Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Pies in Jars

Fall is my most favorite time of year!  Cold crisp nights; sunny warm days; the color of the changing leaves; Halloween; baking and looking forward to the upcoming holidays.
One of my favorite gifts to give to friends, neighbors, teachers and family is Apple Pie in a Jar.  A friend gave me this recipe when we lived in Indiana and I have used it every year for many, many years. It's another stupid simple recipe with major yums and a bit of impressed ooooohs and ahhhhhhhhs.
A day trip to the apple orchard (I always, always, always find myself in Indiana in the fall so I make a big to-do about going to Stuckey's Farm, where I have taken the kids since they were crawling in the pumpkin patch!), a few bushels of apples (I use Jonagold since they are great for baking AND eating!) and you have yourself several quarts of Apple Pie in a Jar.  Two bushels of apples gets me 14 pies.  Make sure to spend several hours finding the biggest best pumpkin while you are at Stuckey's or your orchard trip is definitely not complete.

Apple Pie in a Jar
7 qts. peeled, sliced apples
Syrup: 4 1/2 cups sugar
10 cups water
1 cup cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
Combine above syrup ingredients and cook until thick.  Add 3 Tbsp. lemon juice.  Fill hot jars with peeled, sliced apples.  Leave 1" space.  Pour syrup over apples.  Leave 1/2" space.  Process for 20 minutes.  Yields 7 quarts.

You can decorate your pie jar with a label or a ribbon.  Attach a note or label that says: "To make pie, pour 1 jar into pie shell.  Top with crumb topping or crust.")

Enjoy the process, from picking apples out of the orchard or from your local grocery store to labeling your jars and giving a favorite friend your apple pie in a jar.  If you're extra lucky, your friend will bake the pie for YOU!!!
Spend today loving each other.  Smiling.  Laughing.
Happy-ness is warm apple pie.  Fall weather.  Handmade gifts to special friends.

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