Appalachian Food

How to Make Apple Preserves

How to make apple preserves

Apple Preserves – From the Ball Blue Book of Preserving

  • 6 cups sliced apples that have been peeled
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 package of sure-jell or other pectin
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced and seeded lemon
  • 4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon nutmeg (I used cinnamon instead)

Easy apple preserves recipe from appalachia

Combine apples, water, and lemon juice in a large sauce-pot; simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in sure-jell. Bring to a boil stirring frequently.

Add lemon slices and sugar. When mixture comes to a rolling boil, boil for one minute. Stir in nutmeg or cinnamon. Ladle hot preserves into hot jars and seal. Makes about 6 half-pints.

Old timey apple preserves

The apple preserves are delicious on a biscuit, but let me tell you they’re not half bad on a piece of light bread. If you’re not a fan of lemon rind (I found out later the girls are not) you could leave it out and I think the preserves would still be really good.

We harvested our largest crop of apples this year-which still isn’t all that much compared to other folks. I’m tickled to death over my run of apple preserves, 10 quarts of applesauce, and half a gallon of dried apples. AND we still have a basket of apple to eat on during the coming months.


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  • Reply
    Richard Beauchamp
    September 6, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Tipper I have a store bought apple picker with a wooden handle about 10 feet long looks like a long hoe handle. the picker its self is a wire basket open on one side and the other side is wire that comes up and curls over to form fingers that slide over the stem when the apple is in the open side of the basket then a slight pull and the apple goes in the basket. It holds 5 or 6 apples depending on their size. I will try to take a picture and send you. My trees are young and too small to bear.

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    September 6, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Ooooo, this looks and sounds so good!!!! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    September 5, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Sounds wonderful. I bet this would also be good on ice cream, or waffles, or pancakes. Yum!!!
    God bless.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    That sounds like quite an impressive harvest to me! I have only one old, wild apple tree left on my place now, and half of it got torn down in a storm last year. It always seems like a miracle when little apples appear, and there are few, so I leave them for wildlife. Luckily there is an old and formerly-neglected orchard in the next town, which has been lovingly (and hard-workingly) brought back into health and production by a determined woman, and I go there every autumn for apples. She grows the familiar New England standards, and also a number of heritage varieties, and presses wonderful cider. I freeze 8 gallons of the cider to get me through til Spring. Nothing like the smell and taste of fresh apples in the middle of February! Bet your applesauce has the exact same effect 🙂

  • Reply
    September 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I’m like B. Ruth and Pinnacle Creek, I love anything Apples. We use to have lots of Apple Trees (an Orchard) on our place, but now they’re just a nice memory. Back then, we had lots of help, except for my oldest brother who had been called to the Korean War. God looked after him and sent him back safe.
    I got lots of Pears this year, if someone don’t steal them all. They’ll be ready in October. I’ll bring Chitter and Chatter a box full if I can. I remember they like them halfed and stored in the frig. overnight…Ken

  • Reply
    September 5, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    I have three apple trees and can never spray them at the right time to keep the worms out.
    One year I had a bumper crop of Golden Delicious without worms but the Granny Smith and Red Delicious were all wormy. I sprayed them all at the same times.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 5, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Those sure do look good. I’m partial to anything apple but especially fried apple pies. Even here in the edge of Georgia apple country it isn’t so easy to find good fried pies.
    I had to smile that you wrote “light bread”. Thats what I have called it all my life to. My father-in-law remembers the first slice he ever ate. His Dad brought homeone loaf and each child got one silce. He thought it was the best thing he had ever eaten in his life.
    I suspect the name comes from Numbers 21:5 in the KJV bible which says in part “….our soul loatheth this light bread.” But if that is the case, just how are we to understand how our forbearers thought about it? They may have felt about it what my Dad used to say, that “it won’t stay with you” from one meal to the next on a working day.

  • Reply
    Chuck Howell
    September 5, 2016 at 10:52 am

    “Tickled Pink.” We are celebrating Community gardens here in Los Angeles. Free to all. Kinda like “Johnny Appleseed.” Replacing grass on parkways with Tomatoes, Artichokes, Cucumbers, Collard Greens etc. Fun!

  • Reply
    September 5, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Oh, this recipe makes my mouth water. I really enjoy applesauce and apple preserves. Makes me wish I had an apple tree in the yard. What kind of apple did you use? Happy Labor Day to all!

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    September 5, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Aw but these are the best treat ever…..pears as well. I never canned much except jelly .Mamaw would make fried pies and pies with these and they were so good!

  • Reply
    September 5, 2016 at 8:58 am

    It seems just like yesterday when it seemed there were apples and apple trees everywhere at our mountain top home. One could disappear all day and survive very well on apples, garden tomatoes, and berries. I ate so many apples that I wouldn’t touch them for years, with my uncle telling me I got “foundered.”
    In the last few years the taste came back, and nothing more enjoyable than a peeled and sliced Red Delicious. There were so many varieties in those days that the difference in taste was almost like another fruit. My mind’s eye can still see the numerous yellow jackets, and I guess honey bees, buzzing around the rotting apples. We were rarely stung unless we just happened to step on a honey bee with bare feet.
    My favorite dessert never changed, however. The fried apple pies have always been the best thing I have ever tasted. If there was anything as good, it would have to have been my Mom’s apple pies made from the sauce rather than the cut up apples. One would think I would have learned how to make a fried apple pie with eyes closed. Not! My best efforts have always resulted in an inside out disaster. Those apple preserves are looking really great, and I am sure they will taste wonderful when the cold wind is blowing outside.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 5, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Yeah for the apple trees!!! Those preserves look good enough to skip the bread and go at it with a spoon! I do love good apples and by good apples I mean the ones on a tree in your yard not the ones coated with wax in the grocery store.
    That’s a lot of dried apples. They will sure be good this winter.
    Tip, do you have the recipe for apple pie filling that Brian’s wife makes? The Deer Hunter says it awfully good.

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    September 5, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Last year i had tons of apples and this year i don’t even have enough to make fried apple pies.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    September 5, 2016 at 6:11 am

    I love Apple anything, Applesauce, Apple jelly and Preserves, Apple Dumpling’s, Apple Pie. Apple Stack Cakes, Apple Spice Cake, Apple Cider, Apple Juice, Candy Apples, etc. etc. I am a Johnny Appleseed kind of person, and yes vinegar! Ha
    But my very favorite thang and being a true Appalachian kind of gal, I can’t believe you didn’t list it in your apple delicacies for your larder. That would be, are you ready? Here it comes? Good ole cooked down brown Apple Butter. Of course it’s better made outside in a cast iron pot!
    Yummm, I love the stuff on buttered biscuits or served on the side.
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS Thanks for the easy-peasy recipe!

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