The good Lord has truly blessed us with an abundant apple harvest here in the Ozarks this year. We have been picking apples for several weeks and there is still another few weeks of harvesting to go.
One of the best things I have been taught about preserving apples, is to simply cook them down and can them to keep for any other recipe I might use them for. Instead of taking the time to make applesauce, apple butter, apple juice or apple cider when the apples are falling off the trees, I quickly can them up for whatever I choose to do with them after the snow flies.
These apples were not sprayed and aren't the prettiest looking apples I've seen. In fact I sure wouldn't have paid money for them and
I questioned if it was even worth my time to work them up. As you can see, they are covered in spots. I was sure pleased to see the beautiful jars of golden apples when I was done with the first batch. They were a sight to behold considering my doubts to begin with. It made me think about what my life looked like before God began His process in me. My life sure wasn't pretty, in fact it seemed to be one big black spot, but God cared enough to pick me up off the ground and work with me, processing me through sanctification into something that He can use for His glory. I may not be as pretty yet, as the beautiful jar of golden apples, but I sure feel like it these days!
I need to quickly add a thank you to my dear mother in law for giving me a wonderful ceramic knife for my latest birthday that came with a terrific peeler which will quickly whip around an apple creating one long peel. Without it, I wouldn't be getting so many apples worked up as I have, however, as many apples as I've worked with this year, an actual apple peeler will be on my gift list for next year!
Begin by filling a large bowl about half to two-thirds full of water and then mix in a few swigs (1/4 cup) of lemon juice. This is what you will slice your apples into in order to keep them from turning brown while you work up enough apples to cook.
Then peel, core and slice the apples putting them right into your bowl of lemon water. About this time, I load my jars into the dishwasher to sterilize. If you hot water bath your jars, a good time to do that would be while the apples are cooking down. I place the lids in a small saucepan of boiling water when the apples are almost ready, to sterilize them.
Slice enough apples to fill your biggest pot with. Put the slices in the pot and then depending on the size of your pot, pour in one to two cups of water. The water is simply to keep the apples on the bottom from burning before the apples release their own juices. The pot I use is only a 20 quart pot, which I fill to the top and add 1 1/2 cups of water to it. *Update Option: Use apple juice in place of water* Place the pot on medium low heat and allow to simmer until you are able to pierce the apples with a fork. It doesn't take very long, maybe 15 to 20 minutes or less depending on the size and thickness of your pot.
Happy canning! Please let me know if you have any questions!