Just when I thought I was done, they pulled me back in. Who is they? The evil people that run the fruit CSA that I bought in to in the spring. They had to know that by November, surely I'd be sick of canning and surely I shouldn't purchase TWO shares from them, right?
They led me astray and cashed my check without a word.
To quote Stephanie Tanner, "how rude".
I've reached the tail end of canning, and I'm so excited that it's almost ever. For reals yo. I know I complain about canning a lot on here (you all must be sick of it, but hey, you seem to keep coming back to read, so who is the fool now? Suckah.), but I had a good motivator/reminder last week about why I put myself through it. My heart goes out to anyone impacted by Super Storm Sandy, and her devastating results. The loss of life and property makes my heart ache for the east coast.
However, seeing that people are living without electricity and throwing out tons of food that is spoiling makes me strap on the ole canning shoes and get to work. Should something happen to our energy supply, my family will be set for a bit, and hopefully be able to help out our neighbors.
Unless there is an earthquake of course. Glass jars and all. Then, we're screwed.
As I looked at the 40 pounds of Fujis in front of me, I just couldn't take one more night of canning applesauce. It's messy, it's time consuming, and I hate cleaning the apple bits out of the food mill screen. I wanted something easier, and boy oh boy I found it in the canned apple slices recipe from National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP).
Just a heads up that apparently I either smoked some meth or need my eyes checked because these photos are TERRIBLE. Late night canning doesn't lend itself to lovely photos apparently.
1) Peel and core your apples. I use this do-hickey and it makes pretty quick work of it. Put your apple on it like this:
Then turn the crank and it will peel the apple.
And leave the core.
And give you a nicely peeled apple.
2) Cut the apple in half, and you'll get perfectly sliced apples.
3) Put the slices in water with lemon juice or citric acid.
4) Once you have a bunch of slices soaking, combine water and sugar (optional) and bring to a low boil. Because the NCHFP says you can use plain water, I felt safe canning these in only the lightest syrup. I did 6 quarts of water to 1 cup of sugar. I picked a syrup simply for the color preservation in the jars.
5) Cook the apple slices in batches in the hot water (syrup), and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
6) Transfer the cooked apples to a crockpot to keep them warm. From there, put them in your hot and sterile canning jars. I found that tongs worked the best for this.
7) Cover the apples with some of the hot water or syrup, allowing for 1/2 inch of headspace.
8) Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean rag.
9) Put a sterilized and hot lid on the jar, and secure with a ring.
10) Process in boiling water for 20 minutes.
You gotta put the lid on. After taking a photo, naturally!
11) Remove after processing and allow to cool completely untouched for at least 12 hours. Label, and store in a cool and dark place. Well, after you pose them for a pretty picture of course!
One of these jars didn't seal, and I noticed one had a fruit fly in it the next morning (gross). So, we opened up the one with the fruit fly (oh don't you judge me!) for breakfast. They were delicious sprinkled with cinnamon! And that fruit fly? Exquisite.
My plans for these? Apple pies, apple muffins, pancakes and waffles topped with apple slices - oh my! The first true test run for these bad boys will come on Saturday. Troy just invited a coworker over to dinner after I had already done my grocery shopping and meal planning. Dessert will be apple pie since I have everything already.
If you're familiar with etiquette, could someone please fill me in on how you politely divvy up a fruit fly? I don't want to short our guests, but I don't want to miss out on that awesome deliciousness!