Makes about 6 (16 oz) pints
You will need:
4 cups granulated sugar
3 cups water
1 Tbsp red food coloring, optional
4-1/2 lb firm red apples, cored, cut into 1/4 inch rings, treated to prevent browning* and drained (about 14 medium)
1 cup brandy
6 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) COMBINE sugar and water in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring to dissolve sugar, about 5 minutes. Add food coloring, if using, and apple rings and return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until apples are slightly tender and, if using food coloring, the desired shade of red, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
3.) REMOVE apple rings from syrup using a slotted spoon, and place in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Return syrup to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and stir in brandy.
4.) PACK hot apple rings loosely into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup into jars to cover apple rings leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
5.) PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.