directly to the the finished jars. These labels will fit on the sides or lids of most standard mason jars.

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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. I’ve made this at this time of year for several years now, dealing with the apple glut and using some of our blackberries from the freezer.. Just made a batch in small jars for my friend’s baby Our apples and blackberries are organic and I omitted the sugar altogether and it still tastes delicious. Brilliantt jewel tones. My next batch I will leave a bit chunkier since this time it’s for us!

  2. Do you have to use lemon?

    • Yes, the lemon provides added acid for safe canning as well as balanced flavor. If you were just making a batch of this to consume immediately/refrigerate, you could leave it out, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

  3. It looks like you have made applesauce and then added fruit juice/syrup.  Since I already have canned raspberry syrup, how much would I add to the applesauce to make a raspberry applesauce?

    • I’d just add syrup to taste. It’s probably sweeter/more concentrated than the straight fruit, so you may not need as much. Trust your tastebuds! :)

  4. Could you use raspberries?

  5. I made it for Christmas presents! It is sooo good! I had to stop myself from eating it. The color is gorgeous. Thank you!

  6. This is ridiculously easy and just delicious!!  We are quite a bit before it made it into the jars.  :)

  7. Thank you so much for this post! This recipe looks delish! I absolutely love blackberries because they help the anti-aging process (I will be 30 soon) and my kids love apple sauce. But the cool part is that apples will keep you regular and blackberries will guard the body against free radicals. I found a site that gives you the benefits of certain foods. I recently found this page about the benefits of blackberries!

    Yummy and healthy! thanks for sharing

  8. I know this sounds stupid but I don’t know how to can (I’d be afraid I’d kill my kids) or have the jars to do this, is there a way to make this without having to can it? Can you make the recipe smaller, where it’s enough for a week only and can sit in the refrigerator? Thanks 

    • Sure, the sauce should keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. You could also freeze it pretty easily too if you wanted to keep it longer!

  9. Oh the jars & labels are adorable :) this looks tasty!!

  10. If the color didn’t convince me (it totally did) the words “blackberry” and “apple” in the same title sure did! Delish!

  11. I do love any food that is naturally hot pink :)

  12. What a creative idea to add blackberries to applesauce! I bet that gives it such great flavor. And I just love how you packaged them! So cute!

  13. Throwing a baby shower and this would be the perfect favor! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Absolutely gorgeous, Lindsay! I adore homemade applesauce and your blackberry version is a must-make-asap recipe. I have plans for this beautiful applesauce! Lovely styling and photography as always. Thanks ever so much for sharing, girl. Pinning!

  15. This is the prettiest applesauce ever! I love homemade applesauce – I’ll have to try this version. 

  16. What a perfect sauce for transitioning from summer to fall! This looks incredible, Lindsay. I bet the aroma as it cooks is amazing, too!

  17. I loooooove apple sauce and I can imagine that with blackberries in them it is even better. It looks really divine, though :D 
    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Awesome.  Perfect way to change up an old regular.  And yes, the hot pink is pretty great looking :)

  19. Hot pink food? Ok, I’m so in!! Love this!

  20. I love how bright these pictures are – they make me want to drink that jar of applesauce. Great flavor combination, I’m really into it!

  21. Oh gorgeous color! Blackberries are so wonderful. I love that you used them here.

  22. I adore things that are naturally pink, especially with those labels! : )

  23. Lookin’ so pretty in pink! You have me motivated to pull up my sleeves and can like a champion. Thanks for including the labels too!

  24. Beautiful!!  I would love this combination — I love regular applesauce, but I can imagine the added tartness from the blackberries takes it over the top.  And those printables are TOO cute!!   My jar obsession continues….

  25. This apple sauce is such a fun way to mix up the original! Love it!

  26. I remember eating blackberry applesauce as a child, but i haven’t had it since. Need to make this soon. Love the pretty packaging!

  27. The color of this jam is so pretty!  What a great gift these would make. 

  28. This is some really pretty applesauce! I love the combo of blackberries and apples! This sounds so good!

  29. I don’t know what I love more – the sound of this applesauce or the cute tape and labels!  

  30. The colour of this is just beautiful. This is a nice variation to add to applesauce

  31. So pretty! The labels are lovely as well so thanks for that! Will most definitely be trying this one out with the blackberries I picked this week!

  32. Love the gorgeous colour! I’m definitely an applesauce person and would have no problem digging a spoon through all those jars :)

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