Friday, September 28, 2007

Everything Apples!

Here's a bushel full of ideas for using apples! Enjoy! Following will be all my canning recipes for Apple Pie Filling, Apple Butter and Applesauce. And, links to lots of other apple ideas!

Our day of canning went well! I was so sticky during the process that I did not get any pictures! Oops!

One reader wanted to know how I was going to do this with the girls home and we had a great plan, but our plan did not go according to schedule! David called and said he had a required meeting to go to - so, they ended up getting to watch a movie during that time.

I love how my bushel of apples looks in this vintage cooler!

All this talk about apples reminds me of the Johnny Appleseed prayer, and I am indeed thankful for apples!
Oh, the Lord is good to me and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need: the sun, the rain and the appleseed. The Lord is good to me.
I've tried different ways and gadgets to peel, core and slice apples. The method I've landed on for being the most efficient and with the least headache is simply to use an apple slicer - it automatically removes the core and gets the apples into pieces. Just peel the pieces and slice to desired thickness. Another option I discovered at the end of the day yesterday is just to peel the entire apple with a vegetable peeler and then use the slicer - this seemed quick as well!

You can simply place the apples in a bowl that is filled with water (make sure the water covers the apple slices) and let them sit there until you have enough to start working with. Lots of sources say to add lemon juice, but I never do and they are always fine!

First, we started the Apple Butter because it has to cook down for so long, my friend Marcia and I combined this recipe from several others, so I call this M&M Apple Butter (and just for clarification, there are no M&M's in this recipe!)

Apple Butter

In a large dutch oven or soup kettle bring 4 c. apple juice or apple cider to a boil. Peel, core and chop about 8 lbs. of apples (approx. 15 large apples or 25 from the Happy Apple Farm). Place apples in hot juice and let cook until soft, about 40 minutes.

Remove from heat and ladle into food processor or blender in batches processing until smooth. Return to pan and add: 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, 1 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar.

Stir well and stir often!!!

Cook at a simmer/boil for 1 1/2-2 hours, until it cooks down and begins to thicken. Process half-pint jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. (Remember to add one minute for each 1,000 feet above sea level.)

A simple test to see if it is done is to take a cold plate and spoon a small amount onto the plate. If the juice separates, it still needs to cook.

Makes: 8-10 half-pints (Although, my batch yesterday made 20 jars! Maybe my apple measurements were off when I used grocery store apples.)

While that was cooking, we made a batch of Applesauce - this is the quickest of all three and really the easiest.


In a large dutch oven or soup kettle bring 2 c. apple juice or apple cider to a boil. Peel, core and chop about 8 lbs. of apples (approx. 15 large apples or 25 from the Happy Apple Farm). Place apples in hot juice and let cook until soft, about 40 minutes.

Remove from heat and ladle into food processor or blender in batches processing until smooth.

Process pint jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. (Remember to add one minute for each 1,000 feet above sea level.)

Makes: 4-6 pints

After we had the Applesauce in the canner, we started on Apple Pie Filling.

Apple Pie Filling (recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Home Canning Cookbook)

3 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. cornstarch
3 tsp. cinnamon

In a large saucepan, combine the above ingredients. Stir in 8 c. water; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Peel, core and slice approximately 8 lbs. apples (it took about 3 1/2 grocery store apples per quart size jar). Pack apples into quart size jars and fill with hot syrup leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a knife to distribute syrup. I used about 2 1/2 ladle fulls of syrup in each jar.

Seal jars and process in a water bath canner for 30 minutes.

Makes: 8-9 quarts

When you go to make your pie, prepare desired crust and place in pie plate. Empty one jar apple pie filling into crust and top with crumb topping or additional crust. Bake!

I have one more batch of applesauce to make today, but as I was finishing up last night - one little lady could not keep her hands out of the apple bowl. I finally cut up an entire apple for her which she finished every bite of!

Some of you have requested more ideas on using apples, so here are links to all the apple ideas I've posted! Also, check out the October issue of Country Home for lots of very fun apple ideas and Country Living for these adorable caramel apples!

Apple Crisp in canning jars
Spiced Apple Waffles
Apple Oatmeal Coffee Cake
Apple Chips
Fresh Apple Muffins
Apple Fritters for an Apple-themed Family Night
Apple Cake
Apple Centerpiece
Hot Caramel Apple Cider
Salad with Apples
Bob for Apples
Apple Pie
Apple Dip
Walnut Apple Dessert
Chicken Salad with Apples
Applesauce Pancakes


~katie~ said...

Thank you for all the wonderful ideas! I was looking for some new things to do with apples! You certainly delivered! Bunches of blessings to you today!!

Charlotte Cushman said...

Love it Monica... heard you were going to can yesterday! Char

Anonymous said...

Monica, David & I make dozens of jars of apple butter every year. Instead of cooking it down on the stovetop we put it in the crockpot & leave the lid off. If we fill the pot up to the brim it takes about a day to cook down. We know it's done when we can stand a wooden spoon up in it. And let me tell ya BOY DOES THE HOUSE SMELL GOOD WHEN WE MAKE IT.

Anonymous said...

