Wednesday, September 15, 2010

In-cider Information

My son brought me some apples that he picked from a local orchard.  He wanted to use some to make a pie and then what to do with the rest was up to me.

Growing up, we always had home canned apples on the shelf.  It’s yummy, it’s good for you and it’s great with pork chops – just ask Peter Brady, he’ll tell you.

Start by having your jars and lids washed and ready to be filled.  You can run the jars through the dishwasher and place the lids in a simmering pot on the stove.  You don’t have to sterilize the jars because the hot water bath process will sterilize them AND their contents. 

Make sure you select the right type of apples.  You want sweet apples – not tart ones like Granny Smiths, which are my absolute favorite.  You want sweet apples so that you don’t need to add any additional sugar.   I used a mix of Gala and Macintosh.

Wash the apples and cut them up.  I use an apple corer that also segments the apples.  You don’t have to peel or core the apples.  Put all of the apple into the pot.

Put the apples in a pot with an inch of water in the bottom.   Put a lid on the pot, turn the burner on high.  Turn it down to medium heat when the water is boiling hard.  Cook until the apples are soft cooked.

You can use a food mill to smoosh up the apples or if you have a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer there is a wonderful sieve attachment.  Awesomeness . . . using it is fun and makes small work of pureeing and removing the solids from the apples. 

Return the applesauce to a pan and keep hot.  They don’t need to cook anymore, they just need to stay hot until they are jarred.  Optionally, you can add lemon juice increase the acidity of the fruit for safer canning and cinnamon, at this point.  You can add sugar if you want, as well. 

Fill the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top and process them in the water bath -  pint jars  15 inutes and quart jars 25 minutes.  (Note: this is for sea level.  Make adjustments for higher altitudes)

Remove and cool the jars – don’t bump or disturb them for at least 12 hours to allow the seals to set.

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