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How to Can and Preserve Apples

Canning fresh apples is a great way to preserve large quantities of the fruit in a short period of time. Buying and canning apples when they are in season saves money, and you can be assured of the best-flavored fruit. Choose apples suitable for eating or making pies.

You can protect apples from oxidation by slicing them directly into an antioxidant solution, a liquid to keep your fruit from darkening. Use a product such as Ever-Fresh or Fruit-Fresh and follow the instructions on the container. After dipping the apples in the antioxidant solution, rinse and drain the apples before packing them into your prepared jars.

Canned Apples

Canned apples are wonderful for apple crisp, breads, and other recipes calling for slices or chunks of fruit. Use any crisp, tart apple that ripens in the fall. Summer-ripened apples tend to be softer and won’t hold up well to canning. Try making them with a light sugar syrup for a fresh-tasting treat. For a sweeter canned apple, try a medium syrup instead.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Processing time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 pints or 4 quarts

12 pounds apples

Sugar syrup, light

  1. Prepare your canning jars and two-piece caps (lids and screw bands) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Keep the jars and lids hot.

  2. Wash, core, and peel your apples; then slice them into 1/4-inch pieces or cut them into even chunks. Meanwhile, bring the sugar syrup to a boil.

  3. Pack apples firmly into hot jars and pour boiling hot sugar syrup over the apples.

    Leave 1/2-inch of headspace. Wipe the jar rims; seal the jars with the two-piece caps, hand-tightening the bands.

  4. Process the filled jars in a water-bath canner for 20 minutes for pints and quarts from the point of boiling.

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  5. Remove the jars from the canner with a jar lifter. Place them on a clean kitchen towel away from drafts.

    After the jars cool completely, test the seals. If you find jars that haven’t sealed, refrigerate them and use them within two weeks.

Per 1/2-cup serving: Calories 137 (From fat 4); Fat 0g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 0mg; Carbohydrates 36g (Dietary fiber 3g); Protein 0g.

Apple Pie Filling

Get a quick start to your piemaking by creating apple pie filling ahead of time. To thicken this filling to just the right consistency, add a tablespoon of flour to the filled pie before adding the top crust. Substitute or add to the spices listed to create the pie your family likes.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Processing time: Pints, 25 minutes

Yield: 6 pints

6 pounds apples

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons lemon juice

  1. Peel and slice or cube the apples. Place the apples and the other ingredients into a heavy pan.

    Allow the mixture to stand about 30 minutes or until it becomes juicy.

  2. Prepare your canning jars and two-piece caps (lids and screw bands) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Keep the jars and lids hot.

  3. Cook the apple mixture over medium heat until the apples are softened, about 7 minutes.

  4. Ladle the pie filling into the pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.

    Release any air bubbles with a nonreactive utensil. Wipe the jar rims; seal the jars with the two-piece caps, hand-tightening the bands.

  5. Process the filled jars in a water-bath canner for 25 minutes from the point of boiling.

  6. Remove the jars from the canner with a jar lifter. Place them on a clean kitchen towel away from drafts.

    After the jars cool completely, test the seals. If you find jars that haven’t sealed, refrigerate them and use them within two weeks.

Per 1/2-cup serving: Calories 121 (From fat 3); Fat 0g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 0mg; Carbohydrates 31g (Dietary fiber 2g); Protein 0g.

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