12 lbs firm tart apples (maximum diameter 2½ inches)
12 cups sugar
6 cups water
1¼ cups white vinegar (5 percent)
3 tbsp whole cloves
¾ cup red hot cinnamon candies or 8 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp red food coloring (optional)
Wash apples. To prevent discoloration, peel and slice one apple at a time. Immediately cut crosswise into ½-inch slices, remove core area with a melon baller and immerse in ascorbic acid solution. To make flavored syrup, combine sugar, water, vinegar, cloves, cinnamon candies (or cinnamon sticks) and food coloring in a 6-quart saucepan. Stir, heat to boil and simmer 3 minutes. Drain apples, add to hot syrup and cook 5 minutes.
Fill jars (preferably wide-mouth) with apple rings and hot flavored syrup, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in half-pints or pints in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Yields: 8 to 9 pints
Source: Adapted from National Center for Home Food Preservation