When it’s fall and you have an apple tree, you may be wondering how to preserve apples for the rest of the year. Here are 12 methods for preserving apples!
12 Ways to Preserve Apples
If you have an apple tree in your yard, then you probably have a whole lot of apples that you don’t know what to do with every fall. If you have several apple trees, then you are swimming in apples!
We had an amazing apple season this year, and our tree was absolutely loaded. It was hard to keep up with at times, and many ended up going in the compost pile.
Some were eaten fresh of course, and the rest we were able to preserve by using several of the methods that I talk about here.
These 12 ways to preserve apples will keep you busy during apple season, and you’ll be reaping the rewards all year long!
One of the first things that might come to mind is canning apples.
You can either can apple slices as they are, or make up an apple pie filling to can. This will make apple pie making super easy when the time comes.
If you have small and tart crab apples, you can even try canning them whole.
Turning your apples into applesauce is one of the more common ways of preserving apples. You can make homemade applesauce for canning or fresh eating.
This easy-to-make chunky applesauce recipe sounds delicious, or you can try this caramel applesauce recipe that uses coconut sugar for that caramel taste.
There is also this crockpot applesauce recipe if you just want to set it and forget it.
Apple Jelly or Jam
My favorite apple jelly is my no sugar apple jelly! It can also be made with low sugar or honey if you prefer.
I also love hard cider jelly, it is perfect for an appetizer platter with cheese.
This spiced apple jelly with no added pectin sounds right up my alley, as does this apple pie chai jelly.
If you have access to crabapples, you can make this homemade crabapple jelly.
Then there is this apple jam recipe, which I think I might have to try!
For something just a little different, this apple curd recipe looks like a perfect comforting treat.
Apple butter is one of my favorite ways to preserve apples. My Mom made apple and pear butter when I was a kid, and boy was it delicious!
The recipe that I like to make is my homemade spiced apple butter, but this maple apple butter also sounds wonderful.
Apples are very high in natural pectin. This makes it possible to process them into a concentrated homemade natural pectin that you can use in your canning. How cool is that?
Apple Salsa or Chutney
I’ve never made apple salsa, but I like the idea of it! This apple salsa verde is made with tomatillos, or you can make a regular tomato-based apple salsa.
Apples are a natural ingredient for chutneys, and this apple and caramelized onion chutney sounds delicious!
There are many ways of fermenting apples, and they all sound like something I would like to try!
These probiotic rich fermented apples are a good place to start, as well as these sweet and sour cinnamon apples.
These Russian brined apples sound like an interesting traditional recipe. You can even make fermented applesauce!
I love freezing apples because it is so simple. It’s so nice to be able to use apples from my tree for apple pies during the holiday season!
To freeze apples, it’s best to put them in a lemon juice or salt water bath first, which will keep them from browning.
I like to leave the skins on, but peel them if you wish. Then strain the slices, put them into a freezer bag, and pop them into the freezer. Super easy!
You can even freeze apple pie filling, and if you freeze it into the shape of your pie pan then you can have an apple pie ready to bake in no time!
Using a dehydrator (Excalibur brand is my favorite) is a great way to preserve produce for long-term food storage. Besides that, dehydrated apple chips are super tasty!
These dehydrated cinnamon apple rings sound amazing, and so do these simply dehydrated apples, perfect for snacking!
You can make apple fruit leather in your dehydrator for a healthy snack, or try making dehydrated apple sugar!
Just a bit different from dehydrating, these crispy and delicious air fryer apple chips are another great option.
Apple Juice or Cider
Making your own apple juice or cider is a bit more work than most of these other recipes, but it’s so worth it! It’s a great way to use up a whole lot of apples, too.
We made about five gallons of juice using apples from our tree this year with our DIY apple press. It is absolutely the best apple cider I’ve ever had!
You can also can apple cider for later use!
Hard Apple Cider
Of course, if you have five gallons of apple cider sitting around, you might as well turn it into hard cider!
If you’ve pressed your own juice, you can try my wild hard cider method, which uses no added yeast.
Or, I also have a regular recipe for how to make hard cider that uses brewing yeast.
For a lower alcohol content, you can also give fermented apple ginger beer a try, it’s delicious!
Either way, it will be delicious for the holiday season!
Hard apple cider is a wonderful way to preserve apples as apple cider jelly or you can make mulled hard cider as a special treat!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Another great way to use up apples is to turn them into apple cider vinegar. This is taking hard cider fermentation one step further, and it creates a product that is very healthy for you.
It can be used just like any other vinegar around the house. There are several methods for doing this, but probably the easiest is to make vinegar from apple scraps.
You can also leave hard cider open to the air to make true apple cider vinegar.
Tell Me Your Ways to Preserve Apples!
These are some great ways to preserve apples, but I’m sure that I’m missing something! If you have a tried and true ways of preserving apples, please let me know. I’d love to hear about it!
Sue in Oregon says
Here on the OR coast in 22, we are having an extremely poor apple year. We have lots of apple trees on our property and none of them have but a handful of apples. Usually we are overwhelmed with apples. I am feeling sorry for the deer. They usually fatten up for winter on apples, but they are looking forlorn and also eating everything in site to make up for the loss of apples. I took apples for granite until this year. We always make tons of applesauce, apple jelly, etc, and most of all, I love to make apple scrap vinegar. Now I will be lucky to get one canner full of applesauce. Moral is…Love you apples. LOL
Linda Jensrud says
I’m searching for a recipe for canned apple crisp. I know the crisp would be moist, unless you took it out of the jar and baked it for a bit, but is it possible to can apple crisp like Christmas pudding?
