Apple preserves

My kids love apple preserves. Years ago, my mom and started experimenting with apples. We changed an apple butter recipe by lightening up on the spices and cooked the apples through until they are tender and a bit translucent, but still has some chunky pieces. We filled and sealed our jars, and ran them through a water bath. We were on to something. The kids ate them like crazy on buttered toast or a biscuit.

Make some for your family.

Peel, core, and slice apple into 1/8″ pieces. Fill a large non stick pan similar to the pan you would use to cook pasta. Add the following to the apples:

2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Add water until it is half way up on the apples.

Cook on med high heat, gently stirring often.

Meanwhile, collect and wash canning jars and two piece lid and ring. Heat your jars in water and start heating your lids.

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I am using pint jars because I want to give some for Christmas gifts.

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The pot of apples on the left is ready to go into the jars. The pot on the right is just getting started and is not ready yet. Notice the difference in the texture of the apples.

Tools you will need:
Canning funnel
Three or four clean dish towels
Jar lifter
Ladle
Thongs
One cereal bowl

Get your water bath canner out and put on stove on high heat. I fill it with large water pitcher using hot water from my sink so I don’t have to lift a canner full of water.

I have a crack between my stove and counter so I use a cutting board in between so I can catch drips and run away apples.

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Use ladle to add hot water from the pot that is heating your jars into a cereal bowl. Use jar lifter and remove a hot sterile jar and sit in water/cereal bowl. This helps keep jar warm while filling and held prevent breakage.

Use funnel and ladle to fill jar leaving 1/2 inch of free space at the top. This is head space and allows contents room to expand and contract with the change in storage temperature.

Use jar lifter and remove from water bowl and sit on clean dry dish towel. Run knife around sides of jar to remove air bubbles. Holding with a pot holder or clean dish towel, wipe top and jar threads to make sure clean and dry.

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Use thongs and get a hot ring and lid from the pot they are simmering/boiling in water. Put on jar lid. Tighten snug and using jar lifer add to water bath canner. Continue until water bath canner is loaded. Notice my canner is too large, but it works. I need to buy a smaller one, but I am using what I have.

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Lower jars into its bath. Fill with hot water until water level is 1 to 2 inches above top of jars. You need to get the water to boil rapidly. This can take a while. Once water starts boiling set timer for 10 minutes. Cover canner with lid and let it boil away. After 10 minutes turn off heat to canner and remove lid. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Use jar lifter to remove each jar from canner and set on dry clean dish towel. Let the hot jarred preserves cool naturally. Do not try to speed this process.

Using a black sharpie write apples and the year on jar lid. Store in cool, dry, dark place.

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