Canning Apple Pie Filling, my revision.

Cinnamon Apple Pie Filling.
Yesterday I got 5 pounds of Golden Delicious apples and 5 pounds of Johnathan's from the garage refrigerator and peeled and sliced them to yield another 7 quarts of the loveliest apple pie filling!  This is my favorite combination of apples for pie filling and I was tickled to have them in equal parts although any good cooking apple will work just fine.

Apples in ascorbic acid and water bath.
My first decision was to just skip the lemon juice completely and use ascorbic acid.  (See Canning Cinnamon Apple Pie Filling, 8/29/12.)  After drawing 6 cups of water each into 2 large very bowls add 6 teaspoons of ascorbic acid to each and stir.  Add the apples as they are sliced and peeled into this bath to keep them from browning.  Then RESERVE this liquid for the water called for in the recipe.

This go around I made a few changes and it went more quickly and easily as I knew the pitfalls of the large quantity project.  The next thing I did was to decide to peel the apples and then use a hand held corer/slicer instead of the reverse.  Last time I peeled after coring and slicing the sections.  What was I thinking?

After completing the first half of the apple preparation I set  the cold packer half full of tap water on the large burner and turned on the heat.  I also set 7 sterile quart jars in the rack and hung it above the water.  (Rule is to pack hot contents into hot jars.) Cover the lids and rings with water in another pan and set on the fire also.  Then in a very large heavy bottomed pan add about 4-5" water and set on the heat too.  These pans all need to be turned back after coming to a boil.  Resume and finish the apple peeling, slicing and coring.

Ingredients for Canned Apple Pie Filling:

10 pounds cooking apples
5 1/2 C. sugar
8 ounces of Clearjel (28 T. or 1 3/4 C.)
2 T. Cinnamon
7 C. water
1 t. salt

After the apples have been prepared turn the kettle of 4-5" of water back up to a boil then add about 1 quart of the apples.  Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  Using a spider, or a large strainer, or sieve remove the apples into a large container and repeat this process until all of the apples have been par-boiled. (The value to doing this is to soften the apples so the jars will fill better and the filling will not cook down and shrink during the processing step.)

Apples after the par-boil step.
Pour out the par-boiling liquid and measure 7 C. of the ascorbic acid treated water into the kettle.  Add the sugar, Clearjel, Cinnamon, and salt as you heat the liquid to a boil.  This is hard to stir smooth so I use a stick blender to get this mixed.  Do not be alarmed it not totally smooth, mine has always cooked smooth during the final processing.  Just get is as smooth as you can.  After this comes to a boil add the apples and stir to combine. Turn the flame back up under the cold packer.

Remove one jar at a time from the rack and fill it 3/4 full using a wide mouthed canning funnel.  Move on until the jars are all partially filled.  top off each remaining jar to the fill line.  Wipe the jar rims and take the lids and seals from the simmering water and screw down each lid until it is just snug.

Lower the filled rack into the water bath.  All of the tops of the jars should be covered by the boiling water by 1-2".  Return to boiling, cover,  and lower the heat to medium or medium-high.  It should be a steady easy boil.  Process the quart jars for 25 minutes.

Remove from the bath and cool completely.  Yield 7 quarts.  NOTE:  Our family loves Cinnamon and really likes this filling but if preferred you can  reduce the amount called for and use spices to your taste.

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