Recipe by Chef Tweaker
No Dairy, Gluten or Corn ingredients added! Before posting this I did a search on other apple pie canning recipes and there are many here but yikes! Not all of them are safe. U.S. Guidelines only recommend Clear Jel for thickening and so I'm not sure about the ones using cornstarch or tapioca. They may be safe... but maybe not. I can't have corn which is what ClearJel is so this is how I make my pies. Also this recipe has much less sugar than the other recipes that I saw. The procedure is safe and based on a few recipes. The processing time is based on the NCHPF processing for hot packed sliced apples. If you are canning it, I recommend making a double batch which yields 5 quarts.
- 6 lbs apples (cooking apples- I used Honey Crisp with good results)
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cardamom
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional, not required for safety)
Directions See How It's Made
- Peel and slice or cube the apples. I have always sliced them thinly. The main thing is to get them uniform in size so they cook at the same rate. (You may also safely leave the peels on, I have just not tried this myself.).
- Place the apples and all the other ingredients except the water into the pan and let it stand and release the juice from the apples.
- If making a double batch, prepare the second batch while the other one is standing -- I have been combining them into a 13qt stock pot and cooking them at the same time. I do struggle with even cooking though so you may want to use two pots and cook them separately.
- Prepare your canning jars, lids, rings and canning kettle (canner). This can be made with either pints or quarts. One recipe will make 5 pints (2.5 quarts) Keep jars and lids warm.
- Add the water to the apples and cook them over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to maintain even cooking. The goal is to stop when they have softened enough to be flexible but not all the way cooked.
- Ladle the filling into the jars, leaving a 1/2 inch (1 cm) headspace. Spend some time releasing the bubbles because it is hard to get the air out! My latest technique is to use a chop stick to do this. Wipe the jar rims clean then seal the jars with your warm lids and screwing on the bands to finger-tip tightness. (Just tighten until snug -- don't use all your strength.).
- Process in a water-bath canner for 20 minutes from the point of a rolling boil. This time is set for sea level up to 1000 feet. If you live in a higher altitude, please do your research and adjust accordingly.
- When the time has expired, turn off the heat and allow the canner to cool for a few minutes before removing the jars. This will reduce the amount of siphoning which is when juice oozes from the jars. It is still OK if juice oozes -- the jars often still seal. You should make it a practice to always remove the rings and wash the outside of your jars before storing them. If you give the filling as a gift, you can add a ring to it before giving it away.
- Allow the hot jars to cool on a towel for up to 24 hours. If the jars are completely cool and have sealed, you don't have to wait that long to clean and store them. If after 24 hours, a jar still has not sealed (lid still juggles up and down when pressed), it is not bad -- but not safe to keep on the shelf. Store it in the refrigerator and use within a few weeks.
- When it is time to bake the pie, if you feel like it needs to thicken, add a tablespoon of flour (or thickener that works for your allergies, tapioca flour is another excellent choice) to the filled pie before adding the top crust.
- Note: you can vary the spices to the preference of your family. If you are using Granny Smith apples, you may want to increase the sugar to 2 cups per recipe and omit the lemon.
- Note 2: I have made a combination of apple and pear which also turned out great. Don't use Asian pears because they aren't acidic enough.
- Disclaimer: PLEASE don't adjust this recipe by adding flour or other thickeners into the jars before canning. They can be added just before baking the pie. Thickeners change the viscosity of the liquid which changes the ability of the heat to penetrate and could make an unsafe product.