Wow -- what wonderful fruits of your labor! :) I remember canning apples with you when Emily was a newborn -- and now look at her! The Johnny Appleseed prayer reminded me of long-ago Brownie meetings. Great job! :)
See you SOON -- Love, Mom

Wendi said...

Great job! We are planning a trip to the orchard this weekend. I can't wait to try your apple pie filling recipe. Thanks!

Mary Ann said...

I'm always amazed at all you accomplish! We're wanting to get apples within the next few weeks to make applesauce and apple pie filling.

Anonymous said...

OH YUM, Monica!! Thank you so much for sharing! I LOVE apples.

Have a great day!
Andrea L.

Day by Day said...

Thank you for posting all these great recipes and detailed recipes!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all the recipies! I have to ask you a silly question so please don't laugh - what is a "water bath canner"? Can you tell that I have never canned before. I see the crock pot version here under comments so I may try that since I don't know what a water bath is. Thanks so much for info and all the ideas to try for the fall.

Susan P. said...

Awesome post with such wonderful ideas!! I think I need to go pick some apples;o)

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Wow! What a great day's accomplishment.

Like Angela, I use a crockpot to cook down my applebutter. It is much easier than messing around on the stove all day. And an extra tip-you don't have to peel apples when you make apple butter-I always just core and chop them. I don't have to puree anything either, cooking them so long in the crockpot turns everything to mush.

And this year for my applesauce cooked them by placing them in roasting pans in the oven with some apple juice (just a couple of "glugs") and covered the pan with tinfoil, then cooked at 350 for about 45 min. I came to this method after getting distracted while cooking the first batch on the stovetop and burning an entire canning pot full of apples. Even though the top ones looked fine, everything tasted like smoke! The oven was much safer. . .

*carrie* said...


Loved seeing all your hard work there in those jars!

Cora made several batches of applesauce yesterday, too. And I made a few baked goods yesterday morning, which I'll post about soon.

That pic of Em eating the apples is so cute!

Monica Wilkinson said...

Lynn Marie - the Crock Pot references are just to cooking the apples, it does not preserve them. To can the apples, you have to use the canner.

A water bath canner is a large pot with a rack inside. You fill it with water and bring to a boil. Place the jars in and return to a boil. When it starts to boil, you start counting the processing time. This will preserve your food where you can store it in the pantry for a couple of years without it spoiling.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for help with canning and for not laughing. Guess I better hit the thrift stores to find me a canner. Any preference on type of canner? Sounds like a fun way to spend an afternoon on a cold rainny day. Thanks for your help.

Monica Wilkinson said...

Lynn Marie - I would never laugh about that! We all have to learn somewhere!

I got mine at an antique store I think for about $12. Just make sure it has the pot, lid and a rack inside. The jars cannot sit on the bottom of the pan.

I hope you find one at a thrift store! I know that they sell them at Wal-Mart and such near the canning jars but I'm not sure how much they are.

Oh, it is such a great feeling to look at all those jars and feel like such a pioneer woman! :)

There are some fabulous photo tutorials available on canning which would be helpful for your first time. Send me an e-mail with your address and I'll mail you a copy of one that is in a cookbook I have.

Anonymous said...

Monica, off topic but I wanted to let you know that Walgreens is getting rid of Luvs diapers at 75% off. I just picked up mega packs for $3.79 each, which is about 8 cents per diaper. I know it's not your preferred brand, but for that price I'm willing to compromise! I went to two different stores and they only have a few packs left, but might be worth a trip. I heard about it on Baby Cheapskate.

Kimberlee said...

Oh how you have inspired me! David has to work all weekend, so I think I might have to give this a try. I have done strawberry jam before, but I love the variety of what you have done witht the apples! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your blog. You have so many wonderful ideas. I love the savings tips. I love to save money also. I have been visiting frequently and trying to read all your old posts.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this info Monica!! I want to go to pick apples and make applesauce and you have given me a yummy sounding recipe! I am curious as to how you store your recipes. I am not sure if you have addressed this or not.
Thanks again!! Elise

Anonymous said...

I just posted and forgot to tell you, we went apple picking today and I can't wait to try some of these recipes.

Monica Wilkinson said...

Ruth - Welcome! Thanks so much for visiting! I'm thrilled you're finding some ideas you can enjoy in your own home.

Elise - I simply have a recipe box and several cookbooks - I'll take a photo and post it in the near future!

Anonymous said...

Okay, you TOTALLY inspired me! I am currently bidding on a pressure canner on e-bay! (that I will buy with money earned blogging ofcourse!)

I will be canning some apples for the first time ever in early November when my mom is here in town! Fun stuff!!

Thank you! Your post inspired me to learn this craft for the sake of my family & the wonderful tradition this can be!

Lisa said...

Looks like you guys had fun with all your apples :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your note about the differences in canners. I didn't end up buying that one. Whew. I was glad once I got your email. I will be looking to buy a water-bath canner on ebay or at a thrift store!

Thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

I've just discovered your cozy blog thanks to a friend. This looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

A Mouth-Watering Post indeed!

Thank you for participating this week's Carnival of Home Preserving!

The post is live if you haven't seen it already.

Be sure to submit one for next week's edition. Jennifer at QuiverFull Family is hosting.

Feel free to share the link to this week's edition of the carnival to get the word out to others and bring in more participants.

Happy Preserving!