Oh, don’t be a scrooge. I know it’s a bit early to use the word “holiday,” but if you’re going to make Holiday Spiced Apples for your own holiday buffet or offer festive jars as gifts, you need to plan ahead. This recipe is easy to prepare, but tastes best after the flavors marinate in the jar for at least two weeks.
8 quarts is a nice quantity for gift giving, and will allow you to save a jar or two for yourself! The same recipe can also be canned in 16 pint size jars, if you prefer a smaller size. Or cut the recipe in half for 4 quarts or 8 pints. If you don’t want to can the recipe at all, simply store your spiced apples in airtight containers in the refrigerator. They’ll last for several weeks.
40 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thick
4 cups cold water
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups “red hots” cinnamon candies
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 cups sugar
6 cups water
4 1/2 cups vinegar
Step 1) Dip peeled apple slices into a bowl containing 4 cups cold water and 1/2 cup lemon juice. This prevents browning. After dipping, set apple slices aside in a large bowl.
Step 2) Combine all remaining ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Stir often, so that the cinnamon candies don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Step 3) Reduce heat to simmer, and stir until candies are dissolved. Add apple slices.
Step 4) Simmer the apple slices in brine for 2 minutes. Ladle spiced apple slices into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles by running a butter knife or a canning tool along the inside of each jar. Wipe the tops of the jars clean with a damp cloth, and top with lids and rims.
Step 5) Process quart jars in a boiling water canning bath for 15 minutes (pints only need 10 minutes). Do not open sealed jars for at least two weeks, to allow the flavors to blend. Enjoy your spiced apples!