Move over Movember, November is “National Apple Pie Month”… I have to admit that after putting up 18 pints of applesauce the weekend before last, I was a bit burnt out on apples. After taking a week off from apples I found myself wondering “what am I going to do with these remaining 12lbs of apples?” Surprisingly unmotivated by my options: applesauce, apple-butter, apple crisp, etc., I consulted the canning blogosphere. Food in Jar’s Spiced Apple Pie Filling fit my unmotivated apple void perfectly: a great way to preserve apples for the upcoming pie season, a quick way to use up my remaining apples, and a great holiday gift.. 😉 The original recipe calls for Clear Jel “a modified cornstarch that is recommended for canning because it doesn’t lose its thickening powers after extended heating”. I searched high and low for this product in our local shops but to no avail, so alas I just left it out. Depending on the recipe, adding cornstarch or an alternative thickening agent right before use is an option. I figure that even if I don’t get around to making pies all winter long, this canned apple pie filling will be great atop some vanilla ice cream or mixed in with my morning granola/overnight oats. I ended up using a mixture of sweet Ida Red and Crispin Apples. American Apple Fact: there are over 7,500 varieties of apples in the world, but only one is native to North America, the Crabapple.
- 10 cups sweet apples
- 2-1/4 cup apple cider
- 2 cup water
- 6 Tbs lemon juice
- 1-1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbs ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg (or pumpkin pie spice)
- 3/4 cup Clear Jell (if using)
- Peel, core, an slice apples.
- Bring large pot of water to a boil, add apple slices and blanch for one minute. Remove from heat, then combine apples in a large bowl with cold water and splash of lemon juice.
- In another large pot, combine the apple cider, water, and lemon juice. Cook over high heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and Clear Jel if you have it. Pour dry mixture into hot cider mixture. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil, until mixture thickens a bit.
- Fold apples into cider mixture. Remove from heat. Fill prepared jars (leave a generous inch of headspace). Wipe rims and apply lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes (starting time after the pot has returned to a boil).
- When timer is up, remove canner from heat. Remove pot lid, then let jars sit in the cooling water bath for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove jars from canner, let cool for 24 hours on a rack or folded towel.
If using Clear Jel as a thickening agent, add to dry ingredient mixture. After adding dry mixture to cider, bring to a boil until mixture thickens (adding Clear Jell will significantly thicken pie filling). If can't find Clear Jell, omit from recipe, then add some cornstarch before consumption.