Looking for that perfect homemade Christmas present? Try canning some brandied apples, they are a simply divine dessert and an easy recipe to can yourself at home. Add a red bow to the top and it makes a great Christmas present (that is, if you don’t eat them all yourself, because they are that good) or add a jar to a gift basket full of homemade goods for an even better and frugal Christmas present!
Brandied apples are fantastic in dumplings, strudels, pies and served warm, over the top of angel food cake – topped with a dab of homemade whipped cream. For an unique gift, try using the new blue “Ball Heritage” pint jars and the end result should be a pretty purple looking jar.
Here is what you will need for Brandied Apples:
(recipe from the Ball Blue Book)
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups water
- 1 Tbsp red food coloring, optional
- 4 1/2 lbs firm red apples, cored, cut into 1/4 inch rings, treated to prevent browning and drained (about 14 medium sized apples)
- 1 cup of nice brandy
- 6 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
- Boiling Water Bath Canner
The recipe calls for red apples so you get that nice red color when you get it all canned. This is why the recipe does not call for peeling the apples. When I made this batch of brandied apples I was using apples from our trees that we had left over from doing a giant batch of applesauce so they were already peeled, so I used a touch of food coloring to get the color. What you choose to do is up to you, as it turns out I like peeled brandied apples better.
TIP: My aunt always used to tell me never to cook with alcohol that you wouldn’t drink. What she meant by this was not to go cheap on that particular ingredient as it will effect the end product.
Slice, core and ready your apple rings (I use an apple peeler whenever I am doing more than a couple of apples, it speeds up the process considerably). Treat them with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Here is the process: (source)
- Get the boiling water canner heating up, jars cleaned and sterile and lids in hot water ready for use.
- Combine the sugar and water in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until sugar is dissolved.
- Add food coloring, if using it, and apple rings – return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until apples are slightly tender and, if using food coloring, the desired shade of red, about 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your apple slices or rings. Remove from heat.
- Remove apple rings from syrup using a slotted spoon, and sit aside in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Keeping the mixture hot for canning stir in brandy. The reason why do you this at the end is because to do so earlier would cook off all the alcohol.
- Pack hot apple rings loosely into sterile jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup into jars to cover apple rings leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
- Process jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes (adjust time for altitude). Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. If anything didn’t seal, check jar rims for chips, replace with a new lid and ring the re-process the jar.
Enjoy your home canned brandied apples!
Please note: As the title suggests, the finished product will contain alcohol! Also note – there are many recipes on the internet for home-canned brandied apples, any similarities are merely a coincidence.