Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Adventures in Apples Day 2

First of all, some pics from yesterday's work because I didn't do too good of a job of taking them yesterday.

Except the applesauce, and yesterday they didn't have these cute printable {stickers}. I just printed them on paper and cut them out and taped them on, because I didn't have any sticker paper and anyway I don't really care to stick stickers to my jars, they're a pain to have to wash off later.

I'm still not sure if my jelly set or not. When I turn the jar kinda sideways, it's kindof gel-ly, but kindof not. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be completely solid. Still thinking on this.

The Apple Cider Vinegar percolating. I read that when this stuff gets going, it starts bubbling up and out and can make a big mess so I sat the jar in my awesome very big glass Lys mixing bowl from Duralex made in France that I found at a yard sale for $1.00 last week.

For today's apple adventure, I planned to make Apple Pie Filling out of the Granny Smiths.

Earlier this year I canned some Apple Pie Filling using some Red Delicious apples I'd gotten on sale at Aldi and had been sitting around a bit and were kindly mushy. (We've ate apple pies made from it and they tasted fine, good.) Anyway I was informed that the best pie apples were tart apples like Granny Smiths ( disagrees and says you should use sweet apples to cut down on the amount of sugar you have to add.) After the past couple of days I've about come to the desicion that you can do whatever, however, with-ever you want and it's O.K.

I peeled, cored, and chopped the apples and packed them in sterilized jars. I had them in a pan of water and lemon juice to try to prevent them from turning brown, but it didn't work too well.

I didn't have enough Granny Smiths to fill 6 quarts so I ended up mixing in a few McIntosh and Gala, too.

I used this recipe from Little House in the Suburbs:

4 1/2 cups white sugar
1 Cup cornstarch
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
10 cups water
3 T. lemon juice
6 pounds apples

1. In a large pan, mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add salt and water and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.

I filled the jars of apples with the syrup mixture, using a plastic spoon handle to push and poke it down and around into the apples.

Topped with a (boiling) lid and ring. It's always important, but especially important with these to make sure to wipe the top/lip of the jar off very good before putting the lid on. This stuff is messy and sticky and if any bit is left on the top/lip of the jar it can cause it to not seal.

Processed in water bath canner for 20 minutes.

All of mine sealed this time, YaY.

Like yesterday, I kept all the Leavings - the peels, cores, seeds and all. I put it in my pot, and added the pot of water and lemon juice that I had been soaking my apple pieces in.

I covered it, brought it to a rolling boil, then turned the heat down and simmered for...awhile. Some directions said 20 - 40 minutes, another said a couple of hours. I probably let mine simmer about an hour and a half.

I put 2 layers of cheesecloth in my colander and dumped all the boiled Leavings into it to separate the juice.
I currently have it covered with a dish towel and will let it drip overnight. I don't want to squeeze it because I'll get cloudy or stuff in my juice.

Tomorrow I'll boil this juice to reduce it by half, at which time I should have a batch of homemade Apple Pectin that I can Can and use in place of Sure-jell next time I make jelly/jam/perserves. (Although I have no idea how to do that.)

I was reading about making homemade Apple Cider and it's pretty much the same as this except it uses the entire apple, rather than just the leavings. I'm not sure if I heated this and added sugar I wouldn't have a glass of apple cider anyway.

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