Posts Tagged With: Canning

Bread and Butter Pickles a Family Tradition

I have vivid memories of eating my aunts Marjorie’s bread and butter pickles as a kid  at her home in Loveland, Co. I remember sitting at her round oak kitchen table(that years before belonged to my grand mother)in the tiny two bedroom gray tar paper house. Aunt Marjorie and Uncle Jack loved to garden and preserve fresh organic food. They were children of the depression and lived a frugal life style but eat better than most kings.She was a master at canning and making preserves and learned a lot from her. If she were still alive today she would be 96 years old and still asking me if I wanted to go out to the garden to pick things for a dinner salad. Fast forward 12  years and I met and married my husband who had eaten many batches of home-made Bread and Butter Pickles too. His Mom and Dad loved to make them out of the garden on the farm. Where neighbors would ask for a jar every time they had a family function or made potato salad . Yet, for some reason I never thought of making a batch of my own sweet/sour/crunchy/onion filled jar of delight. Maybe I thought the process was to long and to complicated for an afternoon project. What I discovered was that this is easy to do in a day and I made about 8 pints my first try. They are as good as every memory I have of the pickles and I cant wait to share them with my kids.

close up of sliced cucumbers

close up of sliced cucumbers

So after looking through recipes that my elderly aunt sent to me. I found her hand written recipe for the wonderful pickles and one that I had copied out of  my mother-in-laws cook book 7 or 8 years ago. ( Again why did I wait so long??)I began with a small batch so that I could taste test them as I went through the process. I wanted a crispy tangy pickle and was not sure I would get it.Really for a beginner pickles are a perfect started point and cucumbers in the summer are always easy to grow or find.

To begin the process of making Bread and Butter Pickles you will need about 20 to 30 med sized pickling cucumbers with the blossom end removed. Removing the blossom end removes an enzyme that make the pickles go soft when heated. You also need around 3 to 4 yellow onions. The yellow stay crisper in the jar so we use them.

about 30 cucumbers and a hand full of hot peppers just in from the garden

about 30 cucumbers and a hand full of hot peppers just in from the garden

After I wash and slice the pickles and onions they soak together in a salt water brine for 5 to 6 hours. This improves the crunch factor and adds the needed salt to preserve the pickles over time. I made 1/4 inch pickle slices  with my mandoline slicer and added them to the brine in the early morning and headed off to a Dr appointment. After lunch I drained off the brine to remove the extra salt and rinsed them with cold water a couple of times and set them aside until the pickle syrup is finished.

cucumber slices soaking in brine

cucumber slices soaking in brine

spices added to apple cider vinegar then boiled

spices added to apple cider vinegar then boiled

After the spices sugar and vinegar boil for just a couple of minutes strain the spices through a cloth or sieve. Add the brined onions and cucumber slices to the stock pot and heat until very hot but not boiling.

heating cucumber slices. onion rings and spiced syrup together in a 5 quart non reactive stockpot

heating cucumber slices. onion rings and spiced syrup together in a 5 quart non reactive stockpot

When pickles are hot, pack into warm sterilized jars and top with enough of pickle syrup to cover all ingredients in the jar. Then clean the lip of each jar and cover with a clean lid and seal. Process all the jars in a boiling water bath for  ten minutes and cool on a flat surface. I got 8 and 1/2 quarts of pickles out of this batch of cucumbers. They should store well for over a year but may lose color the older they get.

packing hot pickles into jars

packing hot pickles into jars

Home made Bread and Butter Pickles.

Home made Bread and Butter Pickles

 

 

Bread and Butter Crispy Kerr pickles

 

20 to 25 med size sliced cucumbers

2 to 3 yellow med onions

3/4 cup salt

3 quarts water to cover sliced veg

Add salt into 4 quarts of warm water and add cucumbers and onions, let set 5 to 6 hours. Drain and rinse with cool water  a couple of times to remove extra salt.

Add to a large non-reactive stock pot:

5 cups apple cider vinegar

5 cups sugar

2 Tablespoon mixed pickle spices

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.

Bring mixture to a boil, boil 2 minutes and strain spices from syrup.

Add all the slices of onion and cucumber and heat until steaming but not boiling.

