Apples: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, that describes our apple trees.  We don't treat the trees with any kind of chemical sprays, or even organic sprays; we let nature decide.  The outcome?  Many are Good, meaning no bruises, spots, pest issues.  Some are Bad, meaning those are picked and put in the woods for the many animals that frequent our yard.  And there's the Ugly.  Some are ugly and edible, others are ugly and put out back.  This year, our 3rd year living here, happened to produce mostly Good and we couldn't be happier.

Apples: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

My usual course of action this time of year is to make applesauce and freeze it.  However, since we now have our own apple trees and a bounty of fresh apples, I felt it was high time I learned canning. Off I went to Pinterest and found more than enough recipes to get started, too many actually which is why I wound up making a Pinterest Board dedicated to apples.

I started with's Best Apple Pie Jam recipe.  It seemed simple enough and it was, we turned out about a dozen jars.  For the novice canner like myself, I highly recommend this one.  It also happens to taste delicious. The only change I made was instead of packed brown sugar, I use Sucanat. I've been using it in place of commercial brown sugar for years as a healthier option.


My next day included Canning Apple Pie Filling from Little House Living.  I found it fairly easy to follow and wound up making 5 Quarts plus 8-1/2 pints for holiday gifts.  Win-win!

Apples: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

After the Apple Pie Filling, I decided to try Homemade Pancake Syrup from the apple peelings. Since I'm not one to waste anything, this sounded like a great idea.  Let me just say, this would be better suited to a more experienced canner.  I read the directions carefully, however, one key factor was missing; the proper time for boiling.

After my failed attempt, I decided to read thru ALL the reader comments and found that I was supposed to boil the liquid for just a minute or two.  Since this important fact was left out of the directions, and I didn't know any better, I boiled the liquid for over 30 minutes.  If I had to be honest, I'd say it was probably 45!  Needless to say, it went downhill from there.

To make a long story short, I boiled over the liquid onto my ceramic top electric oven.  Not pretty, and not pretty to clean up either.  The outcome? Candy Apple Topping.  We grabbed a few Good Apples, literally wiped on the topping, and enjoyed a treat for the afternoon.

Apples: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

My last attempt, using additional leftover apple peelings was Apple Scrap Jelly from Fireflies & Mudpies. I'm happy to say, this was a huge success.  We did 9-1/2 pint jars for holiday gifts and will continue to make this throughout the season.  Note:  This recipe calls for 9 cups of sugar, I reduced that to 6 cups and it was wonderful and not too sweet.

Apples: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

All in all, canning has been a good experience and considering we have several more bushels to pick, we'll be in the Kitchen for the next couple of weeks.

Apples: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Need ideas for your apples?  Check out our APPLE HARVEST Pinterest Board.
Over 600 pins for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and (adult) Crafts.

Also, be sure to sign up for email updates and receive our mini-eBook
Canning Made Easy.


Our Pinterest Canning Board here
Our Apple Harvest Board here

Test jars for proper sealing here
Troubleshooting here

Questions about Water Bath Canning here

Questions about Pressure Canning here

Adjust for high altitudes here

National Center for Home Food Prep here

Thoughts from a newbie canner:
  1. It looks like alot in the pot, but it's not.
  2. I ran back to the store 3 times for jars.  Stock up ahead of time.
  3. Get the all the canning supplies recommended.  You'll use them all.  
  4. Always check the reader comments, it typically holds valuable information the writer omitted.
  5. If YOU are posting a recipe, read, read, read and read it again.  Make sure you have ALL necessary and pertinent information included.  Canning really is easy if you have the proper directions. 


  1. I LOVED this. Picking apples is a yearly thing for our family and it usually ends up being for lunches, apple sauce and apple crumble pie. Now you gave me tones of ideas. We'll have to go back to get some apples :)

    1. Give it a try Nicole, I think you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I was how basically easy it was to get started!

  2. I'm glad you had some success with canning. My mom canned from our garden and trees every year and to this day still does, and so do I. It is so rewarding to fill my pantry with food that we grew (or friends or family) and eat it all year. I hope you have more success :) Thanks for linking up to the Wednesday Showcase Party.

    1. Thanks Kati. I'm glad I finally started - only wish I did 20 years ago!

  3. I have never canned before but I may try it now. Thanks for sharing on the Healthy Living Link Party

    1. It really is so much easier than I ever thought. It is time consuming and expensive to get started but well worth it AND next year I won't have to buy all the jars again! Go for it!


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