Makes 7 pints
This recipe calls for Clear Jel, a modified corn starch that works as a thickener but is made to withstand the heat of canning. Be sure to use the regular variety, not instant. I could not find it in local grocery stores, so I ordered it from Amazon.
- 12 cups peeled and sliced baking apples (Granny Smith, Gala, Jonathan, or Golden Delicious)
- Lemon juice to prevent browning
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups apple cider
- 2 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup Clear Jel
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Prepare jars: Wash jars, lids and rings. Place empty jars without lids into boiling-water canner filled with simmering water. Keep the jars in the hot water until ready to use.
- To make the jam: Peel, core and slice the apples into cold water with lemon juice to prevent the apples from turning brown. You will need 12 cups of apples.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drain the apple slices and blanch them in the boiling water for one minute. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- In a large pot, add the apple cider and water. Whisk in the sugar, Clear Jel, spices and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The mixture will thicken almost immediately. Mix in the lemon juice. Remove from the heat and stir in the apple slices.
- Take a jar out of the water and drain. Ladle in the pie filling (a funnel helps) to about one 1/4-inch from the top. Remove air bubbles with a wooden skewer or plastic knife. Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel to clean off any drips. Place a flat lid on top and screw on a ring. Repeat until all of the jars are filled.
- Place the jars into the canner. Make sure the water covers the jars by at least one to two inches. Place the lid on the canner, bring back to a boil and process for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the lid and allow the jars to stand in the water an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel to cool completely. You will hear the lids start to pop as they cool and seal. After 12 to 24 hours, check the seal on the cooled jars by pressing on the lid. If it springs back, the jar is not sealed. Or remove the ring and make sure the flat lid is stuck tight to the jar. If the jar is not sealed, the filling is still good. Just store the unsealed jar in the refrigerator. Also refrigerate any jar after opening.
- For a nine-inch pie, you will need to use three pints of pie filling.