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Canning Extravaganza!

Standing at the bus stop in the cool air, new notebooks and pencils, and warm sweaters...ever since I was a kid I have loved fall!

Something about the leaves slowly floating to the ground or crunching under foot makes the season magical. All 4 seasons are pretty special but fall is just about perfect. It's not too cold or hot, it's the beginning of the holiday season and it's harvest time.

When we moved to this house I was happy to see all the fruit trees in the yard. I have always wanted to can since most of the houses we have lived in have had fruit trees but I never seemed to get around to it until the last couple years. This year I canned everything!

I love the fact that there is early summer fruit and then fall fruit, gives me plenty of time to get it all done. I have had a ball this year canning the fruit from my yard.

Hannah has been my faithful helper. She's learning skills now in her youth that I had to teach myself when I was already married. I'm so thankful for a daughter.

Okay so these are not in order but I canned them all this year.

APPLE PIE FILLING
INGREDIENTS:

18 cups thinly sliced apples
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
10 cups water

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and set aside. Pour water into a Dutch oven over medium heat. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

Ladle into 5 freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Cool at room temperature no longer than 1 1/2 hours.

Seal and freeze. Can be stored for up to 12 months.

***This stuff is to die for, crazy good!



APRICOT JAM
INGREDIENTS:
2 quarts crushed and peeled apricots
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 cups sugar
DIRECTIONS:
Combine apricots and lemon juice in a large saucepot. Add sugar. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to gelling point, about 25 minutes.

As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4th inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
makes 5 pints
***I never liked apricots until I made this jam. 





BLACKBERRY JAM

INGREDIENTS:
10 cups fresh blackberries
1 (1 3/4 ounce) package dry pectin
5 cups granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS:
Wash, stem, drain, and crush berries. Drip through jelly bag or cheesecloth-lined sieve to equal 3 1/2 cups blackberry juice. Add dry pectin and sugar. Stirring to mix well. Stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil and boil 1 minute (a rolling boil can not be stirred down). Remove jelly from heat.
Skim off bubbles. Ladle jelly into hot, sterilized containers, one at a time. Fill to within 1/8 inch of top if using self-sealing lids. Fill to within 1/2 inch of top is sealing with paraffin. Wipe rim of jar or glass with a clean damp cloth.
If using self-sealing lid:  Place hot lid on jar. Tighten screw band firmly. Invert jar 30 seconds. Stand upright to cool. Or, process in a boiling-water bath, 5 minutes.
If sealing with paraffin:  Spoon a 1/8-inch layer of melted paraffin over jelly, covering completely. Cool 5 to 10 minutes until paraffin hardens. Place another spoonful of melted paraffin top. Till and turn container so paraffin runs 1/4 inch of more up side. Cool 24 hours. Cover with lid or foil.
Yields 5 to 6 (6-ounce) jars.





CANNED PEARS

Step 1: Wash and Sanitize Your Jars
You need to have perfectly clean jars for any canning project! The easiest way to achieve sanitized jars is to run them through your dishwasher right before you use them. While your jars are being washed, prepare your fruit for canning using the following steps. 


Step 2: Peel the Pears
When canning pears, most people remove the skins before they can them. If you've ever purchased commercially canned pears, you'll notice that the peel is removed from the fruit. However, this does take a little extra time! If you prefer to leave the skin on your fruit, that is perfectly fine and will not affect the taste or quality in any way. It is entirely up to you! What is your preference?
Note: When canning pears, don't peel more fruit than you will need. The fruit will start to turn brown if you don't can it right away. Typically, you can fit about 2 lbs. of pears into each quart size jar. Since your canner should hold about 7-8 quart canning jars at a time, you shouldn't peel more than 16 lbs. of pears!
Step 3: Slice the Pears
Using a sharp knife, cut the pears into slices. Some people cut the pear exactly in half and then scoop out the core. Others simply cut the fruit away from the core and then discard it. It really doesn't matter! Whatever you like is fine. Canning pears doesn't have to be complicated when it comes to slicing.
Place your sliced pears into a large mixing bowl. 



Step 4: Fill Your Jars

Remove your jars from the dishwasher and fill each jar with your pear slices.
Leave about one inch of empty space at the top of your jar - you don't want to cram your jars too full! Set your jars aside. 

Step 5: Prepare the Syrup
There are several options at this point. When canning pears, some people fill their jars with only water. Others prepare a light syrup with water and sugar. Still others prefer the heavy, rich syrups that are more common in store-bought pears. You may also use apple juice for a healthier alternative. The choices and recipes are listed below:
a. Water: simply boil hot water and add a dash of lemon juice.
b. Light Syrup: boil 6 cups of water with 2 cups of sugar. This makes a lightly sweet accompaniment to your pears.
c. Medium Syrup: boil 6 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar.
d. Heavy Syrup: boil 6 cups of water with 4 cups of sugar.
e. You can also fill your jars with White Grape Juice or Apple Juice.
Once you have selected your syrup and boiled it, fill your jars with the liquid. Don't fill the jars to overflowing - leave about 1/2 inch of empty space at the top!




Sadly I didn't get enough raspberries this year to can them but I did freeze quite a bit. 



STRAWBERRY JAM

INGREDIENTS:
2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
DIRECTIONS:
In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate.

***SUPER-GOOD!




Oh yea and my trees are loaded with apples and asian pears still. 

Looking forward to making some pear and apple butter and who knows what else. Any ideas???


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5 comments:

  1. Oh how blessed you are to get to have all those fruits to can and freeze! I definitely recommend pear butter. I have a great recipe on my site I think it is either under my recipes label or actually I believe it is on my helps page. Give it a try. Simple and easy and you can cut sugar to your liking as long as the pears are sweet. Unfortunately we didn't get any pears this year due to early blooms and hard freeze so we are bummed about no pear butter. Enjoy all your goodies!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is great - thanks for sharing the recipes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have always wanted to can but I have always chickened out.
    This year I had planned to make grape jelly with the wild grapes that started growing on my back fence out of nowhere last year but, this year, the plant is awful looking. And I am not sure we will get fruit at all.

    BUMMER.
    I do want to make pickles. Seems easy enough!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! I only can say "Wow". You're amazing and your homemade jam is incredible, it sounds delicious and beautiful. I just want to eat them now. Maybe I will try to do it. Thanks so much!
    Tiffany
    Kmart Promo Code

    ReplyDelete
  5. How fun that you and Hannah were able to get so much canning in! It all looks and sounds delicious!

    ReplyDelete

Hey thanks in advance for leaving a comment, sure do appreciate it!!

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