Tag Archives: canning

Looking for suggestions!

I’ve got a bunch of apples that I’d like to can. Of course I’m going to make a ton of unsweetened applesauce, but I’d also like to can apple pie filling or apple slices.  Anybody have a good recipe?

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Reduced-Sugar Cinnamon Cider Jelly

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This is the reduced-sugar version of my Cinnamon Cider Jelly.  The only real difference I see is that the no-sugar-needed pectin makes a cloudy jelly and the regular pectin makes a crystal clear jelly.  You can use regular sugar, as I have, or splenda or honey.  Just follow the directions on the no-sugar-needed pectin to decide how much of the alternative sweetener to add.  In a fancy canning jar like the one above, these make great holiday gifts.

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 package no-sugar-needed pectin
  • 1 tsp butter (optional, reduces foaming)
  • 0-3 cups sugar (I used 2 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Sterilize jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.  Ladle some of the boiling water over the lids in a bowl.  Let them sit in the hot water until ready to use.
  2. Pour the cider into a large pot and slowly stir in the no-sugar-needed pectin.  Add the butter.  Bring the mixture to a rapid boil that cannot be stirred down. 
  3. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and skim the foam.
  4. Fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Process for 10 minutes.  Makes 3-5 half-pints, depending on how much sugar you add.

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Cinnamon Cider Jelly

I’ve decided that this week is going to be Apple Week, with all posts about apples!

When I was a child, my family made cider to sell in our farm market from apples in our orchard.  My mom, brothers and I would help bottle the cider while my dad, uncle and grandfather made cider using the fancy press.  Later on, another uncle would come pick up the pumice (waste apple flesh) to feed to his cows.  It’s funny to think of it now, because I really hated cider.  Back then, bottling cider meant sticky hands and clothes, noisy equipment, and bees… bees everywhere, though I don’t remember ever getting stung.  Today when I opened my gallon of cider to make this recipe, the smell of the cider brought me right back to the cider mill.  I can look back on it fondly now, laughing at the stickiness, and realizing just how lucky I was to help make cider with my family.  I’ll think of it every time I use this jelly.

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This is the first time I’ve tried this recipe, but it’s been lingering in my mind since last fall.  I love jelly, but I hate the hours it takes to prep the fruit, cook and strain it.  Since this recipe starts with cider, someone else has done all the work and those steps are eliminated.  These days, it’s pretty rare to find unpasteurized cider around here, since fears of E. coli abound.  However, if you have a trusted farm stand who does not use drops (apples that fell on the ground) there’s really no chance of E. coli being in the cider.  If you’ve never tried unpasteurized cider, you’re missing out on a distince flavor, but keep in mind that it won’t keep as long as pasteurized cider.  This recipe will work with either unpasteurized or pasteurized cider.  This is a traditional jelly recipe, but I’ve also got a reduced-sugar version.

  • 5 cups apple cider
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 7 cups sugar
  1. Sterilize jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.  Ladle some of the boiling water over the lids in a bowl.  Let them sit in the hot water until they’re ready to use.
  2. Pour the apple cider into a large pot and slowly stir in the pectin.  Add the butter, and bring the mixture to a rapid boil that cannot be stirred down.
  3. Add the cinnamon and sugar and stir to combine.  Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Turn off the heat and skim the foam.
  4. Fill the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Place the lids and screw on the rings, then process for 10 minutes.

For more information about making and canning jelly, read my Strawberry Jelly tutorial.  Check out the reduced-sugar version!

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Strawberry Jelly

Note: If you have never canned before, I highly recommend Joy of Cooking: All about Canning and Preserving and the Ball Blue Book of Preserving.  These books will help you learn about safe canning practices and the equipment you will need.

To me, the most important thing about making jelly successfully is following the measurements.  If the measurements below don’t match the recipe on the package of pectin, follow that recipe instead to get your jelly to set properly.  I’ve made jelly in the past that doesn’t “jell” and remains a liquid, and it’s mostly because I tried to sneak in more juice than the recipe calls for.

