This week I canned a bunch of apple pie filling.
My friend gave me a whole box of gorgeous Granny Smith apples so I knew I had to do something with them.
|Here is the lone apple that didn't make it into the pie filling|
I've never canned apple pie filling before and it wasn't too hard...
it was a bit time consuming
but not hard.
If you come to my house, just plan on a sticky floor because I've mopped it twice and it's still sticky.
And I greatly dislike mopping.
I learned that I hate my new apple peeler/slicer...it doesn't stick to the counter even though it says on the package that it will.
I learned that I can dirty every bowl and pan in my house in a very short period of time.
The first day I canned 7 quarts or one canner full.
I didn't start until the afternoon, after coming home from work, and the whole thing took less time that I imagined it would.
I used a water bath canner rather than my pressure canner.
I was home alone and didn't want to go to the trouble of setting up the outdoor stove which is what I usually do when I can. Instead I did it all right on my pathetic electric cooktop.
It worked out, although I had more pans than burners at one point
and there is now some of the syrup burned forever onto the stove.
The water bath canner spits and spurts water like crazy...at times I had a little lake on my cooktop that I was mopping up with a towel even though the burner was very hot.
It didn't seem right, but with no one here to tell me the right way, I just had to muddle through.
You see, I am fairly new to canning, or at least I feel like I am.
I can a few things every year but I try to can with my sister rather than by myself if given the chance.
I always feel like I'm winging it.
My sister cans a lot every year and has done so for many years.
She exudes competence and skill.
When I can with her, it feels so easy.
When I can alone, I am nervous and unsure of myself. I am paranoid that I will do something wrong and waste the food or poison my family.
When I can with my sister, we chat and work and I don't think too much.
When I can alone, I double and triple check the recipe, I babysit the canner and watch it like a hawk the whole time, I measure and remeasure my ingredients and the headspace in my jars.
It's exhausting canning alone when you are me.
The second day I decided to just finish up and use all of the apples that I had left...no sense dragging this thing out and those apples aren't getting any younger.
That meant that I had to use the pressure canner since it holds more jars.
Luckily Frank was home and set up the outdoor stove for me.
I ended up using my water bath canner as the pot to hold all of the apples and filling...It is a HUGE pot and it was about 3/4 full.
That's a lot of pie filling.
|That pot on the left is a normal, large soup pot...just give an idea of the size of the canner I was using as a pot|
Once again I didn't start until after a day of working, so I was mighty impressed with myself that I made all this pie filling rather than, say, laying on the couch and whining, which is my preferred way to spend an evening after working.
(Did you enjoy all those commas?)
Somehow when I pulled the jars out, several of them had obviously overflowed.
|See the goo? It's hard to see but it's running down the side of the first jar in the picture|
That's not supposed to happen.
There was sticky (delicious) goo running down the side of the jar and I was worried that they wouldn't seal. But they sealed just fine.
It's weird looking at them now because the fruit goes all the way to the top of the jar!
There's supposed to be some space there.
It might be that I did something wrong with the pressure
(not wrong as in "this will kill your family if you eat it" but wrong as in "a change in pressure too quickly can cause the food to overflow")
So, yeah, I either did something wrong or the apples just expanded or something.
The world may never know.
I did have a little bit leftover that didn't fit in the jars so we had it for a little dessert last night.
It tasted really delicious!
In the end, I had 18 quarts of apple pie filling in only two afternoons of work.
My friend who gave me the apples is planning to come down soon so we can make more...I think she sees me as the one who is competent in canning, which kind of makes me laugh.
But I'll just go with it.
There's no need to make her worry.