The best tips for canning apples are to prepare them properly, to add a syrup that will enhance the canning process, and to properly can them in a water bath canner. There are multiple ways to prepare apples for canning. Each method has a few important steps, such as preventing browning, to take into consideration. Once the apples are prepared, the next step is to make sure the ingredients that you put into the jar with them will serve to enhance the canning process. The few final tips are about the actual canning process and will help to ensure food safety and quality.
When canning apples, it is often helpful to have a peeler, corer, and slicer on hand to make preparation easier, although the canning can be accomplished without any of those gadgets. It is a good idea to adjust the thickness of the apple slices based on how they will be used after canning. Canned apples that are meant to be used in pie or other dessert need to be a little bit thicker in order to create the right consistency. Another tip for canning apples is to avoid letting the apples brown as it affects their look and causes them to lose vitamin C. The best way to avoid this is to treat them with ascorbic or citric acid, although it can also be done with a lemon juice mixture.
The apples can be put into the canning jars either raw or cooked, but either way, additional liquid needs to be added to the jars. The most popular addition when canning apples is a simple sugar syrup that can be heavy or light, depending on personal preference. Other ways to treat the apples include adding dry sugar or honey instead. The important thing is to put something in the jars with the apples to help them soften and sweeten while they are being canned.
Apples are an acidic food and can, therefore, be canned in a water bath canner as opposed to a pressure canner. It is still important, however, to make sure that every guideline regarding the water bath is followed so that all potentially harmful bacteria are killed and that the jars are properly sealed. One of the biggest things to watch out for is how elevation and the size of the jars affects the processing time in the canner. The higher the elevation and the bigger the jars, the longer they need to be in the canner to be properly processed.