Friday, October 07, 2005

Apple season...

A friend and I canned apple pie filling yesterday. It was a perfect day: 60 degrees outside, leaves falling from the trees and the kids bundled up in sweaters.

This is probably the easiest thing I have ever canned and I think it will taste wonderful. I almost never make apple pie because making the crust AND the filling is just too time consuming, so now I can make a crust, open a jar and bake!

Fall is definitely in the air. We are expecting a freeze tonight so we will have to pick the rest of our garden which consists of a cantaloupe and a couple of poblano chilies. In a couple of weeks the leaves will be gone, blown away until next spring. I guess it is time to enjoy the last of the season's beauty and warmth and then settle in for the winter.

Enjoy your weekend, ladies!
Here is the recipe for the apple pie filling (I used the recipe from Mary Jane's Ideabook-Cookbook-Lifebook, but I made a few changes).

18 pounds red-skinned cooking apples (I used Jonathon)
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
10 cups water
3 TB. lemon juice

You will need 7 quart-sized canning jars with lids and rings. Also, click here if you need to know about canning safety.

Wash apples, the peel, core and slice. Place apples in a large bowl with some lemon juice (about 2 TB. per 5 cups of water) to avoid browning.

In a large pot, combine sugar, starch, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for approximately 15 minutes or until thick and caramel colored. (I found that once the mixture starts boiling, it only takes a couple minutes for it to be ready). Remove from heat and stir in 3 TB. lemon juice.

Ladle apples into sterilized jars (I found that you have to pack them in firmly-leaving about 1/2 inch headspace). Ladle the hot liquid over the apples to within 1/2 inch of the jar top. (Use a knife to make room for the liquid if needed). Process quarts for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Makes 7 quart jars.

Again, this was easy and rather fast compared to other things I have canned, and the sauce mixture tastes great so I am assuming this will make a great pie!