Cream shortening and sugar together. Add the eggs, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices. Add the water alternately with the flour. Stir in the nuts and apples.
Grease 8 wide-mouth pint-size jars (use a brush dipped in melted shorting to grease it--make sure you wash the jars with hot soapy water and let then dry before greasing them). Fill the jars half full of batter. Wipe the rims clean and bake in a 325F oven on a cookie sheet for 35 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil. Once it boils, turn it off and place the lids and rings in the water and let sit until ready to use.
When the cakes are done, remove the jars one at a time and place the lids on them. No need to wipe water off the lids--the extra moisture will not hurt the cakes. Place the ring on and screw tight. Allow the sit and cool completely. The jars will seal as they cool. Makes 8 pint-size jar cakes that store up to 6 months.
If giving as a gift, cover top with pretty fabric and attach a card with name of cake, date made, and expiration date. If not for gift, just write the info on top with a marker. When ready to eat, if cakes does not come out easily, just run the jar under hot water for a few seconds or place in microwave for 2 second with the lids removed.
Recipezaar Editor Note: Additional information from Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service regarding canning safety for breads and cakes.
"These products are not recommended for canning. Choose recipes that you can freeze. In fact, most of these products are not really “canned.” The directions call for baking in the jar and then closing with a canning lid. Many recipes for quick breads and cakes are low acid and have the potential for supporting the growth of bacteria like Clostridium botulinum if it is present inside the closed jar. You will see these products made commercially; however, additives, preservatives and processing controls not available for home recipes are used. Canning jar manufacturers also don’t endorse baking in their canning jars.