Spiced Apple Preserves

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

A couple of years ago, I thought I had the apple preservation thing covered. After all, I regularly did applesauce, apple butter and apple jam. What else was there to do beyond that trio of nearly perfect preserves?

Then one day, while flipping through Eugenia Bone’s terrific book, Well-Preserved, I spotted a recipe for spiced apples. It had you shred the apples on a box grater, squeeze them to pull some of the water out, and cook them briefly with just a bit of sugar and spices before canning.

I tried it and the result was a dense, sweet, highly spiced apple preserve that quickly rocketed up to the top of my apple hit parade. What I love about this particular preserve is that it manages to straddle the line between applesauce and jam. It’s sweet (but not cloying), dense and intensely apple-y.

Eugenia suggests you use it in a tart, but my favorite thing to do with it is to serve it atop pancakes or waffles. It just makes brunch better.

Spiced Apple Preserves

5 from 4 votes
Print Pin
Course: Preserves
Processing: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 half pints
Calories: 255kcal
Author: Marisa


  • 3 pounds apples use something tart and crisp
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid


  • Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 4 half pint jars and lids.
  • Line a sieve or colander with a tea towel and place it over a large bowl.
  • Grate apples into the lined sieve. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and toss gently to combine.
  • Gather up the sides of the towel and squeeze some of the juice out from the apples. You should yield approximately 1 1/2 – 2 cups.
  • Measure one cup of reserved apple juice into a medium saucepan and add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, along with the spices.
  • Once sugar has dissolved, add the apples. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until the apple shreds have broken down a little and reabsorbed the spiced juice.
  • Divide the citric acid between the four half pint jars (it helps prevent the apples from browning during storage) and pack the hot apple shreds into the jars, leaving 3/4 inch headspace.
  • Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath canner for 25 minutes. When time is up, remove pot from heat and let jars stand in the warm water for an additional 5 minutes. This time helps prevent the apples from siphoning out of the jars.
  • Remove jars from canner and let them cool on a folded kitchen towel. When jars are fully cool, check seals. If they’re good, place jars in a cool, dark place and use within one year.


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Vitamin C: 15.7mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 0.4mg


As we head into the autumn season, what’s your favorite way to preserve apples?

About Marisa

Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated small batch canner who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her jams, pickles and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first book, titled Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.

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  1. This is an interesting recipe, I wouldn’t have thought of shredding them… I’m wondering what the texture is like; my children are 95% texture driven when it comes to food. Seems the perfect time for it with Fall just around the corner. Thanks 🙂

  2. Yum. I haven’t done any preserving of apples but I have been making (and eating) apple muffins and freezing them. I finally found a healthier gluten free apple muffin recipe that I’m happy with.

  3. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says

    5 stars
    This isn’t particularly a way to preserve *apples*, but several years ago, I bought Apple Cider Jelly in Vermont on our anniversary trip. That stuff rocks my world! On toast with butter, or on crackers with a nice sharp cheddar, it is just Ah-mazing. I haven’t tried to make it myself, but the minute I saw this post this morning I thought that I should. I love the idea of putting this in hand pies or using it in my Breville Pie Maker.

  4. I’ve been seeing a few preserves like this floating around this year, and I’m loving the idea! I usually just go with my old standby, applesauce – and loads of it. Was planning on making it with sweeter apples this year so I could forgo most of the sugar (planning on feeding lots of it to baby over the winter!) But I’m thinking I’m going to have to give this chunkier apple jam a go this year too. Yum!

  5. This looks lovely and sounds delicious. I too am wondering about the texture. We have texture sensitives chez nous. My favorite preservation of apples, honestly it is Apple cider, a limited preservation I suppose!

  6. I was just curious about the tsp. of cinnamon and then 1/2 tsp. freshly grated cinnamon. Is that right?

  7. This sounds absolutely amazing! Our apple CSA is just getting started for the year, so I will have to give this a shot with some of our apples. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    I usually make applesauce, but, this one is very interesting. Looks good. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Oh wow that sounds amazing! I love grated apples and I bet that I’d love them more prepared this way. I’m imagining them on waffles with a slice of cheddar (apple and cheddar is my favorite flavor combo at the moment)

  10. 5 stars
    I ran across this while looking for recipes to pickle green tomatoes…I am hip deep in apples right now with about 40 lbs to go. Apple sauce, jelly and butter but this will be a nice addition to my line up. I sell at the local farmer’s market and I do beleive this will be a hit. Thanks

    • I tired another yummy recipe of Marisa’s yesterday, not pickled green tomatoes but green tomato chutney. I modified it (some green and red tomatoes, powdered cinnamon, 1.75 T minced ginger) because I have a very hard time sticking exactly to a recipe. You might try it also after you’ve made the pickled green tomatoes.

  11. Printed and safely tucked into your book, Marisa! I will be making this right after my next trip to Greenbluff and enjoying it on my Greek yogurt and in overnight raw Chia oats for breakfast in the coming year.

  12. Marisa –
    Did you peel the apples? Could you leave the peel on?


  13. I was wondering, have you ever tried freezing this instead of canning?