Canning Apple Pie Filling

theveganfarmer.com applepieIt’s that time of year we amp up the canning and prepare for the winter. It’s apple season which means all the things apple are being canned- cider, applesauce, apple pie filling. Filling is great to have on hand to whip up a quick pie or cobbler. We host once a month family dinners and most major holiday events so lots of pies are being made. It’s also super tasty on toast, in oatmeal, and honestly, straight from the jar. We canned 15 quarts this weekend. This will last us the winter. It’s a large recipe. You’ll need to reduce it for smaller batches.

What You’ll Need

15 lbs apples, peeled and cored

13 C sugar

3 TBSP cinnamon

3/4 TSP nutmeg

6 TSP salt

3 TSP cardamom

3 C cornstarch

9 TBSP lemon juice

30 C water

In a very large pan mix the sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and 15 cups of water. Cook until dissolved. While that’s dissolving, whisk together 15 cups of water and 3 cups of cornstarch. Once the sugar mixture is dissolved, add the cornstarch mixture and stir frequently until it’s boiling, bubbly, and thick. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice.

While all that is happening, sterilize your jars in a water bath. Remove, and while hot, fill 3/4 with apples. Pour in the filling leaving 1/2 inch room at the top of each jar. Slide a knife around to rid the jars of air bubbles. Put the lids on and loosely screw on the bands. Return the quarts to the water bath. Once the water is boiling, can for 20 minutes. Remove the jars. Allow them to cool completely before removing them. Be sure to check each sealed properly before storing. Enjoy!

theveganfarmer.com applepiefilling

Canned Spiced Cherry Jam (without pectin)

theveganfarmer.com spicedcherryjamYou guyyyyysssss. This jam. It’s everything. We have a sour cherry tree in our yard. It is sour cherry season. I’ve spent the last several days arguing with the birds over how many I’m allowed to have. Seriously. An Oriole almost took my eye out this morning. Anyway, if you’ve never had jam made from sour cherries, I suggest you RUN to the nearest pick your own farm and get some. It was super easy to make.

What You’ll Need

lots of cherries. LOTS. I used about 2.5 quarts

4 cups white sugar

3 cups brown sugar

4 TBSP lemon juice

cinnamon

nutmeg

ground clove

Remove stems and pits from the cherries. This is much quicker to do if you have a cherry pitter. Throw them in a big pot with about 1/2 cup of water. Bring it to a boil then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes or so. Add the sugars, lemon juice, and spices. I don’t have measurements for the spices. Just add them in small amounts until you find the flavor you like best. At this point I took a potato masher and mashed some of the cherries. My next batch I’ll puree half before adding to the pot. Bring it back to a full boil and stir constantly for about 10 minutes. Sterilize your jars and lids. Once the jam has thickened a little, go ahead and pour it into the sterilized jars. Leave about 1/4 inch space at the top. Place lids and bands on until just tight. Lower the jars into a water bath, cover, and bring to a boil for 8 minutes. Remove the jars from the water bath and let sit for 24 hours. Test the lids to make sure they’ve sealed. Enjoy this cherry deliciousness on toast, ice cream, in oatmeal or straight from the spoon.

Canning Homemade Applesauce

IMG_9647Let’s talk apples. One medium apple contains about 4 grams of soluble fiber, half the daily fruit quota, and a fair amount of vitamin C.   This makes for quite a satisfying sweet snack. All for only 100 calories!

Even though we’re not quite in apple season, our trees are bursting with ripe ones.  As in, oh, 60 pounds.  We spent a good chunk of this week harvesting, chopping, freezing, and canning apples.  One of our favorite forms of apple is applesauce.  Not only is it a tasty snack on its own, it’s awesome in baked goods.  Here is how I turned 30 pounds (16 pints) of apples into applesauce-

What You’ll Need

30 pounds of apples, chopped – adjust the amount  for  your lifestyle, of course

4-6 C sugar – this is totally optional. depending on how sweetened you’d like it

cinnamon – also optional

water

6 TBSP lemon juice

16 pint jars

Chop as many apples as you can stand.  Apparently 30 pounds is my limit. My partner in crime was more than happy to amuse me while I chopped.

IMG_9631  IMG_9643  Here’s the next apple, mom.  There are a bajiliion more in here.  Keep chopping.

Sterilize your jars and lids in simmering water.  Combine the apples and just enough water to keep them from sticking in a pan. Bring them to a medium boil, reduce to a light boil and stir occasionally, until they are tender.  Remove them from the heat and let cool a few minutes.  Transfer them in batches to a food processor and puree to desired smoothness. We made this batch smooth for ease.  We have reusable pouches we fill and the chunkier the sauce, the harder it is to squeeze out.  I also prefer smooth applesauce in my baking.

theveganfarmer.com-applesauce

Pour the sauce back into the pan.  Stir in the lemon juice and sugar.  Bring the sauce to a medium boil, stirring often.  Spoon the hot applesauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Put the lids on the jars and process in a boiling water canner for roughly 20 minutes.  Check the lids in a few hours.  There shouldn’t be any flexing.

theveganfarmer.com-canapplesauce

Allow to cool completely before storing. Enjoy!

Homemade Mulberry Jam

 

mulberry tree

We had this ginormous mulberry tree in our backyard when I was a kid.  I loved climbing it and eating the fruit straight from the tree.  Sometimes we’d pick a bowlful and sprinkle sugar on top.  My dad hated that tree.  Mainly because it constantly dropped fruit and stained everything it landed on. He should have just painted his car purple.

Sadly, most people find it a nuisance.  It doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Nutritionally, mulberry berries are a powerhouse:  They’re low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, iron, dietary fiber, riboflavin, magnesium and potassium. They are amazing on their own, spiced or turned into jam. Last night we did just that- turned these amazing berries into jam.

 

What You’ll Need-

lots of mulberries

sugar

half pint jars

We didn’t use pectin for this batch.  We started by cleaning the berries, tossing them in a giant pot and letting them cook down. This is super easy- turn the heat on low until the berries begin releasing juice.  Add a little sugar to thicken the jam. Taste it to find the right balance.  Mulberries are quite sweet on their own.  Turn the heat up as more juice is released.  Be sure to stir occasionally. Once they are a bit bubbly and have released their juices, they are just about done.

DSC03506

While all that goodness is happening in the pot, sterilize the half pint jars.  Fill the hot jars with mulberry.  Leave about 1/4 inch headspace.  Put the lids on and place in the canner  for 15 minutes. Remove the jars and let cool completely (8-12) hours) before storing.

photo

Spread it on toast, biscuits, waffles or eat it from the jar. I like mine on biscuits with a side of Chai. Enjoy!