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9 ways to preserve apples at home, because one should never have to pay full price at the grocery store and apples are so delicious, we need them year round, am I right?
We’ve all heard the saying an apple day keeps the doctor away, but my apples don’t grow all year round. Our goal is to put up as much food as possible when it’s in season to keep our food bill down and increase our food storage. It’s apple season ya’ll. (When I get excited a little bit of southern kicks in, it’s just how I roll)
I happen to have almost 75 pounds of apples sitting in my kitchen and while most folks think of making applesauce, a fine thing applesauce, but there are many ways to preserve those apples for use all year long.
Learning how to preserve apples at home is a frugal and a great skill to undertake. Anytime you can either harvest, or even buy, food when it’s in season, you’re getting it at the lowest cost, and when you can learn how to preserve it for the full year – without using icky ingredients- it’s a major score!
Plus, preserving apples in jars (and having multiple ways to do so) makes my Mason jar loving heart very happy. You ready?
1. Apple Pie Filling. Canning apples for pie when I’m short on time or apple prices are sky high, is one of my favorite home canned apple items to have in the pantry. Is there anything better than lovely jars of home canned apple pie filling? Yes, there is, diving head first into said jar with a spoon… or no spoon. Ever notice how apple prices go up during the holidays? Plus, when I’m busy with Thanksgiving and Christmas, I can bake a homemade pie with just popping open a jar of this filling… here’s how to safely can apple apples for pie with my Homemade Apple Pie Filling Tutorial and Recipe
2. Dehydrated cinnamon apples. Want to know how to preserve apple slices, my favorite is to make cinnamon apple chips. Apples lend themselves well to dehydrating and they’re a great addition to hiking and back packs, or to take on the go for a quick snack.
Simply peel and slice your apples, taking care to cut them relatively the same size and thickness for even drying. The beauty of preserving your apples this way is the cinnamon gives them a brown color so no need to worry about spraying with lemon juice or citric acid to keep them from browning.
Place prepared apple slices in a container with a lid or a plastic bag. Sprinkle 1 to 2 Tablespoons of ground cinnamon on top, close container, and shake to even coat apple slices.
Place on dehydrator trays, taking care to leave space around each apple slice for air flow (I’ve had this dehydrator for years now and feel you can fit more on these square trays), set on 135 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate until fully dry. Depending upon how thick you cut your apples and the water content, this can be anywhere from 6 to 24 hours.
Put dehydrated cinnamon apple slices in a sealed container and enjoy! For long time food storage, use an oxygen absorber or a vacuum seal attachment on a Mason jar.
3. Apple cider vinegar… at home. Yep, make your own lovely fermented apple cider vinegar. You won’t believe how incredible easy it is. Check out this tutorial w/ photos and a video on,
click here–> How to Make Raw Apple Cider Vinegar <– Because I use apple cider vinegar all the time, from cooking, to catching fruit flies, and in salad dressings.
Want some different recipes for canning apples? Check out the ones below.
4. Apple butter Fruit butters, how I love you. Your thick and spread so nicely on biscuits and pancakes. This one uses a special ingredient for a delightful flavor… get your apple butter recipe right here with canning instructions.
5. Apple pie jam (low sugar options). Oh yes, apple pie all poured in a mason jar and ready to smear on your favorite biscuit, sandwich, cornbread, in between cakes… or let’s be honest, just by the spoonful. Here’s the recipe–> Easy Apple Pie Jam Recipe
6. Apple jelly This just looks pretty in the jars and best part, it only uses 2 ingredients! I’m a fan of simplicity and the less ingredients the better. Check out this great recipe and tutorial from my girl Laurie over at Common Sense Homesteading on her apple jelly recipe.
7. Apple pectin. Did you know apples were high in pectin? In fact my grandmother never used store bought pectin, she just grated a green apple into her jam or jelly. But you can make and can or freeze apple pectin for use in all your jam and jelly recipes.
8. Fruit leather Checked out the ingredients in store bought fruit leather? Yea, not happening in my house. This one has only 3 ingredients (are you noticing a theme?) and looks scrumptious. Here’s how to make apple and cinnamon fruit leather.
9. Root cellar or cold storage. Apples are one of the cool fruits that can be stored for a long time with very little effort. Ever heard the saying one bad apple spoiled the barrel? It’s true, and it dates back to when people used root cellars a lot more than they do today. Here’s the low down on storing apples all year in cold storage.
10. Applesauce My tip for applesauce, don’t bother cutting or peeling before hand. I steam my apples whole and then put them through the sieve to catch the seeds and peelings. Easy peasy and a lot less work. Here’s a how to can applesauce.
Bonus! Don’t you love a bonus? I do. Like when you put on a pair of pants you haven’t worn in a long time and not only do the still fit but you find a $20 in the pocket.
11. Homemade Apple Cider! How could I have forgotten to add this one with the original 9, I blame it on the 12 jars of tomato sauce I made and canned today, but really, homemade apple cider is a must. Would someone please bring me a cup and we’ll toast to the loveliness of fall and apples?
How do you preserve apples at home?
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.