Here’s a great gift for the holidays. It gives pizazz to pork, adds a spicy kick to your ice cream, heck, you can happily spend an afternoon eating it straight from the jar. My kids do. Believe me. They do. I’m kinda pissed about that because I had to make a second, unexpected batch.
I pretty much got this recipe straight out of the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, though I modified it slightly.
When working with apples, especially when you need to core, peel, and do all of that other time consuming prep, it’s good to first prep your “I need to prevent these apples from browning” station. When the flesh of the apple is exposed to oxygen, a reaction called oxidation occurs, causing them to brown. You can prevent this by soaking the fruit in an “antioxidant bath”. Mix 8 cups of water with 1/2 cup lemon juice and set your lemon bath aside. As you peel your apple slices, throw them in the bath until you’re ready to jar them. If you don’t have lemon juice, you can also use citric acid (follow manufacturer’s instructions).
Oh – and one last thing before we get to the sweet stuff…normally I am very crazy rules-based about food. For some reason, I decided this recipe didn’t apply. It’s a treat – it’s a gift – it’s special. And so out come the candies, corn syrup and food coloring.
Apple Wedges in Cinnamon Red Hot Syrup
makes six 12 ounce jars
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cinnamon red hot candies
2 cups water
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp red food coloring
24 apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
6 cinnamon sticks (about 4 inches each)
- Sterilize your jars and lids.
- Wash, core, peel and cut your apples into eighths. Put the apple slices into the antioxidant bath.
- In a stainless steel saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
- Add apple slices, reduce heat to medium, and stir gently until apples are heated through, about five minutes. Turn heat off but leave pan on the stove to ensure the syrup remains heated as you prepare to fill your jars.
- Using a slotted spoon, pack apple wedges into hot jars. Tuck one cinnamon stick into each jar. Ladle hot syrup into jars to cover apples, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Wipe the rims and seal the jar.
- Process in a boiling water bath for fifteen minutes (start counting once the water has reached a boil), more depending on altitude.