Pack into warm sterilized jars and top with sterilized rings and seals.  Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

remove and cool. Makes about 8 quarts .

Enjoy!

After the jars had cooled my son arrived for dinner that evening. I told him what I had made and I asked if he wanted to taste a few of the pickles and give me his opinion. He opened a jar took a fork and pulled out a large amount of dripping pickles and took a crunching bite. He then disappeared into the living room with the entire jar. A few minute later he reappeared in my kitchen with a fork and an empty pint jar. Astonished, I ask where were the rest of the pickles. He replied, rubbing his tummy,” I eat them”. So I know if nothing else Cody and I will eat them and they will never go to waste.

 

 

Categories: bread and butter pickles, canning, country cooking, cucumbers, pickles, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

West Virginia regional food favorite “Oliverio Italian Style Peppers”.

I love eating fresh home cooked food and I love even more being able to cook with things that are products of West Virginia. I am sure that all of you have the same feeling about food items from your home towns or places that you have traveled to over the years. Some times you just can not find a good replacement for a locally grown and packaged regional food and that is how most north Central West Virginia feels about these peppers. The peppers are one of my families favorite cooking staples. They are a wonderful mixture of traditional green and red bell peppers cooked in a wonderful tomato and olive oil sauce. The peppers come in several verities from the Sweet Peppers to Red Hot.

Oliverio Peppers

Oliverio Peppers

Oliverio peppers are manufactured only few minutes from my town in Clarksburg, West Virginia. They can be bought at major chain grocery stores all around the mid-Atlantic area including Washington DC and areas like Cincinnati Ohio. They were the creation of Antoinette Oliverio in 1930 and the family did not release these fine peppers to the public until 1972. Then only on a small-scale to local shops. When the pepper took off the family expanded their business to include pizza and pasta sauces, and peppers in vinegar sauces. You can take a look at the their website here at Oliverio Italian Peppers

So with summer heat beating down on us( today is 92 and 80%) it is my favorite time of year to cook with the peppers. Almost any one you talk to in my home town has a favorite way to use the peppers. Today I am going to share just a couple of ideas with all of you and them let your taste buds do the rest.

First is my personal favorite and  my oldest sons also… Venison Steak with Oliverio Peppers.

I wish I had thought to photograph the last time I made this very easy and rather inexpensive way to  make deer steak that  falls off the fork tender.  Really I am not sure this even counts for cooking but it is so good.

Place 4  med thick deer steaks into a slow cooker with one jar of sweet or med hot Oliverio Peppers with 1/3 cup water. Cook sauce and steaks on med setting of slow cooker for 6 hours. Then steaks are moist tender from all the tomato sauce that is bubbling up around them. I serve the steak with a side of pasta or rice and end up eating it all mixed together on my plate. We make this often when I know I will be getting home late in the evening.

The other a Giovanni sandwich. A staple sandwich at almost any Mom and Pop restaurant in my area. This sandwich is really simple to make and we have made it may times at home. You need a loaf of  Texas toast, a hamburger or sausage patty, a slice of american cheese and a jar of Oliverio’s peppers. The resulting sandwich is  a little like a pizza burger but with a little more spicy bite if you use the hotter of the peppers.

 

The

Giovanni sandwich with out peppers, bread, hamburger patty, american cheese.

Giovanni sandwich with out peppers, bread, hamburger patty, american cheese.

Then what a great sandwich looks like with the red and green peppers.. A little on the hot side but so wonderful.

Giovanni Sandwich with med hot peppers

The uses are endless and I just wanted to share an idea with you. If you are not from my area but like the ideas above and you do home canning why not try to make a something like this from your home garden. If you are looking for a way to use up extra tomatoes or peppers this is one that is worth trying for.

