Applesauce Sweetened without Sugar: A Canning Recipe

November 14, 2018

Applesauce Sweetened without Sugar: A Canning Recipe

I have never had my very own apple tree.  When I canned applesauce in the past I always did my parents apples or those gifted from a neighbor.  Two years ago we moved into our current home in the suburbs of Salt Lake City and one of the things that came with the house is an apple tree!  (And a peach tree!  And an apricot tree!  And grape vines!  But those are for another day.)

Last spring I gave the apple tree a good pruning.  Low and behold!  This fall we had so. many. apples!  Do you know what that means?  Applesauce!

How to make applesauce without added sugar

I like to make apple sauce without adding any sugar, but I have a trick to keeping it sweet.  Read on to find out what it is.

First you are going to want to gather the apples.  The variety doesn't matter too much.  While it does affect flavor, it doesn't affect whether they can be safely processed in a water bath canner.

I tend to like apples with a little tartness.  I think they have the best flavor.

Apples in a box
Luckily, that tree of ours makes tasty apples.  Maybe someday I will learn what kind they are.

Next, remove the stems and leaves and give them a good washing.  I like to fill my sink with water and dump them in.

Apples in a sink to be washed
Next, I quarter them.  Because I have a strainer, I don't bother to skin them or remove the seeds and cores.  I did, however, have to remove some bug trails.  Given that the tree wasn't sprayed, they really weren't that bad.

The secret to sweetening applesauce without sugar

Next I get the pot ready.  This is were my secret comes in--apple juice!  I boil the apples in 100% apple juice from the store.  The juice is super sweet and adds just enough sugary goodness to the applesauce that no additional sweeteners are necessary. 

Apple juice in a pot
There is a lot of natural liquid in apples so you won't need to fill the pot with apple juice--just enough to keep the apples from sticking to the bottom.  I used my large stock pot and added about 64 ounces of store bought apple juice.  Then I filled the pot with my quartered apples.

Cut apples in a pot
Boil the apples until they are soft and mushy.  I don't have a time on this, partly because it will depend on your variety of apples and partly because I don't bother to time it.  I would say it took approximately 20 minutes.  You could probably go as many as 30 so long as you are stirring and preventing them from sticking to the bottom.

Cooked apples in a pot
You'll notice that you lose a lot of the color and the skins start slipping off.  That is what you are looking for.  

One note of caution.  The apples will expand a bit as they cook so don't fill your pot too full if you don't want things to splatter all over.  How do I know this?  Let's just say some things are learned from experience.  Please learn from my mistakes.

Once the apples are sufficiently soft you can put them through a strainer.  I have one of the KitchenAid attachments.

KitchenAid strainer making applesauce
Because the KitchenAid version is powered by a motor the straining process goes pretty quickly.  The applesauce is caught in a bowl below and the seeds and skin exit out the front.

Lastly, I bottled up the sauce and processed it in a water bath canner.

Applesauce in canning jars

That's it!  It's a pretty easy process and doesn't take to long.

Instructions for Canning Applesauce without Added Sugar

Applesauce Sweetened without Sugar



  • Apples
  • 100% Ingredients


  1. Prepare your apples by picking, stemming, and washing them.  Cut apples into quarter leaving seeds and skins but removing any bruises or bug trails.  If you don't have a strainer you will need to peel and core them as well.
  2. Boil the apples in apple juice until very soft and mushy.  Use just enough apple juice to keep the apples from sticking to the pan. 
  3. Strain the apples into sauce using a strainer.  This can also be done with a blender or food processor, but note you will want to peel and core the apples at step one.
  4. Ladle applesauce into jars leaving one half inch headspace.  Wipe the rim, add the lid and band.
  5. Process for 20 minutes, adjusting for your altitude.  Remove from canner and let cool.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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