Every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas my grandmother, Mabel Eckroat, made cinnamon apples. I cannot image a holiday without them! I make several packages of apples and share them with family and friends and now they can’t imagine a holiday without them either :-).
Cinnamon apple rings are served cold and can last several weeks in the refrigerator.
The apples are cooked in a mixture of water, sugar, and red hots. Use apples that will hold up to being simmered for 1-2 hours. Granny Smith’s are what I can usually find at my store in Texas. I cook them in a Kobenstyle enameled casserole dish.
The apple-cooking day begins early. Pour 6-7 cups water into the pan (about 2″ deep). Add about a cup of sugar and about 1 bag of red hots. Turn the heat to low-medium. Stir occasionally until the red hots are melted.
Core, peel, then slice 2 apples. Slices should be about 1/4″ thick. Place the slices in the pot, overlapping as necessary.
Let the apples simmer. When they look about like this, carefully turn them over. I use a big, slotted spoon for this task. Keep your spoon in a 2-cup measuring cup that has water in it and any gooey red hots will get dissolved off the spoon.
Let them simmer some more. The first batch can easily take 2 hours. If you have too much water, the apples will lose their shape. This corrects itself as water is cooked off. Too little water and you have syrup – add more water.
You should see simmering, not a rolling boil. And your house is going to have a wonderful, cinnamon-y smell!
The finished apples look like this. I still need to pour a bit of the remaining syrup over them to keep them moist. I do that after I’ve cooked all I’m going to cook. Store them covered in the refrigerator.
To continue… Add some more water to your pan to bring the level up to the level you began at (unless that was too much water), add some more sugar (1/4-1/2 cup), and some more red hots. You can taste one of the apples from your first batch and adjust sugar and red hot amounts to suit you. As you are preparing your next 2 apples, the red hots will melt. Stir the mixture and begin again.
I sometimes take 2 days to cook apples. The syrup can stay on the stove (with a lid on the pot) overnight. That makes it much easier to begin again on Day 2.
It takes more red hots than you would think. I’m guessing I’ll use 5-7 bags for the 16 apples I’m cooking.