I love this recipe because it is a tasty way to preserves the bounty of unique apples from the trees in my backyard. I say unique because I live very close to the ocean and I think the salt in the air has stunted my apple tree growth. This gives me plenty of small tart apples, which are perfect for this recipe.
- 5 pounds firm, tart apples (2-1/2 inch diameter is ideal), pealed and cored
- vinegar-water mix (quarts water plus 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice
- 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
- 6 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups water
- ¾ cup distilled white vinegar
- ½ cup (about 4 ounces) red hot cinnamon candies
- you can substitute 4 cinnamon sticks and ½ teaspoon red food coloring can be used instead of candies
- 1 lemon, sliced and seeded
Cut apples into ½ inch thick slices and place in vinegar water to prevent browning. Tie cloves, allspice and nutmeg in a spice bag or cheesecloth. In a 6 to 8 quart sauce-pot mix sugar, water, vinegar, cinnamon candies, lemon and spice bag. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring until candies are dissolved. Remove apples from vinegar water, drain and add to syrup. Simmer for five minutes making sure to push apples into syrup to cook fully.
Immediately fill hot pint jars with apples leaving 1/ 2 inch headspace. Quickly pour hot syrup over apples but be sure to maintain ½ inch of headspace. Carefully run a non-metallic utensil along inside of jar to release trapped air bubbles. Wipe the rim and threads of your ball canning jars clean. Place hot canning lids on jars and screw bands on firmly. Process jars in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.
This makes a great accompaniment to pork, sausage or poultry dishes or sandwiches!