On an Autumn Day in 2006, I was introduced to the wonders of Home Canning. I had never attempted this domestic marathon by myself, but Wonder Woman's mother in law invited me along for a day of Apple Pie Filling. We brought all the jars we had, plus lemon juice and corn starch, and hunkered down for the long haul.
The recipe itself isn't difficult - simmer a syrup for about 20 minutes until it thickens, fill clean jars with peeled and cored apples, cover with syrup and process in a hot water bath for about 25 minutes. If I had to pick the point where our day got "difficult" it was when we decided that we would quadruple the recipe. That makes nearly anything difficult!
Some notes, before the recipe:
A handcrank style apple peeler makes this a much easier process.
I processed my jars in two batches in the largest pasta pot I've got, lined with a tea towel. A standard canning pot, with a rack, would have been much easier to manage!
Canning tongs are, I believe, necessary. I have no idea how I would have removed the finished jars from the boiling water otherwise.
Oh, and you can change the spices to whatever you like in apple pie. Go wild! I have used these apples in both pies and Danishes...both are delicious!
Now, by popular demand (and sweet permission from Nana herself), I give you....
.....Home Canned Apple Pie Filling
Peel, core, and slice about 7 lbs of apples.
Pack in jars.
4 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. corn starch
3 T. lemon juice
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
Boil until it is thick and pour over packed apples.
Process in a water bath for 25 minutes.
Makes about 7 quarts.