Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yes, I can can!

I feel a bit like the Little Engine That Could. All day as I peeled the apples and prepared them for saucing, my mantra was, "I think I can, I think I can."

Here is my first attempt, the result of peeling a boatload of apples, cooking them down and ladling them into jars. It turns out that my home canning skills have not deserted me even though I haven't used them in donkey's years. All six jars sealed on the first try - hooray!

The Joy of Cooking recipe adds nothing to the apples but sugar, some lemon juice and water, plus spices if you like cinnamon in your sauce. Instead, I use unfiltered apple cider as the liquid in which I cook the apples - it enhances the apple flavor and adds just enough sweetness that sugar is not necessary. My neighbor's apples are a rather tart, astringent variety so they could have used a bit of sugar, but we will enjoy these slightly tart jars nevertheless, and I have about as many more apples to process so I can sweeten the next batch a bit more.

Have to be careful not to get cocky with the next batch. I think I could.

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Blogger Greg said...

Well done! I must admit I am a bit phobic about canning. I had a jar break and what a mess.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

So, I guess you got that congratulatory "ping!"

Next year. I promise.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  
Blogger kudzu said...

Ah, I always make applesauce with cider, even though I am now down to doing just an eat-now batch now and then instead of canning.

The "ping" part reminds me of hearing that happen in the middle of the night the first time I ever canned anything -- a startling but glorious moment!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, thanks! The ticket is to keep the jars hot so the hot food doesn't shatter them. I hope you weren't hurt!

Cookiecrumb, yes, ping x 24! I made two sizes, pints for gifts and smaller for just us two. It's not too late for this year - apple season is still in full swing!

Kudzu, I was writing a new blog post when the pings began - I had forgotten that sound!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  
Blogger Dagny said...

Hmmm. Whenever I've made applesauce, I've used water instead of cider. Thanks for that pointer. Not that I'm going to be doing any canning.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  
Blogger dancingmorgan mouse said...

I ate something last night that has me wanting to do a bit of preserving, but it will have to wait until I work out HOW and get home, of course.
Apple sauce and cold roast port sandwiches, yummy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Dagny, you can do as Kudzu does and make just a batch to eat and not can. It doesn't take long.

Morgan, love the sound of that sandwich. I tried the jelly making and will post about the results in a day or two - thanks again!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008  
Blogger I Heart Kale said...

For a while we were using cider to make applesauce, but we didn't have cider on hand for our most recent batch and used grape juice instead--a very good option if you find yourself cider-less, it gives a wonderful rosy color to the finished product.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008  

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