Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How to Can Apples

We are so fortunate to live right down the road from an orchard which means fresh apples, slushies, donuts and other produce from summer to fall.  Bill favorite variety of apples is Honey Crisp.  When they came into season, I purchased half a bushel, which was plenty for Bill to eat some and me to can some!

The first thing you want to do whenever you can it to get everything that you need out and ready.  Wash all of you jars (I used mostly pint sized) for sterilization and keep them in the oven.  Make sure that there are no cracks in your jars.  You will need about 10 lbs of apples.
Boil your lids until it is time for them to go on to the jars.
Prepare boiling water bath canner.
Wash your apples in cold water.
Next, peel and core your apples.  Be sure to discard any blemishes or brown spots on the apple.  As you can see in the picture, I used a vegetable peeler and the metal apple slicer.  If you save your scraps, you can use them to make homemade apple cider vinegar (which I am attempting to do now).

Below is my 1 gallon jar that I put all my scraps in to HOPEFULLY make apple cider vinegar.  If it doesn't work, then I will feed them to the chickens.  So far the scraps have been fermenting for 2 weeks.  I will keep you posted on my back to canning the apples!

Slice your apples length wise between 1/4 to 1/2" thick and put them in a bowl with water and Fresh Fruit to keep them from turning brown.

Once all the apples are sliced, prepare a light syrup of 2-1/4 cups of sugar to 5-1/4 cups of water in a stainless steel pot and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. 
Drain your apples from being in the Fresh Fruit water, then put them in the stainless steel pot with the syrup and bring to a boil.  Once at a boil, reduce heat and boil gently for 5 to 8 minutes until the apples are completed heated through.
Pack apples into your hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2" head space.
Be sure to stick a knife down the side of your jar to remove all the air bubbles.
Ladle the hot syrup into the jars, leaving 1/2" head space.
Wipe off the jars (they can be very sticky if you spill any of the syrup), apply the sterilized lids, and add the rings (should be fingertip tight).
Add apples to the water bath canner and process jars  in the boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes.
Remove jars and let cool on a towel on a counter for at least 24 hours.
Be sure to label your sealed jars with what the item is and the date that you processed it.
I did have something unusual happen to me while canning my apples.  Long story short, I had one jar that sealed, but over half the syrup mixture had evaporated.  After seeking the advice from several ladies that have canned most of their life, I decided to go ahead and open the jar and use the apples.  They had not turned brown and nothing appeared to be wrong with them except that the syrup had evaporated.  Come to find out, there was a small crack around the rim that I had not seen before.  Be sure to check your jars carefully for cracks.  Happy canning! 

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