Canning Apple Slices in Extra Light Syrup; Preserving the Harvest

Every year we go to the apple orchard and pick WAY too many apples. I don’t know why but I seem to only really love apples in the fall. Every other time of year they’re just ok.  I’ve started wondering if that’s because I can really only get the kind I love (Empire) from the orchards. Last year I decided that if I was going to preserve some of the apples to use in pies later in the year and see if it makes a difference.  Let me tell you, it totally does! I didn’t have the time to can any apples this year because I have a VERY active toddler who loves to open my cabinets and throw everything all over the place, but, I figured I would share my recipe from last year. At some point in my life I’ll have time to can them again and it’s always great to just search my blog for the recipe rather than dig through my recipe cards :).

Canned Apple Slices; Preserving your harvest

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This recipe can also be found in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine. It’s a great collection of 400 canning recipes. I would highly recommend it! You can purchase it here if you’d like.  You should have a sound understanding of canning to follow this or other recipes on my blog. If you are not familiar with standard practices please visit for an overview of preserving safety.

Apples in Light Syrup

makes about 8 pints or 4 quarts

What you’ll need:

10-12 lbs apples, stemmed, peeled (I use a peeler like this one), cored and sliced (I use this tool to core and slice them)

1 batch hot syrup (see below)


1. Prepare the canner, jars and lids according to manufacturers instructions

2. In a large (and I mean very large) stainless steel saucepan, combine the apples and syrup. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes, until heated through.

3.  Pack the hot apples into hot jars with a slotted spoon. Leave a generous half inch at the top of each jar. Ladle in the hot syrup, leaving a 1/2″ headspace. Remove air bubbles and add more syrup if needed.

4. Wipe rim, center lid on jar, and screw down band to fingertip tight.

5. Process in a water bath canner. Place jars in  canner, ensure that they are fully covered with water. Bring to a boil and process both pint and quart sized jars for 20 minutes. Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes. Remove jars, cool, check that seals are good and then store.

I used my canned apple slices to make apple pie filling like this…

Canned Apples for Apple Pie

Light Syrup Recipe

Yields 6 1/2 cups syrup

2 1/4 cups granulated sugar (I used organic, specifically, this brand)

5 1/4 cups water

In a stainless steel saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm until needed. Be sure not to boil the syrup down!

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