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Canned Apple Pie Filling
Adapted from freshpreserving.com but tweaked a bit by yours truly, Rachel @ Mason Jar Values (formerly reprezent98201)
Makes 7 wide mouth quart jars + enough for 1 apple crisp on the day you’re canning
36 cups sliced peeled cored apples (you can treat them to prevent browning but I don’t think it matters that much nor do I have the counter space for the extra step)
7 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups ClearJel® (cooking starch used for preserving)
2 T ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
5 1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice or hard cider (you choose the ratio but use that much total)
3 3/4 cups cold water
1 1/2 cup lemon juice
7 wide mouth quart glass preserving jars with lids and bands
1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2. They tell you to treat your apples to prevent browning but I don’t. They also tell you to blanch your apples but I didn’t…shame on me. I only had a short amount of time and I didn’t do it last year so I didn’t do it again this year. Kinda like the joke about why the gal cut the ends off her roast and her husband asked why and she didn’t know, it’s cuz that’s why her mom did it. So if you don’t blanch your apples, there is a reason and I’m telling it to you. :) If you don’t know the joke, ask me sometime (email [“contact” above] or otherwise).
3. Combine sugar, ClearJel®, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large stainless steel saucepan. Stir in apple juice and cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. THEY’RE NOT KIDDING WHEN THEY TELL YOU TO STIR CONSTANTLY. YOU WILL GET CLEARJEL BURNT TO THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POT.
4. Add lemon juice, return to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Drain apple slices and immediately fold into hot mixture. Before processing, heat, stirring, until apples are heated through.
5. Ladle hot pie filling into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. You know the drill…
6. Process jars for 25 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. If they aren’t sealed re-process.
7. For your apple crisp, pour leftover apples and goop into a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with oatmeal, brown sugar, and butter. A trick for the butter, though: throw a stick of butter in the freezer for a bit. Pull it out and grate it right over the oatmeal/brown sugar mixture. You’ll end up with evenly distributed butter (huge pet peeve of mine: when it’s all clumpy and some of the oatmeal doesn’t have butter on it). Bake for 20ish minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.