Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Canning: Apple Sauce & Cider

As I stock my pantry, I've been asked what recipes I've used, and how to do it. 
So I thought why not share what I have been up to while the blog has been pretty quiet!
First, you may want to check out my safety post!

I've decided to share my Apple Sauce and Cider first because they have been the easiest to can!

Applesauce is pretty easy to make, and normally I just make it when I have some apples that need to be used. This year I decided to grab a couple bags on sale (Oh how I wish my apple trees produced this many, but they will soon enough!) and can a big batch to have on hand.   I found that you can make a "cider" (and I use the term loosely, because it's not exact like you'd get at an apple farm, but close) from your skins, cores and  extra pieces.

Now, I know I really preached the importance of recipes in my safety post, and here I am not posting an exact recipe. But if you check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation Applesauce, they don't either! That's why I decided to start with this first! 

To make my applesauce, I used my peeler, slicer, corer to get the apples ready, then I threw them in a heavy bottomed pot (so you don't scorch the bottom on accident) with a couple inches of water and let them cook down. To speed up the process, once soft I mash the apples using my immersion blender.  If your sauce is more of an apple butter consistency add more water, if its runny let it cook out. If you prefer plain applesauce, your done. If cinnamon is more your style, add to taste. 
That's it! I told you, easy!

 To can, funnel your hot applesauce into clean, hot jars (I fill my kitchen sink with hot water, and put all the jars I can fit in), wipe your rims, add your lids and rings. Place in your hot water bath for 15 min for pints, and 20 for quarts.  

Now for the cider! Again, I use this term loosely because it's not cider like you buy at an orchard.
They make theirs by mashing down entire apples and then pressing the juices out of the apple.
To make an at home knock off version of cider, you can boil down your cores and skins. So if your making a big batch of applesauce, don't throw the extra pieces away. Put them in a kettle of water and let it boil down. When I was doing this all I could think of was that I was making apple broth. If you plan on trying to make cider, you may want to get organic apples since you are boiling the skins.

In my Putting Food By book, it has directions for Apple Juice:

"Apple Juice: Wash and Cut apples, discarding stem and blossom ends. Do no peel or core (you make even use the peels leftover from making apples sauce). Barely cover with cold water and bring to a boil over moderate heat and simmer until apples are quite soft - about 30 minutes."

Now, I let me simmer for most of the morning since I was busy making and canning my applesauce. I also added cinnamon to taste. Then I strained and Processed in a Hot Water bath for 30 minutes for pints or quarts per the books instructions. 

If you want to try it without canning, I almost went with this recipe! 

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