Monthly Archives: March 2013

Johnny Appleseed in a Jar

A cultural icon; forbidden fruit.  The apple has quite a history!  It also happens to be one of my favorite foods to put up.  Dried, sauced, buttered, and baked, the delicious possibilities are endless!  Last fall was the first time I had canned my apple pie filling.  In years past I would follow the recipe given below but instead of processing in a bwb, I allowed the mixture to cool and then filled Ziploc bags with 2.5 cups filling and froze for future baking needs.  If you decide that the freezing method is the way to go, just be sure to follow this oh-so-important final step before filling your pie shell or else your pie will become a watery mess!  Mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1/4 cup clear jell; the additional sugar keeps the clear jell from clumping when added to the filling.  Stir mixture on medium-high until thickened.

apples & filling

Apple Pie Filling– yields 7 quarts

6 quarts fresh apples – in case you’re wondering, Cortland apples make the best pies!

5 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups clear jell – cook type

2 1/2 cups cold water

5 cups apple juice

3/4 cup bottled lemon juice

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Wash, peel, and core your apples.  I use one of these nifty all-in-one contraptions and wouldn’t have it any other way!  Last fall I canned apple mincemeat and prepared my apples by hand; NEVER AGAIN will I make that mistake!  Not only did it take forever, but my hands were so tired!

Place apple slices in a large bowl of water containing ascorbic acid to prevent browning, drain, and set aside.

In a large pot combine sugar, clear jell, cinnamon, nutmeg, water, and apple juice.  Stir ingredients until well blended and cook over medium-high heat until mixture begins to thicken and bubble.  Add lemon juice and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Fold in drained apple slices, mix well and immediately fill prepared jars leaving 1-inch headspace.  Wipe rims, adjust two-piece lids, and process in a boiling-water bath for 25 minutes.  Remove jars and place on a wire rack, undisturbed for 12-24 hours, so seals may properly set.

pie filling

I cracked open my first jar about 2 weeks ago for a baking adventure and I was very pleased with the outcome.  Unfortunately, before I can share that delicious recipe I first need to share the two canned stars that made it shine!

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning and Food Preservation.

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Filed under Baking, Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Freezing

Super Citrus Marmalade

citrus bowl

I love the bright, vibrant flavor of fresh citrus; a true spirit lifter when the doldrums of winter creep in.  Wanting to maximize the season, I put up several recipes this year including a double batch of this favorite from last year’s citrus season.  But the end is coming near and this is so bitter-sweet, just like taste of this delicious multifruit marmalade.

4 citrus marm

Super Citrus Marmalade – yields 5 half-pint jars

4 lbs assorted citrus fruit: I selected 2 lemons, 1 pink grapefruit, 2 tangelos, and 3 blood oranges.

6 cups granulated sugar

Wash the fruit in warm, soapy water and pat dry.  Remove the zest from the fruit with a serrated-edge peeler.  Be careful to not remove too much pith or your marm will end up bitter.

skinned citrus

Stack the zest peels and chop into small pieces; in a large pot combine zest and 2 qts of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Supreme fruit by cutting away the pith, and then segment to remove from membranes.  Be sure to do this over a large bowl so you can collect the juice.  Remove seeds and set aside.

peeled citrus

Bundle seeds in cheesecloth and securely tie the ends so they cannot escape.  Drain zest in a fine-mesh sieve and reserve the cooking liquid.  Combine zest, segmented citrus and juice, 4 cups of the cooking liquid, sugar, and bundled seeds.  Bring to a hard boil and cook until the mixture reaches 220°F, approximately 35-40 minutes.  Be sure to stir regularly to prevent contents from scorching.

Once the marmalade has reached your desired set, turn off the heat and remove the cheesecloth bundle.  Ladle into hot, sterilized pint jars, wipe rims, and adjust two-piece lids.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.

Remove jars from canner and allow to cool on a wire rack, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours so seals may properly set.

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan.

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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Marmalade