The apples are huge and beautiful. 15 apples filled a 2 gallon bucket:
After much research online, I came up with a basic recipe and process that felt do-able. The recipe is at the end of the post. Here is the process we followed:
1. Wash, peel, core, and slice apples. With these large apples, two apples = one quart.
2. As the apples were sliced/chopped, we put them in another bucket with cold water and lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
3. Blanch apples to stop the enzymes that can cause the flavor to degrade during storage. Place about six cups of apples at a time in a big pot of boiling water. Return to boil, boil 1 minute, and remove. We simply returned them to another clean bucket and put a lid on them to keep them warm.
4. Make the sauce: Combine sugar, Clear Jel (this is a whole new product for me - look it up online. I bought it from amazon.com - make sure you get the "cook type"), and cinnamon in large pot with water and apple juice. Stir and cook on medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
5. Fold in drained apples. Fill jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Process 25 minutes.
Apple Pie Filling - makes 6 quarts
6 1/2 quarts (approximately 25 cups) We only used 13 huge apples
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup Clear Jel
1 T. cinnamon
2 1/2 cups cold water
5 cups apple juice
3/4 cup bottled lemon juice - bottled lemon juice ensures consistency acidity needed
Now...to try an apple pie!
9-19-16: Note from second batch: It really helps to mix the sugar, Clear-Jel, and cinnamon together before adding the liquid - no lumps!