Michigan Fresh: Using, Storing, and Preserving Apples (HNI16)
Apples can be preserved and served in many ways. This bulletin replaces WO1040 Food Preservation Series- Apples (Michigan State University Extension, 2006). Michigan-grown apples are available most of the year. The peak harvest is August through October.
Using, Storing and Preserving Apples
Jonathan, Empire, Ida Red, McIntosh and Golden Delicious varieties are recommended for baking and cooking.
Storage and food safety
- You can store apples in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with holes for ventilation. Store large quantities of apples in a cool place, between 32 and 40 °F. Properly stored apples will keep up to a month. Store canned apple products in a cool, dry area.
- Wash hands before and after handling fresh produce.
- Wash fruit thoroughly under cool running water. Do not use soap.
- Keep apples away from raw meat and meat juices to prevent cross contamination.
- For best quality and nutritive value, preserve only what your family can consume in 12 months.
|1 pound of apples||
3 medium sized apples
4 cups peeled, cored slices
|2 1/2 to 3 pounds||
2 pints frizen apple slices
2 pints canned (slices or apple sauce)
|13 1/2 pounds||9 pints|
|21 pounds||7 quarts|
|48 pounds (1 bushel)||14-19 quarts sauce|
How To Preserve
Select apples that are juicy and crisp, preferably a mixture of both sweet and tart varieties.
Hot pack method: Make a very light, light or medium syrup, or can apples in water. Wash, peel, core and slice apples into ½ inch wedges. To prevent darkening, add 1 teaspoon ascorbic acid to 1 gallon water. Remove apples from anti-darkening solution and drain well. In a saucepan, add one pint water or syrup per five pounds of sliced apples. Boil five minutes, stirring occasionally. Fill jars with hot slices and hot syrup or water, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process in a boiling water bath. Let jars sit undisturbed while they cool from 12-24 hours. Then remove rings, wash jars and store.
|Type of syrup||Approx. sugar (%)||Cups water||Cups sugar|
Wash, peel, core and slice apples into 1/2-inch wedges. To prevent darkening, add 1 teaspoon ascorbic acid to 1 gallon water. Remove apples from anti-darkening solution and drain well. In a saucepan, add 2 cups of water or syrup per five pounds of sliced apples. Boil five minutes, stirring occasionally. Fill jars with hot slices and hot syrup or water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water bath. Let jars sit undisturbed while they cool from 12 to 24 hours. Then remove rings, wash jars and store.
|Fruit||Style of pack||Jar Size||1001-3000 ft.||3001-6000 ft.||Over 6,000 ft.|
|Apples||Hot||Pints or quarts||25||30||35|
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.
Hot pack method: Wash, peel and core apples. To prevent darkening, place in a holding solution made from one of the following:
- One teaspoon of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and 1 gallon water
- Commercial ascorbic acid mixture (Read label on container for the amount to use.)
Hold fruit in one of these solutions until ready to pack fruit. Drain fruit well. Place drained slices in an 8 to 10 quart pot. Add 1/2 cup water. Stirring occasionally to prevent burning, heat quickly and cook until tender for 5 to 20 minutes, depending on maturity and variety. Press through a sieve or food mill, if desired. If you prefer chunk-style sauce, omit the pressing step. If desired, add 1/8 cup sugar per quart of sauce. Taste and add more, if preferred. Reheat sauce to boiling. Pack into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water bath. Let jars sit undisturbed while they cool from 12 to 24 hours. Then remove rings, wash jars and store.
Processing times (in minutes)
|Fruit||Style of pack||Jar size||1001-3000 ft.||3001-6,000 ft.||Over 6,000 ft.|
Artificial Sweeteners: Splenda is the only sugar substitute currently available that can be added to covering liquids before canning fruits. Level of sweetness is determined by personal preference. Splenda can be substituted for sugar in applesauce.
For more recipes, see:
- Michigan Fresh Recipe: Apples
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2009). Complete guide to home canning (Rev. ed.). (Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539). Washington, DC: Author.
- University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. (2006). So easy to preserve (5th ed.). Athens, GA: Author.
- National Center for Home Food Preservation
- University of Nebraska Extension. Buy Fresh, Buy Local Nebraska. Apples
- Andress, Elizabeth and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. Bulletin 989, 6th edition. Cooperative Extension University of Georgia, 2014.
Lawn or garden questions? Visit migarden.msu.edu or call toll-free 1-888-678-3464.
Download Michigan Fresh: Free PDF - Apples
Prepared by: Joyce McGarry, MSU Extension educator