Categories: cooking, gardening, Oliverio Peppers, regional food, steak with peppers, Uncategorized, Venison, venison, West Virginia | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sauerkraut, Home Made the Traditional Way

Our family loves Sauerkraut and they have made it home-made for generations. I was fortunate to receive a used kraut cutter from my father in law over ten years ago. This ones made by Masketeers in Belington,West Virginia with Appalachian Hard wood.The antique crock is a more resent purchase but is around 50 years old  so the following post will be a traditional view of the Sauerkraut making process, they way that my in laws family has made it here in Appalachia over a hundred years. There are other vessels that people make their fermented vegetables in but for me I find the use of a lager crock useful because you are able to adjust the amount of ingredients to fit your family size. This batch is relatively small  using only four heads of cabbage. Making about 4 to 5 quarts of  kraut to cold store, with larger batches we can process them in my canner. I also use the traditional 8″ inch dinner plate and a clean rock to hold everything under the brine.

crock and sauerkraut cutter made in West Virginia

crock and sauerkraut cutter made in West Virginia

There are lots of wonderful information about the health benefits of sauerkraut and other fermented foods on the internet. This is just one of many sites that explains what  sauerkraut  can do to help improve your health. WellnessMama does a great job of explaining the basic health benefits of adding fermented foods back into our diets. One of my favorite pieces of information about sauerkraut is that is was the first line of defense against Scurvy  and the effects of limited intake of vitamin C. Who would have guessed that is very simple process would save lives of sailors around the world. That just one serving of sauerkraut may have three times the levels of vitamin c than raw cabbage.

So to begin with the basic ingredients for sauerkraut are cabbage, salt and time, nothing radical or hard to find, but the alterations on the basic recipe are endless. This time I used  my 5 gallon crock so that I could make enough kraut for a couple of dinners and share some with my son and a friend.  So while cabbage was on sale I picked up 4 heads of cabbage weighing about 6 pounds. I also bought  canning salt. This salt is for making pickles, sauerkraut, and other items that require salt that is Iodine FREE, it is also low in metal minerals so  there is less discoloration of the cabbage.We will talk more about this in a minute. Table salt is not recommended and Sea Salt my cause discoloration but will not effect the fermentation of the food. Try what you have and see if you are happy with the results.

Morton canning and pickling salt

Morton canning and pickling salt

 

cabbage sitting on top of kraut cutter and crock

cabbage sitting on top of kraut cutter and crock

The first step is know about the weight of the cabbage you plan to use so that you can start out with a low amount of salt. Many people complain that home-made sauerkraut is to salty.Fallowing this basic step will prevent a person from over salting. I use 1 table-spoon salt per pound of cabbage. In this case I have a little over six pounds of cabbage so I used 6 and 1/2 table spoons salt. Also important is what kind of salt you are using as sea salt is the mildest of store-bought salts and then canning salt and then table salt. This affects the outcome of the kraut, we want to ferment the cabbage not kill the flavor with salt.

The next  part is to shred the cabbage. Use any method that is easy for you, but I suggest that if you are making more than two heads of cabbage into kraut you will want a mandolin slicer  or a sauerkraut cutter both are widely available over the internet. Then shred the heads of cabbage in to you crock or bowel, making sure to not shred the core into your container.

Tom and Christopher Powers shredding cabbage in to 5 gallon crock

Tom and Christopher Powers shredding cabbage in to 5 gallon crock

shredded cabbage in 5 gallon crock

shredded cabbage in 5 gallon crock

After  each head of cabbage I add one table-spoon salt and add any remaining salt at the end. So in this process I added  4 tables spoons while shredding and a couple at the end. The next step is the work of the job,  is to wash you hands and mix the cabbage and salt throughout. Then begin to squeeze and crush the two together this helps speed up the break down of the cabbage and begins the weeping process. Mash, squeeze, muddle, or smash the cabbage about 20 minutes until enough juice forms to cover the cabbage when pressed into your container. I just used my hands and a potato masher. If enough juice is not formed to cover the cabbage add a small amount of water and salt. 1/2 cup water to 1/4 teaspoon salt.

weeping cabbage after mashing in salt for 20 minutes

weeping cabbage after mashing in salt for 20 minutes

The cabbage brine is a little foamy from all the action but there is enough brine to cover this mixture with a dinner plate and rock at this point. I happen to have a large heavy dinner plate that covers almost the entire surface of the brine and cabbage. So I add this and squish the cabbage down again making sure the brine rises to cover most of the plate.

