Preserving Apples

This information has been reviewed and adapted for use in South Carolina by E.H. Hoyle, Extension Food Safety Specialist, Clemson University. (New 04/99.)

HGIC 3120

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Canning Sliced Apples

Quantity: An average of 19 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 12¼ pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 48 pounds and yields 16 to 19 quarts, an average of 2¾ pounds per quart.

Quality: Select apples that are juicy, crispy and preferably both sweet and tart.

Procedure: Wash, peel and core apples. To prevent discoloration, slice apples into water containing ascorbic acid. Raw packs make poor-quality products. Place drained slices in large saucepan and add 1 pint water or very light, light or medium syrup per 5 pounds of sliced apples. See Table 1 for directions on making syrup. Boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Fill jars with hot slices and hot syrup or water, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process. Processing directions for canning sliced apples in a boiling water, a dial- or a weighted-gauge canner are given in Table 2, Table 3 and Table 4.

Spiced Apple Rings

Ingredients:

12 pounds firm tart apples (maximum diameter 2½ inches)
12 cups sugar
6 cups water
1¼ cups white vinegar (5 percent)
3 tablespoons whole cloves
¾ cup red hot cinnamon candies or 8 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)

Yield: About 8 to 9 pints

Procedure: Wash apples. To prevent discoloration, peel and slice one apple at a time. Immediately cut crosswise into ½-inch slices, remove core area with a melon baller and immerse in ascorbic acid solution. To make flavored syrup, combine sugar, water, vinegar, cloves, cinnamon candies (or cinnamon sticks) and food coloring in a 6-quart saucepan. Stir, heat to boil and simmer 3 minutes. Drain apples, add to hot syrup and cook 5 minutes.

Fill jars (preferably wide-mouth) with apple rings and hot flavored syrup, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 2.

Apple Juice

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

Procedure: Refrigerate juice for 24 to 48 hours. Without mixing, carefully pour off clear liquid and discard sediment. Strain clear liquid through a paper coffee filter or double layers of damp cheesecloth. Heat quickly, stirring occasionally until juice begins to boil. Fill immediately into sterile pint or quart jars or fill into clean half-gallon jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process. Table 2 provides recommended times for a boiling-water canner.

Applesauce

Quantity: An average of 21 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 13½ 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 per quart.

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.

Procedure: Wash, peel and core apples. If desired, slice apples into water containing ascorbic acid to prevent browning. Place drained slices in an 8- to 10-quart pot. Add ½ cup water. Stirring 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 step if you prefer chunk-style sauce. Sauce may be packed without sugar. If desired, add 1/8 cup sugar per quart of sauce. Taste and add more, if preferred. Reheat sauce to boiling. Fill jar with hot sauce, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process. Processing directions for canning applesauce in a boiling water, a dial- or a weighted-gauge canner are given in Table 2, Table 3 and Table 4.

Apple Butter

Ingredients:

8 pounds apples
2 cups cider
2 cups vinegar (5 percent acidity)
2¼ cups white sugar
2¼ cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves

Yield:
About 8 to 9 pints

Procedure: Wash, remove stems, quarter and core fruit. Cook slowly in cider and vinegar until soft. Press fruit 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 two minutes. It is done if the 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. Fill hot apple butter into sterile half-pint or pint jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Quart jars need not be presterilized. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 2.

Apple Jelly

Ingredients:

4 cups apple juice or about 3 pounds apples and 3 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
3 cups sugar

Yield: 4 or 5 half-pint jars

To Prepare Juice: Select about one-quarter firm-ripe and three-quarters fully ripe tart apples. Sort, wash and remove stem and blossom ends; do not pare or core. Cut apples into small pieces. Add water, cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until apples are soft. Extract juice by pouring the cooked product into a damp jelly bag and draining the juice. The clearest jelly comes from juice that has dripped through a jelly bag without pressing or squeezing. If a fruit press is used to extract juice, the juice should be restrained through a jelly bag.

To Make Jelly: Sterilize canning jars. Measure apple juice into a saucepot. Add lemon juice and sugar and stir well. Boil over high heat to 8 ° F above the boiling point of water, or until jelly mixture sheets from a spoon. Remove from heat; skim off foam quickly. Pour jelly immediately into hot canning jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. See Table 2 for recommended processing times.

Preparing & Packaging for Freezing

Baked Apples: Bake as usual until barely done. Cool quickly. Wrap each apple individually. Pack in cartons. Seal and freeze.

