Spiced Canned Apple Slices Sweetened with Honey {Canning Recipe}

Spiced Canned Apple Slices Sweetened with Honey {Canning Recipe} Canned Apple Slices with Honey | Whole-Fed Homestead

Did you ever discover something new that totally changed your world, and you can’t believe you went all this time never knowing about it? And then you feel silly because the thing you didn’t know existed and that changed your life was a jar of essentially homemade canned apple pie filling?

No? Just me then…

These canned apple slices, spiced and sweetened ever so lightly with honey, are probably the best thing I’ve ever canned.

I don’t like to can things with a lot of sugar-  we almost never make jams and jellies (just don’t use ’em). I can peaches and pears in a light honey syrup (we make sure our fruit is high-quality, juicy, ripe, and naturally sweet). And applesauce I can plain and we drizzle on homemade maple syrup when we eat it.

These canned apple slices feel like such a treat! They are just sweet enough, and with roughly only two tablespoons of honey added to each quart jar of apples, they are something I feel good about eating.

This could really be called: honey-sweetened canned apple pie filling.

Could you use it for pie? Probably. I likely wouldn’t because I like my apple pie to have a little more texture to the apples, and I fear that after cooking, canning, and then baking this, it would become too mushy.

These are my absolute new favorite way to can apples, and the way I’ll be canning most of my apples from now on! I usually make a ton of applesauce every year, but I much prefer the texture of these slices. I can only eat so much applesauce. I could eat these honey-sweetened spiced apple slices ALL the time!

Tips for making these canned apple slices a success:

  • At least 2/3 of the apples should be a firm, pie-type apple that will hold their shape. If you’re not sure about your apple type, google its attributes. Generally, apples that feel heavy, hard, dense, or require more chewing will likely hold more shape while cooking, and apples that feel airy or light for their size will be more prone to turning to mush.
  • Use at least 2 or 3 different varieties of apples for the best taste.
  • If using all tart apples, you might need to add more sweetener.
  • Make sure your spices are fresh– it really makes a world of difference.
  • My recipe calls for honey, but you can also substitute cane sugar. Maple syrup may impact the finished pH of the recipe- sorry I can’t give a recommendation for using maple in this recipe.
  • I would highly recommend the Johnny Apple Peeler for making uniform apple slices and quick work of a lot of apples! It peels, cores, and slices each apple in a matter of seconds! It’s magical.
    • Johnny Apple Peeler with a suction foot base —> here.
    • Johnny Apple Peeler with a table clamp —> here.

I’m not a canning expert, but I’m not a novice either. This recipe is adapted from two different places: The National Center for Home Preserved Goods Apple Slices Directions and Food in Jars Canning 101: An Applesauce FAQ.

Spiced Canned Apple Slices Sweetened with Honey {Canning Recipe} Canned Apple Slices with Honey | Whole-Fed Homestead

Canning is definitely one of those things with a learning curve. The fact that all apples are so different makes it hard for me to give perfect instructions for canning these apple slices (although I’ll try!). If you haven’t ever canned before, I’d recommend additional reading: the Ball Book of Preserving is a great resource, as the directions I am providing are not complete canning instructions for a novice. If you’ve canned before, you’ll navigate this one just fine!

Spiced Canned Apple Slices Sweetened with Honey {Canning Recipe}

This recipe will make 7 quarts. 

Apples (approximately 20 pounds)
1 to 1.5 cups honey or cane sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp apple pie spice
seeds from one vanilla bean (optional)

How many apples will you need?
I think that trying to figure out just how many apples you need to fill a certain amount of jars is hard. The NCHPG says you’ll need about 20 pounds to fill 7 quarts, which is what you’ll need for this recipe.

Personally, I have taken a lot of guesswork out of canning by using a large pot that I know when it is full to a certain level, it will perfectly fill 7 quart jars. So I keep peeling and chopping until this pot is full- tomatoes, apples, jalapeños… doesn’t matter, when the pot is full, I am good to go! This has saved me a LOT of trouble!

If using a Johnny Apple Peeler (highly recommended!) run your apples through it- the apple will be accordion-sliced but still intact. Place the apple on a cutting board and cut it from top to bottom into three sections. Just cutting the slices in half is too big, and cutting into fourths is too small. Thirds is just right. Toss the slices into the pot.

If peeling and cutting by hand, peel your apples and then cut them into slices that are about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick.

(I usually start my heating my water bath soon after I start peeling and chopping apples.)

In a bowl, whisk together: 5 cups room temperature water, 1 to 1.5 cups honey or cane sugar (depending on sweetness of apples and your preferences), sea salt, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and the seeds scraped from one vanilla bean.

Put all of the sliced apples into a large pot, pour the spiced sweetened syrup over the apples and turn the heat to medium-high. Bring the apples and liquid to a boil and allow it to boil for five minutes, stirring frequently (but gently!). It is ready to put into the jars when all of the apples have wilted slightly and they are strongly boiling.

Fill jars with hot apple slices and their liquid, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles, adjust lids, and process.

The National Center for Home Preserved Food recommends canning these apple slices for 20 minutes (both pints and quarts). For pressure canner measurements or altitude adjustments, go here.

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5 thoughts on “Spiced Canned Apple Slices Sweetened with Honey {Canning Recipe}

  1. I just used your recipe, and it is delicious! I omitted the vanilla bean, and didn’t use much honey, as I like them to have a little bite. I also cooked the apples a little longer, so it’s about 1/2 sauce, 1/2 chunks. i can’t wait to pop open a jar in the middle of winter, and pour it over some ive cream, or make a sort of apple crisp. Thank you

    1. So glad you liked the recipe- thanks for the feedback! Apple crisp in winter is one of life’s great pleasures! :)

  2. Any idea of if I can cold pack my apples and just pour the hot sauce over them? I’m a medium experience canner, and if you like not sweet or honey sweetened jams, try Pomonas pectin! I do all my jams now as all fruits or honey sweetened. Its fantastic stuff!

    1. I’m a “medium-experience” canner too. :) So while I *think* you could cold-pack them just fine from a safety standpoint, I personally never cold-pack any fruit because I think the quality suffers. If you do try it, let us know how it turns out.

      I have used Pomonoas before- agree, its the best!

  3. Went to an apple farm yesterday, and I’m excited to try this today! However, living in a small town, I may not be able to find a vanilla bean…..we’ll see!

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