This recipe is for crab apples, but I used small, under ripe golden and red delicious. The recipe is for pints, but I did mine in quarts. I have no idea how these will turn out, but the apples held their shape without exploding which is always a good sign when bottling fruit. I added a bit of food colouring, but you could easily omit it. If you used light skinned apples you could do one batch red, and one green for Christmas. Wouldn't that upstage aunt Mildred's gelatin mould!
From the Ball Blue Book of Canning:
2 quarts crab apples with stems-about 2 1/2 pounds
6 cups sugar
3 cups vinegar (I used cider)
3 cups water
2 sticks cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons allspice
1 1/2 tablespoons whole cloves.
Prick apples to prevent bursting, and set aside (I used a toothpick). Combine sugar, vinegar, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Tie spices in a bag (or cheesecloth) and add to mixture. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add apples one layer at a time. Simmer until tender. Remove apples from liquid and set in a large bowl. Bring liquid to a boil. Ladle liquid over apples and cover. Let stand 12-18 hours in a cool place.
Heat jars. Return pickling liquid to a large saucepot and bring to a boil. Pack apples into hot jars, pour over liquid. Remove air bubbles, wipe treads clean, and seal. Process 15 minutes for pints, 20 for quarts. Let stand in canner 5 minutes before removing to a spot that is not drafty. Leave undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Makes 2 quarts or about 6 pints.