dinner plate over cabbage covered in brine

dinner plate over cabbage covered in brine

In this photo you can see just the very edges of the cabbage are peeking out from under the plate. As long as this small section of cabbage is under the brine we have an air tight seal with enough room for the Co2 to escape around the plate and fermentation to begin. For extra protection that the brine level was high enough for at least 7 days, I used a second plate to displace more of the brine back over the edges of the crock and then topped it with a clean rock in a freezer bag.

two dinner plates , clean rock in baggy over fermenting cabbage

two dinner plates , clean rock in baggy over fermenting cabbage

This was now ready to cover with a cloth, piece of wood, any thing that will keep bugs out and set for the next week to ten days. At about 5 days I look to make sure there is still enough liquid  over the edges of the plate to make sure I am keeping that air tight seal. What I found was a very nice bubbly foam that the bacteria had cause by releasing Co2, the brine was still deep enough for a good seal and I recovered the crock for two more days. Then at 7 days I looked again and noticed the there was still plenty of foam being formed but that brine level was getting a little low so I added about 1/2 cup water to the top of the crock. I replaced the cover and waited 2 more days.

color change at day 5 fresh foam

color change at day 5 fresh foam

On day nine, I saw a no foam and started to see a little milky film forming on the top blue plate and a  few areas around the bottom plate that looked dark and oxidized. When using salt with a high metal mineral content the tops of the cabbage turn to a lead-colored gray. This is nothing that will hurt you but it is not a pleasant sight. Gray is not a great color for sauerkraut. Also watch for a mold, at times it will form on the bottom of the rock, bag, or plate as these areas are also exposed to the air. I usually can stop it before the problem really starts but today I did find a spot forming on the edge of the plastic bag. All these signs indicate that it is time to move the crock to a cooler place or time to move the sauerkraut  into jars for storage. I chose to put my mine in jars and place in the back of our refrigerator.

day nine no foam slimy scum forming on top plate

day nine no foam, slimy scum forming on top plate

 

Fresh sauerkraut in jars in cold storage up to six months

Fresh sauerkraut in jars in cold storage up to six months

 

With 4 heads of shredded cabbage I ended up with 4 quarts of sauerkraut with enough brine left in each jar to cover the fermented cabbage. This process of storage will keep things ageing nicely up to 6 months. I did not pressure can or boiling water bath these jars although you could process them and keep them in your pantry for up to one year without any problems. I use the cold storage for small batches that we will use up in a couple of months but when the garden is full of cabbages and I have 6 or 7 heads fermenting I will can all but one jar and eat it fresh.

 

 

5 gallon crock with cabbage slicer

5 gallon crock with cabbage slicer

Their at hundreds of ways to include other vegetables into your kraut and some of the most often used are garlic and onions. I have also heard of carrots, beets, and celery going into batches for added color and texture. I think you will find that even if you only wanted to use a large glass jar for the fermentation vessel you can make a very inexpensive batch of healthy food for pennies on the dollar. In this case the cabbage was at 38 cents a pound and I added 6 tablespoons of salt maybe .25 cents = 2.50  for side dishes for at least 4 meals for a family of 4. That comes to about 20 cents per serving or less. Not a bad way to increase you probiotics and vitamin C in take.

So for dinner tonight, I will add this home made sauerkraut  to a low-fat cut of pork roast and bake long and slow in a slow cooker until it falls apart and serve  with a side of German potato pancakes and enjoy.

Categories: canning, country cooking, fermentation, gardening, health, Preserving, sauerkraut | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Five Facts Friday, Random Things About Me

Five random facts friday,  is a creation of  a friend and fellow blogger Nancy Claeys who tries to get us  to post fun things about ourselves that others may not know.It helps all of us rural folks get to know each other better and share things we have in common when we are sometimes the only ones around for miles!

http://aruraljournal.blogspot.com/p/random-5-friday.html 

nancy claeys link photo

nancy claeys link photo

 

Markers Mark tasting room. Near Loretto, Ky

Markers Mark tasting room. Near Loretto, Ky

1.  Kentucky is one of my favorite places to travel to…. if I had to move, I would move to Kentucky…. They love the same things that I love so it feels like home any time we visit. They love Horses…. Southern Food… and Burbon… What’s not to like?

