Since apples are abundant in the fall, they are usually at great price. Knowing how to preserve apples for winter use is a great idea to save money and have apples all the time!
Fall brings lots of apples in our area. We have an apple festival that lasts an entire weekend, where you go around town, collecting different apples from local businesses. There are caramel apples, apple cider, and even bobbing for apples if you are so inclined.
It’s one of the most fun ways to bring in the cooler weather, and enjoy the fruits of the season. I love apples, and having them on hand all year long is a MUST in my family.
We eat them by the jarful when made into applesauce, or by the bagful with dehydrated fruit leather and apple slices. Apple cider vinegar is always on hand, too.
What’s the Best Way to Preserve Apples?
Apples are a versatile fruit that can be used in pies, tarts, sauces, and even cider. However, fresh apples only last for a few weeks, so many people choose to preserve them for later use.
There are several different methods for preserving apples, but not all of them are equally effective.
One popular method is to make apple jam (or other canned types of apples). To do this, the apples are peeled and cooked down with sugar and spices until they form a thick spread.
While this method does produce a delicious product, it is also very time-consuming. In addition, the high sugar content means that apple jam is not the healthiest option.
A second method is to freeze applesauce. This is a quick and easy way to preserve applesauce, although it does require the use of artificial preservatives. Applesauce that has been frozen will also lose some of its flavor over time.
The third option is to dehydrate apples. This can be done in a food dehydrator or in an oven set on low heat.
Dehydrated apples will last for months and retain most of their flavor and nutritional value. However, they must be stored in an airtight container to prevent them from rehydrating and going bad.
Of course, there are many other recipes you can use to preserve your apples, but most fall into one of these categories (making some sort of apple beverage is one that I haven’t explored here, but is also a good recipe).
Of these three preservation methods, dehydrating apples is the best option. It is quick and easy, and it preserves the most flavor and nutrition.
Plus, there’s no need for artificial preservatives or special storage containers. So if you’re looking for the best way to preserve apples, dehydrating is the way to go.
Because my family loves apples so much, and they don’t grow year round here, I must preserve apples when I can.
Here are the best ways to preserve apples…
Preserve Apples by Making Applesauce
This is one of the best ways of how to can apples without sugar.
- First, wash the apples and cut them into quarters.
- Slide your knife at an angle to remove the core, leaving the apple skin on. You can peel them, if you want, but you really don’t have to. Save the cores, and if you peel them, save the peels.
- Place your apples in a large pot, without crowding, and cover with water. Bring to a boil slowly, as the apples cook down.
- When they are soft and mushy, remove the pot from the heat and transfer the apples to a blender or food processor or food mill, and blend until they are smooth, or as chunky as you like. You can add 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon per quart at this time, if desired.
- Return the applesauce to a rolling boil, and fill hot jars to ½ inch headspace.
- Carefully remove any and all air bubbles. This is especially important for applesauce, as there can be a lot of them.
- Water bath process for 20 minutes for pints, 30 minutes for quarts.
Pressure canning apples made into applesauce isn’t a good idea, as it gets too “frothy” in the canner and can go all over the place.
Use your water bath canner for best results. It will hold up well for long-term storage!
Get the full applesauce recipe here.
Make Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is a great item to have on hand for salad dressings, recipes, health and beauty and even cleaning. It’s so easy to make, too!
What you need:
- 3 cups chopped apple peels and cores
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 gallon sized jar
- cool water to fill
- Simply place the peels and cores of the apples that you have leftover from canning, applesauce, or pie making into a gallon sized jar.
- Stir the sugar into 3 cups of the water and pour over the apples.
- Fill the jar with water about 2 inches from the top of the jar.
- Cover with several layers of cheesecloth to help keep out bugs, but allow fermenting gasses to escape.
- After 6 weeks, drain off the liquid. This will be hard cider at this point. Compost the apple peels/cores.
You now have vinegar! Store in a tightly capped jar for another 2-4 weeks to finish the fermenting process.
Get the full homemade ACV recipe here.
Preserve Apples by Making Apple Fruit Leather
If you love applesauce, but are running out of room to keep the myriad of quart jars on hand, why not try dehydrating it? Dehydrating it is a great way to preserve apples in a compact space.
Simply spread prepared applesauce on a dehydrator sheet and allow to dry for 24 hours on low. If you don’t have an oven, you can also spread the applesauce to dry on a cookie sheet in a low (200) oven for 24 hours.
Cut into strips and wrap in plastic wrap to keep. Great for camping, hiking, kids lunches and quick snacks!
Dry Apples in the Dehydrator
You can also dehydrate apples by making dried apple slices using a dehydrator.
This can be done with any kind of apples, including Jonathan, Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady, and more.
