Our day of canning went well! I was so sticky during the process that I did not get any pictures! Oops!
One reader wanted to know how I was going to do this with the girls home and we had a great plan, but our plan did not go according to schedule! David called and said he had a required meeting to go to - so, they ended up getting to watch a movie during that time.
I love how my bushel of apples looks in this vintage cooler!
All this talk about apples reminds me of the Johnny Appleseed prayer, and I am indeed thankful for apples!
Oh, the Lord is good to me and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need: the sun, the rain and the appleseed. The Lord is good to me.I've tried different ways and gadgets to peel, core and slice apples. The method I've landed on for being the most efficient and with the least headache is simply to use an apple slicer - it automatically removes the core and gets the apples into pieces. Just peel the pieces and slice to desired thickness. Another option I discovered at the end of the day yesterday is just to peel the entire apple with a vegetable peeler and then use the slicer - this seemed quick as well!
You can simply place the apples in a bowl that is filled with water (make sure the water covers the apple slices) and let them sit there until you have enough to start working with. Lots of sources say to add lemon juice, but I never do and they are always fine!
First, we started the Apple Butter because it has to cook down for so long, my friend Marcia and I combined this recipe from several others, so I call this M&M Apple Butter (and just for clarification, there are no M&M's in this recipe!)
In a large dutch oven or soup kettle bring 4 c. apple juice or apple cider to a boil. Peel, core and chop about 8 lbs. of apples (approx. 15 large apples or 25 from the Happy Apple Farm). Place apples in hot juice and let cook until soft, about 40 minutes.
Remove from heat and ladle into food processor or blender in batches processing until smooth. Return to pan and add: 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, 1 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar.
Stir well and stir often!!!
Cook at a simmer/boil for 1 1/2-2 hours, until it cooks down and begins to thicken. Process half-pint jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. (Remember to add one minute for each 1,000 feet above sea level.)
A simple test to see if it is done is to take a cold plate and spoon a small amount onto the plate. If the juice separates, it still needs to cook.
Makes: 8-10 half-pints (Although, my batch yesterday made 20 jars! Maybe my apple measurements were off when I used grocery store apples.)
While that was cooking, we made a batch of Applesauce - this is the quickest of all three and really the easiest.
In a large dutch oven or soup kettle bring 2 c. apple juice or apple cider to a boil. Peel, core and chop about 8 lbs. of apples (approx. 15 large apples or 25 from the Happy Apple Farm). Place apples in hot juice and let cook until soft, about 40 minutes.
Remove from heat and ladle into food processor or blender in batches processing until smooth.
Process pint jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. (Remember to add one minute for each 1,000 feet above sea level.)
Makes: 4-6 pints
After we had the Applesauce in the canner, we started on Apple Pie Filling.
Apple Pie Filling (recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Home Canning Cookbook)
3 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. cornstarch
3 tsp. cinnamon
In a large saucepan, combine the above ingredients. Stir in 8 c. water; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Peel, core and slice approximately 8 lbs. apples (it took about 3 1/2 grocery store apples per quart size jar). Pack apples into quart size jars and fill with hot syrup leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a knife to distribute syrup. I used about 2 1/2 ladle fulls of syrup in each jar.
Seal jars and process in a water bath canner for 30 minutes.
Makes: 8-9 quarts
When you go to make your pie, prepare desired crust and place in pie plate. Empty one jar apple pie filling into crust and top with crumb topping or additional crust. Bake!
I have one more batch of applesauce to make today, but as I was finishing up last night - one little lady could not keep her hands out of the apple bowl. I finally cut up an entire apple for her which she finished every bite of!
Some of you have requested more ideas on using apples, so here are links to all the apple ideas I've posted! Also, check out the October issue of Country Home for lots of very fun apple ideas and Country Living for these adorable caramel apples!
Apple Crisp in canning jars
Spiced Apple Waffles
Apple Oatmeal Coffee Cake
Fresh Apple Muffins
Apple Fritters for an Apple-themed Family Night
Hot Caramel Apple Cider
Salad with Apples
Bob for Apples
Walnut Apple Dessert
Chicken Salad with Apples