Is It Possible To Can Apples At Home?

It is a generally acknowledged fact that the best time to pick apples is in the month of September. According to Home for the Harvest, September strikes the perfect balance between summer and fall. Late summer and mid-season apple varietals can ripen one after the other, filling your pantry with a colorful cadre of the autumnal crop. Now you simply need to figure out what to do with them. As delicious as they are, there are only so many apple crisps, apple tarts, and apple pies you can make before exhausting yourself.

While it stands firmly at No. 4 in The Packer's 2022 List of Top 20 Favorite Fruits and Vegetables, there comes a point when you have to stop thinking of what you can make with the apples at your disposal and start brainstorming ways to preserve your harvest. Initially, your mind might jump to canning. It is possible to can apples, isn't it? Of course, you can (pun intended), but it might not be the best way to go about getting your apples to keep. 

One objective, multiple possibilities

If your objective is to can your apple slices the way you would sliced pickles or peaches, you're not headed in quite the right direction. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, apple slices are not the best when canned or frozen. However, don't fret or be put out. There are plenty of other preservation possibilities available to you.

Apples lend themselves well to a variety of different preservation methods. You could make applesauce, apple butter, crab apple jelly, apple chutney, or delicious apple-pear jam. If you are dead set on canning your apple slices, you could turn out cans of apple pie filling, as Grow Forage Cook Ferment suggests. This will simplify your apple pie-making process to such a degree that all you'll need to do is prepare the crust before cracking open a can of your own homemade filling. Regardless of methodology, the point is that you're preserving a harvest that may otherwise have gone to waste.