How do I? ...Relishes, Salads

Preparing and Canning Relishes

Harvest Time Apple Relish

  • 8 pounds apples (crisp cooking variety such as Honey Crisp, Cameo, or Pink Lady)
  • 3 cups distilled white vinegar (5%)
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 8 pieces stick cinnamon (3 inches each)
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) finely chopped red Serrano pepper (about 4-6 peppers as purchased)

Yield: About 7 to 8 pint jars

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.


1.  Wash and rinse pint or half-pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to fill.  Prepare lids and ring bands according to manufacturer’s directions.

2.  Rinse apples well, peel if desired for best quality, and core.  Immerse prepared apples in a solution of 1 teaspoon ascorbic acid and 4 quarts of water to prevent browning.  Coarsely shred with food processor or dice by hand and return to ascorbic acid bath as you work.

3.  Rinse peppers and remove stem ends; trim to remove seeds then finely chop. 

4.  Combine vinegar, sugar, water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice, ginger and red pepper.  Heat while stirring to dissolve sugar; bring to a boil. 

5.  Drain apples and add to hot syrup.  Bring back to a boil.  Boil gently 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are mostly translucent.  Turn off heat.  Remove cinnamon sticks from relish mixture and place one piece in each jar.

6.  Fill hot fruit with syrup into hot jars, leaving ½-inch headspace, making sure fruit is completely covered with syrup.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed.  Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel.  Apply and adjust prepared canning lids. 
7.  Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1.  Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Harvest Time Apple Relish in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints or Half-pints 10 min 15 20

Notes:  Peeling apples is preferred for quality. Refrigerate any leftover relish from filling jars and enjoy freshly made!  Refrigerate the canned relish once jars are opened for use.

Developed at The University of Georgia, Athens.  Released by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences.  April 2015.

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