Pantry Staple: Applesauce

Homemade applesauce is an easy treat to make. It can serve as a side dish or dessert option. Store bought applesauce can work just as well, but be aware of added sugar!

Applesauce is not only a great dish by itself, but can be used in a variety of recipes and substitutions.

Common substitutions:

Sugar- cut sugar in half for baked goods; try unsweetened applesauce in place of sugar. Substitute equal amounts.

Butter or Margarine- Replace equal parts butter or margarine with applesauce.

Oil- Equal parts oil to applesauce ratio.

Eggs- 1 egg for 1/3 cup applesauce.


Follow this USDA approved recipe for canning your own applesauce!


  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pound apples per quart
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 cup sugar per quart


  • Prepare apples. 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. Wash, peel, core and slice. If desired, slice apples into ascorbic acid solution to prevent from browning. Drain well.
  • Place drained apple slices in a large saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of water. Heat quickly and cook until tender (5 to 20 minutes, depending on maturity and variety), stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Press through a sieve or food mill, if desired. Skip this step if you prefer chunk-style applesauce.
  • If desired, add 1/8 cup sugar per quart. Skip this step if you prefer unsweetened applesauce.
  • Reheat applesauce to a rolling boil.
  • Fill hot pint or quart jars with hot applesauce, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe jar rims with a dampened clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal caps.
  • Process pint jars 15 minutes, quart jars 20  mintues, in a boiling water canner.

Yield: An average of 21 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; and average of 13 1/2 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints.

Nutritional Analysis (1/2) cup: Sweetened with 1/8 cup sugar per quart: 80 calories, 0g fat, 21g carbohydrates; 0g protein; Unsweetened; 70 calories, 0g fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 0g protein.

Also, check out the “Honey Raisin Muffin” recipe from our “Pantry Staple: Flour” post that includes applesauce as well.

Unsure about the canning process? Contact your local County Extension Office for help.