Applesauce: Make as usual. Cool quickly. Pack in rigid containers. Leave headspace. To serve cold, thaw in wrapping at room temperature. To serve hot, unwrap and heat at 350 ° F, 15 to 20 minutes. Thaw at room temperature.

Preparing & Using Syrups

Procedure: Heat water and sugar together. Bring to a boil and pour over raw fruits in jars. Or use according to recipe directions.

For hot packs, bring water and sugar to boil, add fruit, reheat to boil and fill into jars immediately (See Table 1.)

Freezing Apples

Preparation: Syrup pack is preferred for apples to be used in uncooked desserts or fruit cocktail. A sugar or dry pack is good for pie making.

Select full-flavored apples that are crisp and firm, not mealy in texture. Wash, peel and core. Slice medium apples into twelfths, large ones into sixteenths.

Syrup Pack: Use heavy (40 percent) cold syrup (see Table 1). To prevent browning, add ½ teaspoon (1500 mg) ascorbic acid to each quart of syrup. Slice apples directly into syrup in container starting with ½ cup syrup to a pint container. Press fruit down in containers and add enough syrup to cover.

Sugar Pack: To prevent darkening, dissolve ½ teaspoon (1500 mg) ascorbic acid in 3 tablespoons water. Sprinkle over the fruit. Or, apple slices can be steam blanched for 1½ to 2 minutes. Mix ½ cup sugar with 1 quart (1¼ pounds) of fruit. Pack apples into containers and press fruit down. Seal and freeze.

Dry Pack: Follow the directions for sugar pack, omitting the sugar. Treated apple slices can also be frozen first on a tray and then packed into containers as soon as they are frozen.

 
Table 1. Preparing & Using Syrups
Syrup Type Approx. % Sugar Measures of Water & Sugar Kinds of Fruits Typically
Packed in Syrup Types2
For 9-Pt. Load 1 For 7-Qt. Load
Cups Water Cups Sugar Cups Water Cups Sugar
1 This amount is also adequate for a 4-quart load.
2 Many fruits that are typically packed in heavy syrup are excellent and tasteful products when packed in lighter syrups. It is recommended that lighter syrups be tried, since they contain fewer calories from added sugar.
Very Light 10 ¾ 10½ Approximates natural sugar levels in most fruits and adds the fewest calories.
Light 20 9 Very sweet fruit.
Medium 30 Sweet apples, sweet cherries, berries, grapes.
Heavy 40 5 Tart apples, apricots, sour cherries, gooseberry, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums.
Very Heavy 50 Very sour fruit.


Table 2. Recommended Process Times for Various Preserved Apple Products in a Boiling Water Canner
Apple Product Style of Pack Jar Size Process Times (Min) at Altitudes of:
0-1000 ft. 1001-3000 ft. 3001-6000 ft. Above 6000 ft.
Canned Sliced Apples Hot Pints or Quarts 20 25 30 35
Spiced Apple Rings Hot Half-Pints or Quarts 10 15 15 20
Applesauce Hot
Hot
Pints
Quarts
15
20
20
25
20
30
25
35
Apple Juice Hot
Hot
Pints or Quarts
Half-Gallons
5
10
10
15
10
15
15
20
Apple Butter Hot
Hot
Half-Pints or PintsQuarts 5
10
10
15
10
15
15
20
Apple Jelly Hot Half-Pints or Pints 5 10 10 15


Table 3. Recommended Process Times for Various Preserved Apple Products in a Dial Gauge Pressure Canner
Apple Product Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time
(Min)
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of:
0-2000 ft. 2001-4000 ft. 4001-6000ft. Above 6000 ft.
Canned Sliced Apples Hot Pints or Quarts 8 6 pound 7 pound 8 pound 9 pound
Applesauce Hot
Hot
Pints
Quarts
8
10
6 pound
6 pound
7 pound
7 pound
8 pound
8 pound
9 pound
9 pound


Table 4. Recommended Process Times for Various Preserved Apple Products in a Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner
Apple Product Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time (Min) Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of:
0-1000 ft. Above 1000 ft.
Canned Sliced Apples Hot Pints or Quarts 8 5 Pound 10 Pound
Applesauce Hot
Hot
Pints
Quarts
8
10
5 Pound
5 Pound
10 Pound
10 Pound


Sources:

  1. Reynolds, Susan and Paulette Williams. So Easy to Preserve. Bulletin 989. Third edition revised 1993 by Judy Harrison. Cooperative Extension Service, University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Athens.
  2. USDA. Complete Guide to Home Canning. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539. Reviewed 1994.

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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.