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How to Preserve Apples for Pies and Desserts: Canning Your Apples
Apples and Family Togetherness
I look forward to gathering apples each September, when most of our local apples are ripe. We go as a family to a friend who has a beautifully kept yard, including three varieties of apple trees. The kids help us by picking up fallen ones, and keeping good plastic bags handy. When they have done all they can do, they get to play on our friends' trampoline, or the mini golf course, or pet the horses. Meanwhile, my friend and I ride up into the tree tops in a loader bucket, operated by her very handy husband, to reach all the apples we can. This needs dexterity and flexibility, and being on good terms with heights, but we usually spend as much time laughing at our failed efforts to reach apples as actually picking.This makes for a memorable afternoon.
We keep as many of the best apples as we can for fresh eating (this variety lasts for a couple months or more in cold storage), and eventually dry, can, or pickle the rest. Our sheep and poultry get any that are too wormy or bruised to bother serving or processing. They adore them, and never complain about caterpillars!
Below, I show you how we usually process apples for canning. These generally keep in the cellar for several years, if necessary - a good thing, as it isn't every year we get a great apple harvest!
Apples Used in This Canning Demonstration
If you happen to be fortunate enough to have access to loads of apples, then do yourself a favor and put some up for winter pies. If you like to bake, you will be happy to know that you have a good supply of ready-to-use apples suitable for pies, cobblers, and nearly all other apple desserts.
Here is what you will need:
- Fresh, tart baking-style apples
- A light syrup (made with sugar and water)
- Paring knife
- Apple peeler (optional)
- Cutting board
- Large cooking pot
- Canning jars, lids and rings, jar lifter, tongs
- Boiling waterbath or steam canner
Step One - Wash and Drain Good Baking Apples
Step Two - Peel, Cut, and Core Apples
Step Three - Cook Apples in Light Syrup; Prepare Jars and Equipment
Step Four - Process in Boiling Waterbath Canner
For a Pretty Pantry or Cellar
Nice Idea...But Skip Microwave Method (Could Steam or Fry Apples)
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