- Simply peel the apples, cut into slices and dip into lemon juice to help prevent browning.
- Lay in a single layer on dehydrator sheets.
- Allow to dry for 6-10 hours on medium heat.
Store in an airtight bag or jar.
Make Apple Butter
Apple butter is a delicious spread made from cooked apples. It’s perfect for spreading on toast or using as a filling in cakes and pies.
But what many people don’t realize is that apple butter is also packed with nutrients. Apples are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium.
And when you cook them down into a spread, they retain all of these nutrients. Apple butter also has a lower sugar content than most other fruit spreads, making it a healthier option for those watching their sugar intake.
Here’s a simple apple butter recipe to try.
DIY Apple Jam or Apple Jelly
Making your own apple jam or jelly is a great way to enjoy the taste of fresh apples all year round. Plus, it’s a fun and easy project that the whole family can enjoy.
When you make your own jam or jelly, you’ll know exactly what ingredients are going into it. That means no artificial flavors, preservatives, or other added chemicals. You can control the sugar content.
Store-bought jams and jellies can be loaded with sugar. When you make your own, you can control how much sugar is used to sweeten it.
You can choose your favorite apples – store-bought jams and jellies are usually made with whatever type of apples are in season at the time.
Here is an easy apple jam recipe!
Make and Can Apple Pie Filling
There are few things as quintessentially American as apple pie, and homemade apple pie filling is the key to taking your pies to the next level.
Not only is it incredibly easy to make, but canning your own apple pie filling also allows you to enjoy the taste of fresh apples year-round.
And with a little advanced planning, you can ensure that your pies are always filled with fresh, juicy apples no matter what time of year it is.
In addition, making your own apple pie filling allows you to customize the flavor to suit your preferences.
For example, if you like a tart apple pie, you can add a bit more lemon juice or vinegar to the mix. Or if you prefer a sweeter filling, you can add more sugar or honey. The possibilities are endless!
If you want to make your own apple pie filling, here’s how to do it.
Freezing Apple Slices
Apples are a delicious and healthy snack, but they can quickly become brown and unappealing. One way to prevent this is to freeze apple slices. This not only keeps the apples fresh, but it also makes them more enjoyable to eat.
When frozen, apples have a crisp texture that is perfect for a refreshing treat on a hot day. Additionally, freezing apple slices is a convenient way to have healthy snacks on hand at all times.
Simply take out as many or as few slices as you need, and they will be ready to eat in just a few minutes.
Here’s a tutorial you can follow to help you freeze your apple slices without them clumping together in storage.
Make and Freeze Apple Pies
Apples are a fall favorite, and there’s nothing like a freshly-baked apple pie. However, making pies can be time-consuming, and if you have a lot of apples, you may not be able to eat them all before they go bad.
A great solution is to make and freeze apple pies. Not only will this save you time, but it will also allow you to enjoy apple pie all winter long.
And it’s easy to do! Simply bake the pies as you would normally, then wrap them in foil or freezer bags and store them in the freezer.
When you’re ready to enjoy a pie, simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven.
This link has an easy method for making and freezing apple pies.
Can Apple Slices
Canning is a simple process that involves preserving food in jars or cans. This method of food preservation can be used for a variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples.
Canning your own apple slices is a great way to enjoy this tasty fruit all year round. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that you made the preserves yourself.
Canning is a simple process that anyone can do, so there’s no excuse not to give it a try.
Here is an easy way to make apple slices.
Make Apple Cider…or HARD Apple Cider!
Making cider is a fun and easy way to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and it’s a great way to use up any extra apples you may have lying around.
Plus, it’s a delicious alternative to store-bought cider, and it makes a great holiday gift!
Hard cider is simply cider that has been fermented with yeast, which transforms the sugar in the apple juice into alcohol.
The fermentation process also produces carbon dioxide, which gives hard cider its characteristic fizz.
Cider can be made with any type of apples, but a mix of sweet and tart apples will give the best flavor. Be sure to use fresh, unbruised apples for the best results.
Here’s a basic recipe for hard apple cider.
Make Apple Juice
Not only is homemade apple juice delicious, but it’s also much healthier than store-bought juice.
Store-bought juice is often loaded with sugar and preservatives, but when you make your own juice, you can control what goes into it.
Here’s an easy way to make your own homemade apple juice.
Apple Chutney Recipe
Apple chutney recipe is an easy, delicious, and healthy way to spruce up any dish.
The sweet and tangy flavors of apples complement a variety of foods, from chicken and pork to fish and vegetables. In addition to being a tasty condiment, apple chutney is also packed with nutrients. Apples are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium.
Making your own apple chutney is also a great way to use up any apples that are on the verge of going bad.
Follow this recipe!