2. I have accomplished one of my New Years  resolutions from 2012… I wanted to recycle more.. and with the end of the year I did… lots and lots more. I wanted to do more than just my milk jugs so I really started digging into every plastic container we ever used and I had at least  4 , 13 gallon trash bags full of plastic every month… I never though we were so wasteful but the truth is out now!  

3.  I  love canning and making jelly and jams and butters. So this year I made well over 100 1/2 pints of the stuff and gave most of it away as gifts… thankfully my husband does not mind.

aplle cider jelly my best jelly so far

apple cider jelly my best jelly so far

4.  I am getting interested in making fermented foods from our garden so the next year will be full of wine, extracts, pickles, kraut and home-made vinegar. If you think about it I have to of the major bases covered… sweet, with jams and jellies and now tart with pickles and wine.

5. I have almost finish my first year of blogging and it has been the most fun hobby that I have added in years. So glad I tried to join into this vast pool of knowledge and friendship… Thanks Nancy it has been wonderful to share with you and your followers.

Thanks again for stopping by and if you can stop by the blog hop linked above.

Categories: blogging, recycling | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

Canning wild game, a non electric storage opption

 As  some of you already know my family lives as much as possible on the land that surrounds us and the bounty that God provides. This includes fall hunting for wild game and fishing as much as possible for our food. My problem has always been what to do with all the meat that the boys bring into me. Well of course we freeze a large portion of our meat and fish but three years ago we went with out electric for about 10 days and lost most of our families food. This brought up the conversation about going back to canning at least a portion of our meats so we would not  lose all of our food again.

 My husbands family has cold packed canned deer and pork for over 40 years mostly because the quality of meat when it comes out of the jars is OUT STANDING. The high pressure and moister combine and make the most tender juicey meat. The only way to explain it is to think pulled pork that all you have to do is open the jar and pour out. We can deer meat for BBQ sandwiches and I make a wonderful deer tips with gravy out of. The meat is safely stored for two years and is easy to transport to hunting camps and on summer camping trips. The meat is already cooked, warm the contents and eat.

To start with I suggest that anyone wanting to learn more about the safety and processes of home canning get a good canning book like this one.

Ball blue book of canning copy right 1970

Ball blue book of canning copy right 1970

Processing of meats MUST MUST MUST be done under presser so this process is not for those who use the boiling water bath method. Meat is very easy to process but the time involved is a little lengthy. The average time is 1:30 of cooking time so I plan about 4 to 5 hours from boneing out the deer to the end of the canning process. One nice size white tail deer will make about 7 quarts of cold packed stew meat. In this case I made 6 Jars and had about 11/2 lbs left over I wanted to use in another way.

First, as always wash and sterilise your jars rings and lids, and look for chips or cracks in the jars.This defect will prevent the jars from sealing properly and spoil the meat or make a huge mess in the canner. I use quart jars and this will make about 4 portions of meat per jar. You can use pints and adjust the cooking time accordingly ( pints process for 1 hour 15 mintues).

I start my canning preparations with washing everything down with a little bleach water that includes my cutting boards and knives and even the table where I am cutting the meat. We cover everything with butcher paper and get the meat ready to debone.

white tail deer meat ready to be deboned

white tail deer meat ready to be deboned

 We do not can the tenderloin pictured above left. They are tender enough on their own but the remaining steaks and roasts get processed.  The only requirement is that the pieces of meat are about bite size and fit in the mouth of your jars easily. We try to remove any excess fat or connective tissues. Cold packing jars saves time but the meat can be cooked and packed hot with a broth in jars also.

bite size pieces of deer steak

bite size pieces of deer steak

 These pieces get packed into warm sanitized jars and with a wooded spoon. I push firmly to pack meat into the jars this removes excess air gaps and fills the jars full. You need a one inch head space in the jar to prevent the natural juices from leaking out of the jars as it boils in the canner.

deer meat ready to be packed in jars

deer meat ready  for jars

The fuller the jars the better it is, the nature broth will not cover loosely packed meat and this can lead to discolored meat after storage.

using a funnel keeps jars cleaner when packing

using a funnel keeps jars cleaner when packing

At this point you have the option of adding salt to your meat, we add 1 teaspoon per quart of meat. It is not a necessary item but does make the broth and meat more flavorful so we choice to use it.

