Spiced Apple Rings

Nostalgic for some tasty, old-fashioned treats? Start with spiced, candied apple rings.

spiced apple rings

If you grew up in the 1950’s or 60’s you may fondly remember spiced apple rings. In an age when boxed spaghetti and sauce and brightly colored Kool-Aid® (with cyclamates!) were de rigueur, spiced apple rings held a special place, served with Sunday dinner or for fancy events. Over the years they have fallen out of favor, along with the artificial coloring that made them almost beet-red. But I find that sometimes food nostalgia drives my canning/preserving and spiced, candied apple rings fall into this category.

Making Spiced Apple Rings

These apple rings still taste just as good as I remember and are an easy canning project. Plus, you don’t have to be “of a certain age” to enjoy them – my young daughter-in-law requested them this year and the grandchildren like them too.

Spiced Apple Rings
Nostalgic for some tasty, old-fashioned treats? Start with spiced, candied apple rings.
Recipe type: Canning
Serves: 5 pints
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 5 pounds of 2 ½ inch diameter apples
  • 8 cups of water and 2 Tbsp of vinegar
  • 4 ½ cups of sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • ⅓ cup red hot cinnamon candies
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 Tbsp whole allspice berries
  • ½ Tbsp ground mace
  1. Peel and core the apples. Slice into ½ inch rings. Add apple rings to a large pot filled with the 8 cups of water and 2 Tbsp vinegar to prevent the apples from browning.
  2. In another large pot combine the remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Be sure to stir almost constantly so the sugar doesn’t burn. Reduce heat and let simmer 3-5 minutes (the candy should be dissolved by this point).
  4. Drain the apple rings and add to the syrup. Gently stir the apple rings into the syrup and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Fill 4-5 clean, hot, pint canning jars with the apple rings. Remove the lemon slices from the syrup.
  6. Pour the syrup over the rings leaving ½ inch headspace. Wipe the jar lips with a moist paper towel, add lids, and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Are Your Apple Rings Red?

As you can see the rings are not bright red! They will continue to absorb the red coloring as they sit but if you really want them to be bright red add a few drops of red food coloring to the syrup mixture.

Like any pickled product, the rings will be better after sitting for 3 weeks, so plan to make them now for the holiday season. his recipe made more than 5 pints. Since I had only cleaned 5 jars, the remaining rings and syrup went into the refrigerator for snacks.

What to do with Spiced Apple Rings

Spiced apple rings are a great holiday gift. Simply cover the jar lids with some brightly colored cloth and a bow. Don’t forget to add a label with the canning details so your recipient knows that they were properly canned. Include the date, processing method (water bath canner) and processing time (10 minutes). You might also want to include the recipe source. This recipe was adapted from the Heinz Successful Pickling Guide.

They also are delicious with a comfort food meal. The other night I served them with stewed beans and a pasta casserole to rave reviews from the grandchildren. Or serve spiced apple rings as an accompaniment to chicken cutlets or pork chops.

More Canning Information

Pickling is a wonderful canning project, for new and experienced home canners alike.

Need help with the process? See our water bath tutorial.

Looking for some basic home canning tips and recipes? Sign up for our newsletter on the sidebar.

by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at SeedToPantry.com. Find her professional food writing info at PenandProvisions.com.

September 28, 2016

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  1. Sherrie

    How do you keep the apples from floating above the syrup?

    • Renee Pottle

      Sherrie, unfortunately there is almost always some fruit float in home canned products. But, to limit that as much as we are able, make sure the apple rings are heated through in the syrup before placing in the jars.

  2. skip

    The 1st time I made these, I didn’t like picking out the spices from the rings. Now I am going to try making the syrup and letting it sit a day or two, then straining it. Hopefully the syrup will be infused enough

    • Renee Pottle

      Skip, that should work too. The flavor just won’t get more intense as the apple rings sit. A really good idea!

    • Carol C Kent

      use a spice bag

      • Renee Pottle

        Absolutely! But sometimes spice bags are hard to find. In that case, cheesecloth works great.



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