Spiced Apple Canning from home, you ask?
Step 1: Acquire Apples
Go get apples. Either from the store, or from a tree. We won't judge.
Step 2: Disinfect Cans
Pick up some Mason canning cans, and disinfect them by submerging them in water (lids and all!) and boiling them. Keep them in the hot/boiling water until you need them!
Step 3: Prepare Apples
Prepare to process apples, and a lot of them! This will go faster if you have store apples, but if you're like us and are taking the adventurous route, it will still work great as long as you're willing to put in some extra effort!
You'll need an apple peeler and a good knife.
Step 4: Boil Apple Juice
Get some apple juice boiling. Needed for later.
Step 5: Peel Apples
Peel apples! If you're using apples picked from home or an apple pick, this will be trickier because they won't be as flawless. No worries, just dig out/chop off the imperfections and move on.
Step 6: Apple Peels
Save those apple peels! If you've got a rabbit living with you, feed them to the rabbit. Then experience love and adoration. If you don't have a rabbit, throw them outside for the birds and woodland creatures.
Step 7: Rinse Apples
Give those apple pieces a good last rinse, especially if you're using from-home apples.
Step 8: Blanching
Throw those apples into the boiling apple juice! This does two things:
--"Blanches" the apples (aka slows down the enzymatic activity that makes them all brown)
-- Makes them taste sweeter (especially good if you're using tart apples)
Step 9: Spice It Up
Spice it up! These are the spices I grabbed on a whim from the pantry to make this batch. Use whatever and however much of whatever you like! Just throw them into the apple juice/apple mixture, and cook that on medium-high heat for about 5-10 minutes.
Step 10: Canning Tools
Bust out those canning tools. They are not *absolutely* necessary, but you're going to have to get a little creative without some of these pieces. They're pretty cheap and available at a lot of grocery stores, though!
Step 11: Rescue Cans
Time to rescue your cans from the boiling water! Use the grabber tool for this part. Careful to not touch the glass after you set it down because
-- It's really hot
-- You want to not touch any of the cans or lids from now on with your hands to keep it sanitary!
Step 12: Packing the Cans
Now pack those delicious apples into the hot mason cans (THIS STEP SMELLS GOOD.)
Step 13: Syrup!
DO NOT THROW OUT THIS MAGICAL SYRUP YOU HAVE CONCOCTED. Put it on ice cream or something. Anything. Pour it over crepes. It's stupidly good. :D
Step 14: Finish Cans
Once you've packed the Mason cans to the top (with a 1/2 inch gap at the top), pour some of that syrup over the apples until it also reaches that 1/2-inch-from-the-top mark. Try and minimize air bubbles.
Step 15: Place the Lids
MAGNET THINGY! Use to rescue lids from the boiling water. Again, don't touch the parts with your hands, just get it on the can with the magnet.
Step 16: Tighten the Lids
Lid-tightener! To use this, it's okay to grab the bottom of the cans with a cloth (remember, it's still super hot) to provide leverage as you tighten.
Step 17: Prep Pressure Canner
Bust out this bad boy, 'cause it's time for some pressure canning. Fill it up with the appropriate amount of water for your canner, and let's get going.
Step 18: Load the Cans
Use the grabber to move your packed-and-sealed cans into the canner. Wave goodbye, for this is the last time you'll see them again before they emerge as completed, awesome cans of spiced apples. Think of it as sending your kids off to college, except that this doesn't cost nearly as much and it also brings you closer to baking pies.
Step 19: Start Pressure Canning
Now for the easy part. Take off the pressure regulator (the little top hat that sits on the hose to the right of the gauge), and turn on the heat to high.
Step 20: Place Pressure Regulator
Once you get about 10 minutes of steam going, put the regulator (top hat) onto the hose. The little indicator in the front should pop up, signalling that the canner is sealed and pressure will start building.
Step 21: Start the Timer
Once the pressure gets to where you want it (for this recipe that pressure is 6 PSI), turn your heat down to maintain it without going back under again. You'll find out what the magic setting is for your stove, but for this one, it's a "3" on a scale from 1-10. This will keep it right at the correct pressure. Keep it there for the right amount of time for the recipe -- this one calls for 8 minutes.
Step 22: Remove From Heat
Once the allotted time has passed (8 minutes for us), gently take it off the heat. Don't do anything else yet, as you need to let the pressure drop on its own. The little indicator in front will eventually pop back down again, and the gauge will go back to zero. Once all that has happened and some times has passed, you can take the regulator off and open the canner. Use the grabbing tools to pull out your cans, as they still may be boiling inside and very hot!
Step 23: Spiced Canned Apples!
Ta-Da! Cans of spiced apples! Huzzah!!