Thursday, September 16, 2010

Harvest Time - APPLES II

I had a specific recipe in mind when Alex and I went to the Happy Apple Orchard to pick apples.  What better at harvest time than APPLE PIE!  A couple of years ago for Christmas my sister gave me a compliation of canning recipes.  I don't know where those recipes came from, so I just want to make it clear that this is NOT my recipe and I don't know whose it is, but it ROCKS!

I haven't done much canning outside of jams, as I am afraid of screwing it up.  A couple of years ago I made spiced peach jam.  I did something wrong because the pectin didn't make it set and I ended up with 12 jars of spiced peach syrup...which was yummy, but I digress.  This recipe was super easy, tastey and I didn't even break a jar when I used my pressure cooker to seal the jars!  WHOOHOOO!!!

Apple Pie Filling
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
10 cups water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
5 1/2 -6 pounds apples or 24 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples

In large pan blend first 4 ingredients.  add salt, stir in water.  Cook and stir until clear, thick and blubbling--sort of foamy.  Add raw apples to syrup as it is cooking and heat through.  Add lemon juice. 

Pack apples in jars leaving 1" head space and fill with hot syrup.  To seal, process in steaming water bath, 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts.

The easiest option for sealing these is to add the apples and syrup while they are still hot and turn them upside down until cool.  This is how I can my jams.  This time I opted to seal my cans using a pressure cooker.  I have a medium sized pressure cooker and was able to can three jars at a time.  I placed three pints sized jars in the pressure cooker, made sure they were not touching, filled it with 1 cup of water and placed the lid on it.  Once the pressure was established, I 'cooked' the jars for 5-6 minutes then turned the stop top off and allowed the pressure to reduce naturally. 

VOILA!  Now I have apple pie filling anytime I want it!

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