adding salt to canning jars of meat

adding salt to canning jars of meat

 The next step is to clean the lip of the jar and make sure no salt or meat residue remains on jar to prevent the lids from sealing. Then add the lids and seal to jars and place them in the canning with enough water to cover the jars by at least one inch of water.

canning jars in pressure canner with water

canning jars in pressure canner with water

  Then cover the canner and start a high fire. Venison is canned at 10 lbs of pressure for 1 hour and 30 minutes making it take around 2 hours total. The first 30 minutes is for the heat to raise into the canner to reach 10 lbs pressure. I usually let my canner cool over night so the cooling process doesn’t interfere with use of my stove. In the morning the jars and water are still hot to the touch but ready to remove from the canner.

  At this point the jars are cooling and I check to make sure all the seals are tight and each jar is clean. I usually risen them before adding the name of the contents and date.  I usually process at least two deer every year this way and this gives us security that even if the power goes out we will have fresh safe meat to eat.

canned deer meat and my hard working canner

canned deer meat and my hard-working canner

 Don’t be surprise that after you jars have cooled even further that a small amount of fat appears in the jars. It is not seen when the jars are warm and slowly forms on the top of the broth. It is totally safe and not going to spoil. The fatter the meat the more fat will form in the top of the jar. In this case venison is very lean and usually less than a teaspoon of fat collects in the jar after canning.

This process is the same useing beef or pork. The only changes that are made are for cooked meats and stews or soups. That is when you really love having your “Ball Canning Guide” so that every thing is safe and healthy.

My

Categories: canning, country cooking, deer, deer hunting, Hunting, Venison | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Canning home made apple sauce

   A couple of friend commented to me that they wished they knew how to make home-made apple sauce. I am currently in the process of making my second batch( 6 quarts)as we speak.I thought this post might be useful to learn a bit more about the process before fall weather finishes ripening all the apples.

finished apple sauce 2013

finished apple sauce 2013

     I love to home preserve  apple sauce.It is a simple easy way to use up extra apples and make something naturally good for you. I am actually over run with apples this year, friends are begging me to pick their apples as the trees are in danger of damage from the heavy load. I use the apples from several trees in our friends and families yards so they are free and of unknown verity. The best apple for sauce if you are buying or growing a tree for that purpose is the Golden Delicious. I Think that I am actually using a Macintosh apples this year and they seem to cook down fine also.

  Of course the first step is to collect or buy apples. I pick mine and use about  8 pounds of apples for one full batch (6 quart jars) of sauce. In this case I had a 5 gallon bucket full of apples so I used about 3/4 of a bucket to get what I needed.

60 pounds of free apples

60 pounds of free apples

 I had some wonderful helpers this year and we had a ball picking the apples.

the boys apple picking Christopher and Caden

the boys apple picking Christopher and Caden

   Once you have the fruit,you will need canning jars pints or quarts and rings and lids. These items are available at almost at any grocery store or Wal-mart. It is your choice if you want wide mouth jars or regular. In most cases it is normal to use the smaller mouth jars and lids and rings. Wide mouth jars are great for pickles or food that you would process whole like tomatoes or large slices like pears.  In the above photo of the finished apple sauce I have used both Pint and Quart jars and processed them together with out any problems. Wash jars in hot soapy water,checking jars to make sure they are free from any chips or cracks. Either of the stated problems may cause the jar to break or not seal correctly and waste your time and ingredients.

   The next few items a person needs are staples in most kitchens, with exception of a jar lifter and food mill and/or ricer and an apple peeling tool. To make 6  quarts of sauce you need to use an 8 quart stock pot stainless steel is ok but most home canning families prefer enamel. It is less reactive with high acid foods like tomatoes and keeps food the proper color. A food funnel, wood spoons, a ladle and a couple of rags and towels. The jar lifter is cheap and makes moving hot jars from a very hot canner to cooling area easier. The food mill I use is a life saver with making any smooth sauce. I use mine for tomato juice, apple sauce, apple butter and tomato sauce. I think the average cost for one today is around 40 dollars.

foodmill over stock pot

foodmill over stock pot

apple peeler, corer and slicer

apple peeling tool, this one also slices and cores the apple

    I did purchase the apple peeling tool a couple of years ago after trying to peel and core about 30 lbs of apples with out it. It is worth investing in one if you hope to make more than 6 quarts of apple sauce. The tool peels, cuts and cores the apples all at the same time so it is a real-time saver and does have replaceable parts in case the blades get dull or broken.

