Fairely Well Maid

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Adventures in Canning

One of my best friends has three lovely apple trees in her yard and she is having a bumper crop this year.  So everyone is getting apples.  I decided to try my hand at canning.  I haven't done this since helping my Mom, very many years ago.  So, I started with something simple:  Apple Sauce.  I have made this before, only not canned it.  I started with six pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced then into a lemon juice and water bath.  Here are the apples.  They are small and taste like a macintosh, maybe a bit tarter.

I don't remove all the peel.  I don't mind a bit in my apple sauce
Sitting in a lemon juice and water bath waiting for the rest to be done.

I sterilized eight eight ounce jars along with their lids and rings in the large canning pot I borrowed from my Mom. 

Sterilized and waiting for applely goodness
With a lid on the canning jar so as not to loose too much heat from the water and the burner off, I started cooking down the apples.  The first couple of minutes you have to watch them carefully, so they don't scorch on the bottom of the pot.  I had the burner on a medium high heat.  These apples started to break apart in about 15 minutes.

Out came the potato masher and I broke them up.  I left them a bit chunky because I like it that way.  They were sweet enough and as I use apple sauce for a few different things, like baking, I usually don't sweeten it.  I did spice it with about a tablespoon of cinnamon and a half teaspoon each of nutmeg and clove.  I was able to fill all eight jars, leaving a half inch of space at the top, plus an eight ounce jar and a small container that I popped in the fridge.

Now for the water bath.  I brought the water in the canning jar up to a nice boil and gently, using the jar grippers, put the jars into the water, making sure there was at least two inches of water above the top of the jars.  I let them boil for 15 minutes, then took them out and placed them on a rack to cool.  Within five minutes I heard eight "pops".  They all sealed.

I know it's not sewing, but it is part of the whole getting back to hand made thing.  My sewing will start up again soon.  I have had some issues with my and my families health, plus several commission jobs that has set back my corset project.  I also need to make a new cloak for this coming weekend.

So, I hope you liked my little canning story.  There is more to come.  I'm going to try to make apple pie filling, apple butter and if I can get more apples, apple jam.