Canning apple pie filling

A tasty way to safely preserve apples.

The holiday season that brings many delightful things to our senses. The beautiful fall colors, smells of harvest, tranquil touch and taste of good foods. Harvesting apples is a must in the fall. One of the tasty treats that can be created from apples is apple pie. There is a safe and delicious way to preserve your own pie filling.

It is suggested to use firm crisp apples for the canning process. These are a few of the suggested varieties: Golden Delicious, Rome, Granny Smith and others of your choice. You will need 6 quarts of apples or approximately 15 to 17 pounds. This amount should make 6-7 quarts of pie filling. These amounts give you an idea of how many to pick or purchase for this endeavor. Other ingredients include sugar, clear jel (this is a thickener), cinnamon, nutmeg, cold water, apple juice and bottled lemon juice.

After washing all debris off the apples, peel and core them. Slice the apples into half inch pieces and keep them in a citric acid or lemon juice solution to keep them from darkening. Heat water to boiling and then blanch the apples doing 6 cups of apples at a time. It is important to blanch to protect the flavor, color and texture of the apple. It also cleanses any bacteria that may be on the outside of the slices of apple. Blanch for 1 minute in boiling water, remove from water, drain and keep apples hot in a covered bowl. Meanwhile mix the sugar, clear jel, cinnamon, nutmeg, water and apple juice in a large pan, heat till thick and bubbling. Add the lemon juice and boil 1 minute. Fold in the hot apple slices mixing well.

Now to safely preserve this tasty treat. Have quart jars washed and hot. Pour the hot pie filling into the jar, making sure you remove all the air bubbles. Leave a one inch headspace, wipe the jar rim clean, and adjust the lids and rings on the jars. Process in a hot water bath for 25 minutes. Michigan State University recommends to always process foods properly according to USDA guidelines.

The recipe preserving apple pie filling can be found in the So Easy to Preserve book, sixth edition.

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