Grow Forage Cook Ferment says
Hi Linda, I’m sure it is possible, but I haven’t seen a canning recipe for apple crisp.
Pauline Bingham says
Hi Colleen, I just found your site while searching for something to do with all of the apples on our trees. Every year most of them go to waste but this year, thanks to all of your wonderful suggestions, I have a lot of options and will feel good knowing they won’t be going to waste this year. Thanks.
Grow Forage Cook Ferment says
You’re welcome, Pauline! Enjoy!
Pamikins Arte says
Colleen, thank you for this awesome post, just found it while looking for ways to use up my apple peels and cores. I am going to make the no sugar apple jelly by adding a few extra whole apples to the cores and peels, so thank you. While looking through all the ways you had listed, I noticed that you linked everyone else’s recipes, but not your awesome recipe for No Sugar Apple Jelly. I did find it, but someone who is not as comfortable with computers might never find yours. You might link your recipe into this post in the Jelly/Jams section. When I finish the Apple jelly (only my 3rd canning event) I will post a photo. Thanks a million. Hugs, Pamikins
Grow Forage Cook Ferment says
Hi Pamikins! Thanks so much for letting me know, that must have been an oversight on my part. I’ve added the link now. The apple jelly is easy to make and I’m sure that you will love it!
Hey! After you freeze your apple slices with the skins on them, what do you like to use them for when you pull them out of the freezer?
And how long are they okay to freeze for?
Grow Forage Cook Ferment says
You can use them in any recipe that calls for apple. Breakfast hash, apple pie, etc.
Hi! Just wondering what kind of apples your green ones are?
I grew up in Germany. After the war we had little to eat. Luckily we had a large yard with many fruit trees, vegetables, hundreds of chickens and other animals. All this just outside of Wiesbaden on a piece of land of about 5 acres. We had a two story house, with a cold cellar under the house used for storage of food. We had no refrigerator at that time. In the yard we had several apple trees and upon harvesting my father stored them fresh on wooden grates about 5 feet high off the ground in the cellar. He placed them side by side so that they were easy to check in case they got rotten. As I mentioned above the cellar was cool. We had fresh apples throughout the winter until spring this way. They stored well. Of course we went down into the cellar about once a week to pick out some of the apples which started to become bad. Those we cut up and cooked into various dishes. We also made Apple Cider and Wine.
That’s a beautiful story… thanks for sharing
Thank you for sharing this lovely memory.
Kate Soper says
I grew up doing PYO. Starting the year with strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, cherries and then as Autumn approached, varieties of apples. My parents either preserved or made in to jam the summer fruit, whilst the apples were put in the garage. Each was wrapped in a piece of newspaper and carefully placed in a cardboard box. I can still remember the delight of running to the garage and having a cold apple in the winter.
Thank you for this list!! I just moved onto a property with 16 apple trees. I’m going to be super busy this fall!
I just made the Sweet Apple Relish recipe from the So Easy to Preserve book from University of Georgia. I’m taking the Master Food Preserver certificate course through UC Cooperative Extension, so I selected this recipe for my demonstration assignment.The spices include whole clove, whole allspice, and cinnamon stick.
Once the apples are pickled, they are jarred and processed in a water-bath caner so they can be stored on the shelf. The appearance is now like that of pickled apple slices than a relish or chutney in their consistency. Delicious!
Debbie Riomondo says
I make dried candy apples! Just sprinkle red or green jello powder over the apple slices after putting them on the drying trays. They are great Christmas gifts and so good!
I love your spiced apple butter recipe, but I don’t do the boiling the jar thing. how could I make by crock pot or simply cooking longer?
You have so many great recipes, eye opening ideas on food I didn’t even know was out there. I love your posts and wished I was your neighbor so I could learn how to forage for these new foods like juniper berries. I’m so greatful for this apple article!
Spiced apple butter is a great way to preserve apples too. I first made it at our county extension office and am so hooked. I love giving a pint of spiced apple butter, a loaf of home made bread and fresh butter for gifts.
I’m dehydrating apples (I use my airing cupboard – a thing we have over here in the UK where our hot water tank is housed in a cupboard that can then be used for drying or keeping linens aired!). I just cut the apples into chunks, briefly brine them and then spread them on linen-lined cake-cooling racks and pop them in the cupboard until they’re just right. They’ll go in my home-made granola and muesli, or in cakes. I use the peels and cores to make cider vinegar and never have to buy a drop! (That also does well in my airing cupboard!).
Robin Jozovich says
Love this post, Colleen! It is time for me to make applesauce and apple butter! Thanks for all of the great ideas!
Sheri Cline says
You rock Colleen! Love your site! Thank you so much!
A very nice post on preserving apples. I have followed GFCF on my RSS reader for about six months. Posts that help people eat healthy food while saving money are important. I shared your link on my usual social media of Tumblr, FaceBook and +Google so my followers could also benefit. I am a personal fan of fermenting and that is what initially drew my attention to GFCF.