DIY Apple Wine
Making your own apple wine is a rewarding experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. The process is simple and doesn’t require any special equipment, making it easy to get started.
In addition, apple wine is a great way to use up surplus apples, and it makes an excellent gift. The finished product is delicious and versatile, and it can be enjoyed on its own or used in cooking.
Here’s a simple recipe.
Make Apple Salsa
While chunky, savory salsa is most often associated with tortilla chips, there are endless possibilities for this versatile dish. Fruity salsa is a delicious and festive option for summer gatherings, and apple salsa is a perfect example.
Sweet, tart, and subtly spiced, it pairs perfectly with chips or can be used as a topping for grilled chicken or fish. Best of all, it’s easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Or canned!
Here’s an easy (and tasty!) recipe.
Make Apple-Ginger Beer
There are many reasons to make your own Apple-Ginger Beer. For one, it’s a refreshing and unique drink that is perfect for any occasion.
Whether you’re hosting a party or simply enjoying a quiet evening at home, this delicious beverage is sure to please.
In addition, making your own Apple-Ginger Beer is surprisingly easy and inexpensive. All you need are a few simple ingredients and some basic equipment. Plus, there’s something satisfying about knowing you made the beer yourself!
Here’s a quick recipe to follow!
Create Your Own Apple Pectin
Many people are surprised to learn that pectin, a key ingredient in jams and jellies, is actually derived from apples.
While store-bought pectin is perfectly fine to use, there are several reasons why you might want to make your own.
For starters, apple pectin is extremely easy to make, and it only requires a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Additionally, DIY pectin tends to be more flavorful than the store-bought variety, making it ideal for use in homemade preserves.
And perhaps best of all, apple pectin is a natural source of fiber, so it can actually be good for you!
Here is how you can make your own apple pectin at home.
Brandy is a distilled alcoholic drink made from wine or other fruit juices. It typically has an alcohol content of between 35% and 60%.
Brandy is typically consumed as an after-dinner drink, but it can also be used in cocktails or enjoyed on its own. One of the most popular types of brandy is apple brandy.
Apple brandy is made by fermenting apples and then distilling the resulting cider. The resulting spirit is typically clear or pale yellow in color. It has a strong apple flavor with hints of cinnamon and clove.
Apple brandy can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails. It is also a common ingredient in desserts such as pies and cobblers. If you are looking for a unique spirit to add to your liquor cabinet, apple brandy is a great option.
Ready to make your own? Here’s how to do it.
Make Sweet Apple Syrup
What could be more cozy and comforting than a delicious batch of homemade sweet apple syrup?
Made from a combination of apples, sugar, and water, this delicious syrup is perfect for drizzling over pancakes or waffles, or for mixing into morning oatmeal. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make!
Simply simmer apples in water until they are soft, then mash them and add sugar to taste. Whether you prefer your syrup tart or sweet, you’ll love the homemade flavor.
Here’s how to make apple syrup.
Create Apple Shrub
There are many reasons you might want to make your own apple shrub. First, it’s a great way to use up any apples that are starting to go bad.
Second, it’s a delicious and refreshing way to add a little sweetness to your favorite drinks. Third, it’s incredibly easy to make.
And fourth, it’s a great way to show off your culinary skills to your friends and family.
…and Feed Those Apple Scraps to the Pigs or Chickens!
Most people don’t think twice about throwing away their apple cores or other food scraps, but did you know that those scraps can be used to feed pigs and chickens?
Apple scraps are a great source of nutrients for these animals, and they can help to keep them healthy and happy.
In addition, feeding apple scraps to pigs and chickens is a great way to reduce food waste. Instead of ending up in a landfill, your apple cores can be used to nourish animals.
So when you’re finished with your apples after doing one (or several!) of the recipes above, consider feeding the scraps to the pigs or chickens. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!
Consider Storing Your Apples For a Few Months
One way to extend their shelf life is to store them in a cool, dark place for a few months.
A basement or root cellar is ideal, as long as the temperature remains consistently cool (around 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 Celsius).
Apples should be stored in a single layer on a wire rack or in baskets, and they should be checked periodically for signs of rot.
With proper care, apples can be stored for several months, making them a great option for winter cooking.
So, what are the best ways to preserve apples? There are a few different methods that can be used, but they all require some preparation and time.
These are just SOME of the best ways to preserve apples. Considering these tips should help you keep your apples fresh and tasting great for longer!
What else can you think of to preserve them? Be sure to pin this for later!
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.
1 thought on “21 Easy Ways To Preserve Your Apples”
Making hard cider is my favorite way to preserve apples for later! Planting long keeper varieties to store in the basement on racks for fresh apples is also a good idea if you have the space available.
Thanks for the apple cider vinegar recipe I will have to try making that this year!