Canning Spiced Apple Rings

Update: If canning is your “thing” be sure to visit my new growing, canning, and preserving site at Seed to Pantry. I’ll be adding new canning tips and techniques on a regular basis!

If you grew up in the 1950’s or 60’s you may fondly remember spiced apple rings. In an age when boxed spaghetti and sauce and brightly colored Cool-Aid (with cyclamates!) were de rigueur, spiced apple rings held a special place, served with Sunday dinner or on special occasions. Over the years they seem to have fallen out of favor, along with the artificial coloring that made them almost beet-red. But I find that as I approach the half-century mark I am nostalgic for some old-time foods. Luckily spiced apple rings are easy and cost effective to make yourself.

Start with about 5 pounds of 2 1/2 inch diameter apples (I chose Gala apples).

Gala applesPeel and core the apples. Slice into about 1/2 inch rings. Add apple rings to a large pot filled with 8 cups of water and 2 Tbsp of vinegar (prevents the apples from browning).

In another large pot (6-8 quarts) combine 4 1/2 cups of sugar, 2 1/4 cups water, 1/3 cup red hot cinnamon candies, 1/2 cup cider vinegar (5% acidity), 1 sliced lemon, 1 Tbsp whole cloves, 1 Tbsp whole allspice and 1/2 Tbsp ground mace.

Bring to a boil over medium heat. Be sure to stir almost constantly so the sugar doesn’t burn. Reduce heat and let simmer 3-5 minutes (the candy should be dissolved by this point).  Drain the apple rings and add to the syrup.

Gently stir the apple rings into the syrup and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Fill 4-5 clean, hot, pint canning jars with the apple rings. Strain the hot syrup to remove the whole spices and lemon. Pour the strained syrup over the rings leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the jar lips with a moist paper towel, add lids, and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

As you can see the rings are not bright red! Although they will continue to absorb the red coloring as they sit, if you really want a bright red ring add a few drops of red food coloring to the syrup mixture. Like any pickled product, the rings will be better after sitting for 3 weeks, so plan to make them now for the holiday season! This recipe made more than 5 pints. Since I had only cleaned 5 jars, the remaining rings and syrup went into the refrigerator for snacks. The unprocessed rings are not as soft or as flavorful as the canned rings will be when I serve them, but still delicious! Spiced apple rings are a great holiday gift. Simply cover the jar lids with some brightly colored cloth and a bow. Don’t forget to add a label with the canning details so your recipient knows that they were properly canned. Include the date, method (water bath canner) and length of time (10 minutes). You might also want to include the recipe source. My recipe was adapted from the Heinz Successful Pickling Guide.

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

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  1. […] See this older post that includes the directions. Do you have a favorite winter canning project? Or suffer from food nostalgia too? Please share your favorites with us! Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_border", "ebeff2"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "333333"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "3a6999"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_url", "a11b1b"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "food"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "healthy-living"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "urban-homesteading"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "apples"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "canning"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "food"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "recipes"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_sharethrough"); Share this:ShareTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponEmailFacebookPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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