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Start by crushing 4 quarts of hulled strawberries with a potato masher in a large pot.  Cook for about 5 minutes.

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Strain the berries using a jelly bag or cheesecloth.  Let the juice drip into a bowl for an hour or more.  You can save the berries to make fruit leather.

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When the berries have drained, sterilize jars by boiling them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes.  Let them sit in the steaming water until you are ready to use them.

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Measure out 3 1/2 cups of strawberry juice.  If you have extra, you can freeze ice cubes of the juice, which are especially good in lemonade.

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Slowly stir in 1 package of powdered pectin, and start heating the juice over high heat.

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Add 1/2 tsp butter to help keep the mixture from boiling over.

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Bring the mixture to a rolling boil for 5 minutes.

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Then add 4 1/2 cups of sugar, and stir to dissolve.  Continue to heat the mixture over high heat.

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Boil hard for 1 minute.

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Skim off any foam, then ladel into the sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Place caps on and screw on rings.  If you have a half-full jar, cap it and use it right away, storing it in the fridge.

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Return jars to the hot water.  Bring to a boil, and process for 10 minutes.  Remove jars to a towel or cutting board and allow them to cool, undisturbed, for about a day.

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Label jars and store them in a dark place.  Yield: about 6 1/2-pint jars.

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Canning Cranberry Sauce

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This is the time of year to make and can cranberry sauce, just in time for Thanksgiving.  The cranberry joins pumpkins, squash, corn, and tomatoes as a plant that is truely native to America, so if you’re a fan of local food, you can’t go wrong with the cranberry (if you live in a part of the country where it grows!)  I consider cranberries grown on Cape Cod to be a part of my local food system, and they’re easy to find in the grocery store.

  • 2 bags (24 oz.) cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Sterilize jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Combine cranberries, sugar and water in a pot.  Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon, and boil until cranberries burst and sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes.  Serve immediately, or ladel into hot jars, seal and process for 15 minutes (pints) or 20 minutes (quarts).  Makes about 2 pints or 1 quart.

For a more detailed tutorial if you’re new to canning, see my post on canning strawberry jam or visit PickYourOwn.org, which I have found to be an excellent resource for canning.  If cranberry sauce is too tart for you, try my apple-cranberry sauce, which is a little sweeter and has a beautiful hot pink color.

Serve cranberry sauce with roasted poultry or with pork instead of applesauce.

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Caramel Apple Butter

My mom brought over a whole crate of apples that we picked last weekend for our fair display.  Today, I used about half of them to make applesauce and decided to try something a little different as well.  I remembered Laura’s post about Caramel Pear Butter, and I thought Caramel Apple Butter sounds really good! I made a few changes, like substituting cinnamon for the nutmeg, and it came out really great. I ended up with 9 pints of applesauce and 2 1/2 pints of caramel apple butter.

  • 10 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In a large pot, combine the apples, 4 Tbsp of the lemon juice and water.  Cook over medium heat until soft, like with applesauce.  This will take about 20 minutes.  Push the apples through a seive or use a food mill.  Combine the apples with the remaining ingredients and simmer over low for about an hour until thick.  Ladel into sterilized pint jars and then process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.  Makes about 2 1/2 pints.

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Canning Applesauce

Unlike the sweet jams and preserves, applesauce is something that I can without using any sugar.  I love that it’s tart, just like the apples.  I add lots of cinnamon, but you could leave it out.  Serve this with pork, roast chicken, by itself, or use it to make applesauce nut bread.

Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce (Unsweetened)

  1. Sterilize jars and lids.
  2. Make applesauce by peeling and cutting up apples, then cooking with cinnamon and just enough water to keep it from scorching.  I don’t measure when making applesauce, just make what I have.  It’s a little difficult to figure out how many jars to use, but this time I guessed 6 pints and it turned out to be 7, so there was one for the fridge.
  3. Ladel into hot jars, screw on lids and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. 

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