Canning apple slices

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Canned apple slices are incredibly convenient to have on hand to turn into quick pies, cobbers, crumbles, etc.

Some people just like to eat them straight out of the jar!

If you’ve ever wondered how some people produce apple-based desserts out of seemingly nowhere while doing ten other things, having home-canned apple slices is one of their secret tricks they’re not telling you about.

Canning apple slices is one of those rare procedures where you have the choice of either water bathing, steam canning, or pressure canning. The pressure canning would not necessarily be safer: it’s likely just an equivalent to the water bathing.

Quantities of apples needed

Numbers are approximate guidelines.

On average, as a very rough guideline, expect to need about 1 1/4 kg (2 3/4 lbs / 6 large ) of apples per 1 litre (US quart) jar of canned apple slices.

  • 8 1/2 kg (19 lbs) of apples = 7 litres (US quarts) canned apple slices
  • 5 1/2 kg (12 1/4 lbs ) of apples = 9 x 1/2 litres (US pints) canned apple slices
  • 1 US bushel apples = 22 kg (48 lbs) = 16 to 19 litres (US quarts) canned apple slices

A 1/2 litre (1 US pint) jar opened, with contents including any juice tipped into a weigh-scale pan, will weigh around 350 g (3/4 lb).


Choosing the right type of apple

The major types of apple for different types of food preparation are: Cider Apples, Fresh-Eating Apples, Juice Apples, Pie Apples, Salad Apples and Sauce Apples.

There’s also a general category referred to as Cooking Apples.

When you are home canning apple slices, if you want to end up with clean, distinct slices in your jars you will want to use pie apples. If you use sauce apples, your slices may break down completely into moosh — use them for applesauce instead or another home canning recipe in which apples are boiled down, such as Apple Hot Sauce.

Often you will have apples that are “okay for pie”. This means most slices will stay together relatively well, though a few may break down (as in the photos here.)

If your apple slices do break down on you after canning, it was owing to the type of apple. The resulting product is still safe, but when you go to use it, use for another purpose where puréed apple is needed.


The recipe

Jar size choices: Either half-litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart)

Processing method: Water bath OR steam canning OR pressure canning

Yield: varies

Headspace: 2 cm (1/2 inch)

Processing pressure:  Only applies if pressure canning. 5 lbs (35 kPa) weighted gauge, 6 lbs (42 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)

Processing time: Water bath OR steam canning, either size jar, 20 minutes. Pressure canning, either size jar, 8 minutes.

Canning apple slices

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Yield: varies

  1. Prepare a very large pot or bowl with acidulated water in it (by adding lemon juice or ascorbic acid.)
  2. Wash, peel, core and slice the apples.
  3. As you work, work in such a way that peeled apple never rests for long outside the water, to prevent discolouration.
  4. Put drained apple slices in a large pot.
  5. For every 2 kg (5 lbs / 16 cups ) of drained apple slices in the pot, add ½ litre (2 cups / 1 US pint) of water. Bring to a boil, then start timing and let it boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Pack hot apple slices into half-litre (US pint) jars or 1 litre (US quart) jars.
  7. Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
  8. Top up with the blanching water or if there isn't enough, clean boiling water (such as from a kettle, for instance).
  9. Leave 2 cm (1/2 inch) headspace after the filling liquid.
  10. Debubble, adjust headspace.
  11. Wipe jar rims.
  12. Put lids on.
  13. Process in a water bath or steam canner or pressure canner.
  14. Water bath / steam canner: either size jar for 20 minutes; increase time as needed for your altitude.
  15. Pressure canner: either size jar for 8 minutes. 5 lbs (35 kPa) weighted gauge, 6 lbs (42 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)
Optional: ¼ to ½ teaspoon of liquid stevia per jar.

If you go the pressure canning route, don't let the pressure go over, or your jars will really vent on you.

If the apples you are using are more "fresh-eating apples" than "cooking apples", be careful not to over-blanch them or you will end up with applesauce in the pot.

It will seem that there is not enough water to blanch the apple slices in, but they will quickly give off a lot of water of their own.

Processing guidelines below are for weighted-gauge pressure canners. See also if applicable: Dial-gauge pressures.

Jar SizeTime0 to 300 m (0 - 1000 feet) pressureAbove 300 m (1000 ft) pressure 
1/2 litre (1 US pint)8 mins5 lbs10 lb
1 litre (1 US quart)8 mins5 lbs10 lb


Reference information

How to water bath process.

How to steam can.

When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.

How to pressure can.

When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.

More information about Sugar and Salt-Free Canning in general.

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Recipe Source

This recipe comes from the USDA Complete Guide (2015).

  • Apples – Sliced. In: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 2-7.

Modifications made:

  • None.

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Serving size: 125 g, drained (about one quarter of a 1/2 litre / US pint jar, if 500 g went into the jar.)

Per 125 g:

  • 74 calories, 0 mg sodium
  • Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 2 points (while raw apple slices are free on Weight Watchers, processed apple slices probably aren’t).

apple slices nutrition


* Nutrition info provided by

* PointsPlus™ calculated by Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

Cooking from canning recipes

Apple cobbler with biscuit topping


TIP! For fruitier pies, add to a jar of Canned Apple Pie Filling when making a pie.


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