A sweet crust base and stovetop filling yield 12 jars of homespun gifts.
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Preheat oven to 375°F. Sift all dry ingredients together into food processor. Cut butter into cubes, toss well. Pulse about 15 times, one-second pulses. Dough will be dry and crumbly.
Butter or spray the bottoms of the canning jars. Portion ¼ cup of powdery dough into the jar. Use a drinking glass slightly smaller than the canning jar to press the dough into the bottom, allowing some of the powder to climb the sides of the jar.
Place the jars on a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven; bake for 15 minutes and cool.
Mix juice and starch in large stock pot set on low heat. Peel, core, and dice apples, placing them in the liquid as you work. Stir frequently: the apple juice will keep the apples from browning.
When all the apples are diced, raise the heat to medium high, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir every 5 minutes until liquid is thickened and apples are cooked and glassy. Spice if desired. Remove to a large bowl to cool.
When shortbread base and apple filling are cool, layer the filling into the jars. Place a whole cookie OR a crumbled cookie over the top of the pie filling. Do not press or they will get soggy.
Hand tighten the seal and ring for the canning jar, using a layer of holiday fabric in between.