    The basic receipt that I fallow is this:

6 quarts of peeled sliced cored apples.

2 and 1/2 quarts water

4 cups sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

 makes about 6 quarts apple sauce

Always sterilise your jars, lids and rings in a boiling water bath for 6 to 10 minutes before starting applesauce.

  The frist step is wash, peel, core and slice the apples. I stack the apples to the top of my stock  pot even if some of the apples have some peel still remaining. The food mill will remove any missed skins and seeds later. Add the water and put one stove over Med heat. The hallow apples will cook down into my pot about 4 inches and with the water reach about the 6 to 7 quart area when done.

The Trick to apple sauce is to never ever cook anything on high heat.

apples reduced to ruff sauce

apples reduced to rough sauce

apples on stove with water

apples on stove with water

                                                        Once the water begins to simmer allow the apples to cook at least 20 minuets to reduce the apples into sauce.  Sir frequently to help the apples break down and keep them from scorching. As you can see in the above photo they have reduced and some skins are floating in the sauce. The next step removes any remaining skins or lumps from the apples sauce.

  Place a kettle or stock pot in sink and top it with a foodmill. Pour hot lumpy sauce into mill and turn handle several times and then reverse the motion until the sauce is through the mill and the dry-looking peels are all that remain. Scrape out old peals and add more lumpy apples and repeat until all the sauce is passed through mill.

getting ready to put hot apple sauce in foodmill

getting ready to put hot apple sauce in foodmill

    Return sauce to stove and add sugar, cinnamon, cloves and heat over med low heat until sugar melts and a slow bubbles form. Taste your apple sauce and add more sugar or spices as needed, raise temp to med high and cook until a slow boil occurs. DO NOT STOP STIRRING  SAUCE!!! it may scorch at this point. In my case I look for large hard bubbles that splash sauce around the pot. You can use a candy thermometer to make sure the sauce reaches 212 degrees.

bloiling lids and rings

boiling lids and rings

  I always sterilise my rings and lids separately from the jars. I like to leave the lids on the stove in the hot water while I make the sauce and put the jars on the counter or table  ready to fill before I make the sauce. When the sauce has cooked and is boiling hot you are ready to fill the jars and put on the rings and seals.

sauces ready for jars

sauce ready for jars

 As you can see I place the jars on several towels and drain lids and rings just before use. Next ladle sauce into jars using a jar funnel to keep as much sauce off the lip of jar as possible and to prevent burning your hands. The apple sauce is very hot and is sticky and will blister skin in seconds. I wear rubber gloves to fill jars to prevent burns as much as possible. When all jars are full I clean the rim of each jar with a dry rag and place a lid on top and place a ring on tight enough to keep lid in place but too tight.

cleaning jar lip

cleaning jar lip

  Then place jars in a boiling water bath for twenty minutes add time if you live above 1000 feet in altitude. If I am processing pints, my stock pot works well, so I wash it and return 6 pints back into the pot cover with hot water and boil the jars 20 more minutes. If I am making quarts I boil water in my pressure canner and use it to process my jars. Next, Remove jars with a jar lifter and place some where it is safe for hot jars to cool away from drafts. I put them back on the towels I used to full them on and wait to hear the sound of the lids popping closed. Some jars may actually seal and pop before they reach the table, others seal as they cool.  After about an hour I check to see if all the jars have sealed by touching the top of the lid and pushing down. If the lid pops when I touch it, the jar did not seal and must either be recooked or eaten fresh to prevent food poisoning or mold or both.

   If you are lucky like I was every jar sealed and is cooling. I usually wipe the jars down one more time and on the lid with a Sharpe marker put the name and date on each jar. This way the oldest gets eaten first and food rotation is easy.

You now have 6 quarts of home-made apple sauce with no artificial flavors, colors, and no preservatives,congratulations.

finished apple sauce 2013

finished apple sauce 2013

Categories: apple sauce, canning, cooking, organic food, Preserving | Tags: , | 16 Comments

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