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Time to can apples!

It's my favorite time of the year - autumn!  Cool nights, changing leaves, Halloween...and APPLES!

We go apple crazy every fall.  We go apple picking and then I like to buy damaged apples ("seconds") as well.  They're perfect for canning recipes.  I also love canning apples because then I have that fresh taste of autumn ready in the pantry all winter long.  Plus, they make excellent gifts for the holidays!

Here are some of my favorite apple canning ideas:

Applesauce.  Gotta love good old fashioned applesauce.  It's a great, healthy snack for kids and adults.  Perfect to put in a small container for a school lunch.  A treat around Hanukkah when eaten with homemade latkes.  So simple and delicious.  We always skip the sugar and sometimes add cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.   It makes the house smell amazing!   We also like applesauce fruit blends, especially my son.  Blueberry, strawberry, and peach applesauce are all fabulous.  It's still peach season in much of the US, so stock up on some local peaches or go peach picking, too!

Apple pie filling.  By canning homemade apple pie filling now, it makes holiday desserts a breeze!  With a tasty apple pie filling ready to go, all you need to worry about is the crust.  It will be the hit of Thanksgiving dinner and half the work will be done in advance.   It's good for other stuff, too, like an ice cream topping or a crepe filling.

Apple butter.  For a quick and easy breakfast all winter long, keep jars of homemade apple butter handy.  Spread on toast or English muffins, serve with fruit, and you're ready to start your day!  

Apple-Maple Jam.  This tastes like pure New England to me.  I live in Massachusetts, so with local apples and local maple syrup that we stock up on in the spring, we make this New England treat.   Like the apple butter, all you have to do is spread on toast and enjoy.