Fuji, Pink Lady, and crab apples are abundant in autumn and are optimal for canning—they have great flavor when cooked and won't turn mealy. Feel free to garnish your apples with extra lemon and orange rinds, or additional raisins. Enjoy these apples right out of the jar or double the recipe for a quick pie filling.
Before you begin, make sure to thoroughly wash and dry your canning jar, lid, and seal. Makes 1 half-pint jar:
2 cups Fuji, Pink Lady, or crab apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch slices
½ cup water
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon clover or alfalfa honey
1 cinnamon stick, plus 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
6 whole cloves
Rind of ½ orange
Rind of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon golden raisins
- To keep apples from browning, place them in a medium bowl and cover with cold water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and honey. Bring to a boil. Add apples, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 cinnamon stick, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, cloves, orange and lemon rinds, and golden raisins. Stir gently to incorporate. Cover and reduce heat; simmer until apples are soft (8 to 10 minutes).
Fill jars: Using a slotted spoon, transfer apples to a half-pint jar. Ladle remaining hot syrup into jar, leaving a half-inch of space at top. Carefully secure seal and lid to top of jar.
Place a large pot of water on the range with a canning rack (or cake rack) at the bottom of the pot. Place jar on canning rack, making sure there is at least 1 inch of water over the lid of the jar. Cover pot. Over high heat, bring to a rolling boil. Cook over a hard rolling boil for about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and remove cover; let cool for 5 minutes.
With tongs, gently remove the jar (without tilting) and place upright on a towel in a secure, draft-free place. Do not dry jar or lid. Let stand for 24 hours.
Test the jar's seal: Press firmly in the center of the lid. If the lid springs back when you release your finger, refrigerate the jar and treat its contents as perishable food. If the seal is airtight, store the jar in a cool, dark place for up to one year.