To can apples at home you will need canning jars, apples, and a water bath canner, or a large stockpot. If you do not have your own apple tree consider visiting a nearby orchard for wonderfully fresh and local apples. Planting an apple tree, or any fruit tree, is a worthwhile investment. Fruit trees cost very little and require minimal care after they are fully established. An apple tree can provide fruit for decades.
A common question asked by those learning to can apples at home is, "What kind of apples should I use?" The answer is that any apple can be used. Eating apples are usually larger and sweeter than cooking apples. The reason for the classification is that "cooking apples" are not as enjoyable to eat raw and are therefore, designated for cooking instead. That does not mean that an "eating apple," isn't perfectly fine to cook. Any variety of apple, or combination, can be used for canning. Apple varieties that are known for retaining their shape and texture after canning are Braeburn, Empire and Rome. The varieties of canning apples make very good pie fillings and canned apple rings.
Basic Recipe to Can Apples
- 9 pounds of apples
- 2 ½ cups Sugar
- 5 cups Water
Canning Tips to Ensure the Jars Seal
Leave at least ½ an inch of space at the top of each canning jar. Always use sterile lids and rings. They can be sterilized by boiling or placing them in a dishwasher with a high temperature rinse cycle. New lids and rings are the safest way to can apples and ensure a good seal. If there are any air bubbles in the jar, run a spatula around the outside of the canning jar to remove them before sealing the jar. A water bath canner is preferable for boiling the jars, as it holds the jars in place and prevents them from banging together. However, any large stockpot can be used to “process,” or boil water canned foods such as apples.
- 10 pounds of apples
- 4 cups sugar
- 4 cups water