Apple Cranberry Crisp

Preserving the Good Life

This is one of those mouth-watering recipes that can be used as a side dish at Thanksgiving, Christmas or as a dessert for any holiday occasion.


  • 3 cups chopped unpeeled apples
  • 2 cups whole raw cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water

Mix together the apples, cranberries and sugar in a casserole dish.  Top with 1/2 cup water.



  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup of oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Mix together the topping and sprinkle it over the cranberry, apple mixture.


Bake for 1 hour on 350 degrees.  This is delicious as a side or as a dessert, warmed and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!!!

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Canning Apple Pie Filling

Apple, apples, apples…..just one reason I love FALL!  This is one thing I wish I canned more of; it never fails, we go through apple pie filling quick!  I need to start making double what I think we will use.  It’s just too easy, grab a can of pie filling, throw it in a pie shell, bake and ta-da – Apple Pie!


  • 6 quarts of apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups of Clear Jel (found at most Amish stores)
  • 5 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 7 1/2 cups of apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice
  • 3/4 cup of lemon juice

In a large stock pot mix together Clear Jel, sugar, apple juice, lemon juice and spices.  Stir continually until the Clear Jel begins to thicken, it will look like store bought pie filling.  Once it begins to thicken, add in the apples and continue to stir.  Let all of the ingredients blend well, about 10 minutes.


When it gets to your desired thickness ladle into clean sterile jars leaving a generous 1 inch head space.  Canning with Clear Jel is tricky.  Be sure to leave extra head space, the Clear Jel tends to expand and increase in size as it increases in temperature. Wipe rims with a sterile cloth, place lid and ring and tighten finger tight.   Water bath for 35 minutes.  Let it sit in the canner for a few extra minutes before taking it out to prevent siphoning.


Now you’re one step closer to making the holidays and family get-togethers a little easier.

Apple Pie Pickles

I’m always looking to try something different.  This recipe got my attention and made my kitchen smell amazing!!!  It reminds me of spiced apples that I had years ago….


This makes 12 pints

  • 24 large apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
  • 12 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Whole Cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon of Apple Pie Spice

Core and slice apples then pack them into mason jars with cinnamon sticks.


In a small pot, cook remaining ingredients over medium heat until sugar and salt dissolve.


Remove from heat and carefully ladle pickling liquid over apples, dividing spices evenly among jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.   Gently tap jar against the table to release any air bubbles.  Apply hot lids and rings tightened fingertip tight.  Water bath for 10 minutes.  Let sit for 2 weeks before opening.



Canning Water for Emergencies

We just missed Hurricane Florence but so many family and friends weren’t so lucky.  As it was heading our way I felt the need to prepare myself just a little more than usual.

My husband thought I was crazy – but let’s be real a minute.  It takes just as much space to store an empty jar as it does one full of water.  So why not take a few minutes to fill some jars full of water and water bath them for 20 minutes.  Then in the event of an emergency that’s one less thing that you have to worry about.  When everyone else is running out to buy water…no worries, you’re covered.  And if you need the jar before you need the water, open the jar and use the water to fill the canner.  After all that consideration, it seemed like a no brainer to me.


I re-used canning lids so there was no expense, just a little bit of time invested.  Once I started talking about this several said they’d done the same thing every time they needed to fill a canner they’d add jars of water…

I filled sterile jars with tap “city” water leaving 1/2 in head space.  You can use filtered water if you prefer.  I boiled lids I had saved from previous canned goods, tightened those down with sterile rings.  I then water bathed them for 20 minutes.


Canning Grape Juice

My Grandmother used to can this and Tomato Juice in half gallon jars….oh how I miss her….maybe just a small portion of her lives on in me.


I canned mine in half gallons, the biggest challenge was finding a pot deep enough to submerged the jars for water bathing.  This recipe is for QUART jars.  In each quart jar I put…


One cup of grapes (rinsed well).



One half cup of sugar – if desired.  I have canned grapes with water and no sugar so I can add stevia when I open and serve.



I filled each jar to  with boiling water leaving 1/2 inch head space.

I tightened my hot lids and rings onto the jars (I gave them a little shake to make sure the sugar dissolved).

Then I processed the jars in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

The juice does need to sit for at least two months so the juices and sugar can blend.  It starts out a pale barely pink color, but within a few weeks begins to darken to a deep purple.

When it comes time to drink the juice, we strain out the grapes as we pour and enjoy!

We have always made this from our home grown Concord grapes, but the same method can be used with any type of grape… and even cranberries!20180819_194133_Burst01-1

Peach Butter

Apple Butter with a twist – PEACH BUTTER!  YUM!  As we wrapped up this peach season I couldn’t let any peaches go to waste – so peach butter it is.  Give me a hot homemade biscuit and this girl will be happy!!!  YUM!


  • 20-24 peaches (depending on the size) – enough to give you 8 cups of peach puree
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon allspice

Peel and pit the peaches, then puree in a food processor. You’ll want a total of 8 cups of peach puree.


Pour puree into a large, heavy bottomed pot and add sugar. Over medium heat, bring peach mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and scorching.  Boil until the mixture is thickened and reduced by about one third, again, stirring to prevent sticking and scorching.  For us this took about 20-25 minutes.

Remove the thickened puree from the heat and stir in the spices.  Stir, stir, stir to mix evenly.  Notice how much the peaches cooked down.


If canning, pour into clean, sterilized canning jars and process for 10 minutes using the water bath canning method.

Any left over peach butter should be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Canning Tomato Juice

Hard work but worth every ounce of effort.  One of my favorites ~ tomato juice!  This is one thing that I craved when I was pregnant and I could drink it straight from the jar.

Wash, quarter and core the tomatoes.


Then we run them thru the juicer – peelings, seeds and all.  This is a family effort at our house.


Once all of the juice is extracted we do run the pulp back through the juicer, grinder or food mill once more for good measure.  After the second run, we heat the juice in a big stainless steel stock pot continuously stirring and skimming off the foam.


Once all of the foam has been removed we being filling sterile jars with juice.  We add 1 teaspoon of canning salt to each jar and give them a stir.


Wipe the rims with a sterile cloth, place the hot lids and rings, tighten the rings and water bath for 40 minutes.


Once you’re ready to open – give it a good shake and ENJOY!   This also makes a great soup base.


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