Canning apples can be done in several different ways. Slices are the simplest way of doing this; from these slices you can make many different recipes at the time when you are ready to cook or bake.
Making applesauce and then canning that way is another choice; this makes a quick and easy dessert but also is easier to use in your applesauce recipes.
Canning apple pie filling makes it quick to put together your favorite apple pie recipes.
Homemade apple juice is wonderful to have on hand; not only is it delicious to drink but it can be used in many recipes like marinades and sauces.
Apple cider vinegar is a great recipe to make as it has many uses.
You must also learn how to make apple butter; this is my favorite. Homemade apple butter and other fruit preserves are so delicious on toast or hot biscuits.
Canning apples in slices can be packed in jars in syrup or juice. Unsweetened apple juice or a thin syrup is good for apples; combine 1 cup of sugar with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Peel, core and slice apples (Plan for 3 apples and 2 cups of syrup for each quart jar.) Place slices of apples in water with lemon to prevent discoloration (1 tablespoon lemon juice per 2 quarts water). Drain apple slices and fill hot sterilized jars; cover with boiling syrup or juice leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by running a knife around inside of jar. Wipe jar and seal. Process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes.
When canning apples, I love making applesauce. Use any of your favorite applesauce recipe but I prefer to make chunky style applesauce. Bring it to boiling and pack it in hot sterilized jars leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by running a knife around the inside; then wipe jar rim clean and seal. Process jars in a boiling hot water bath for 25 minutes.
MAKING APPLESAUCE RECIPE
Combine apples, water and sugar in kettle; bring to a boil.
Watch carefully and simmer until apples are part sauce and part whole (about 4 minutes-do not overcook)
Blend in spices and pack in hot sterilized jars; seal and finish with processing as above.
When canning apples, you can use your favorite apple pie filling recipe to can; it makes baking a pie so much faster. One quart of filling is enough to make a 9 to 10 inch pie. Simply multiply your favorite pie filling recipe for as many pies as you will estimate needing. I like the filling canned with the basic ingredients; apples, sugar, lemon juice, flour or tapioca and a few spices. With a recipe like this, it can be used in a variety of different pie recipes, simply by adding different ingredients. Cook filling on top of stove over medium heat stirring often until sugar is dissolved. Pour hot boiling filling into hot sterilized jars; remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim clean and seal. Process in boiling water bath for 25 minutes.
APPLE PIE FILLING RECIPE (for 1 pie- multiply for number of pies desired)
Combine in pan over medium heat; slowly bring mixture to a boil stirring.
When mixture is thoroughly hot and boiling fill hot sterilized canning jars and seal.
Process in boiling water bath 25 minutes.
NOTE: When making apple pies with this recipe you can add other spices like nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin spice or more cinnamon. You can also add walnuts and other ingredients. Other possibilities are that you can make it with a double crust of top it with a crumb topping; the options are endless.
If you are canning apples, another great product to make is apple juice. It is so much better than what you can buy and it has no added chemicals. Since apple juice is naturally sweet, there is no need to add sugar. When squeezing the apples you will have pulp left. Some people throw this away but it is very good to use in many recipes; it can be frozen or canned for later use. If you choose to preserve the pulp then you will need to peel and core the apples; if it is going to be discarded then you will not need to do that.
Cut apples in chunks removing any bad spots or decay; wash and drain apples. It is important to keep everything clean and sanitary through the juicing process. Put apples in a stainless steel or enamel pot and simmer with a little water until apples are soft. Press apples through two layers of cheesecloth or a food mill; cheesecloth will give clearest juice. Apple juice does not need added sweetening because apples have a high content of natural sugar. This juice will stay good in the refrigerator for a couple of days. If you want to keep it longer it can be canned or frozen. The sediment will settle to the bottom after the juice sits awhile. If freezing strain off top (leave sediment on bottom) into clean sterile plastic containers allowing room for expansion during freezing. To can strain off top of juice, bring just to a boil and pour into clean sterilized canning jars; process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.
HOW TO MAKE APPLE BUTTER
The canning apple season just is not complete for me without telling you how to make apple butter. Making this recipe correctly and cooking it down until it is very thick is just the best thing ever. Like I mentioned earlier, it is so delicious on hot biscuits, toast, pancakes or even by the spoonful.
Wash, quarter and cook apples with water; cover and simmer until tender.
Rub apples through a coarse sieve; should have about 5 quarts pulp.
Add spices and simmer about 2 hours stirring frequently as it will scorch easily.
When thickened pour into hot sterilized pint jars and seal immediately; it gets thicker when cold.
Coarsely grind apples and oranges; combine with remaining ingredients in heavy pan.
Bring mixture to a boil and cook for 30 minutes; pour into hot sterilized jars and seal immediately.