Posts tagged ‘steam canning’

Apple Butter!

As promised, here is my first canning experience, the joys, fun, and wonders of APPLE BUTTER :D, fully documented in pictures!

My recipe is based on the Sweet Apple Cider Butter Recipe at FreshPreserving.com 🙂

If mine looks a little different, it’s because mine is out of a beginner’s canning booklet put out by Ball:

The Sweet Apple Cider Recipe is on the next to last page:

My el-cheapo apples! I was thrilled to see these in the store 😀 They had all kinds of apples lined up in 3 lb bags at $3.99/bag, and I had my hands on 2 bags of Gala apples – when I saw these lovely Golden Delicious, BOTH bags on sale/clearance for $1.20/bag! That’s not a problem, I’m gonna use ’em up real quick-like making apple butter 🙂

The apple cider – and that, folks, is my raw ingredients!

3 lbs of apples peeled, quartered, and cored, another 1/2 bag to go

4-1/2 lbs apples, ready to go!

The peels, cores, and stems from approx 4-1/2 lbs of apples – can we say “compost pile”

The lonely 3 apples that didn’t go in the pot – LOVE the leaves still attached!

(There were actually 4, but Teddy couldn’t help himself and snacked on an apple – kid LOVES apples!)

I was wondering how that many apples and only 1-1/2 cups of cider would get the apples soft in cooking – that’s how! After about 5 minutes, this is what it looked like 🙂

After about 25/30 minutes, they’d cooked down to this, and are good and soft and ready to puree. I LOVE the effect the steam gives the pic!

This, folks, is my handy-dandy, super-duper, WONDERFUL, Tupperware Quick Chef – otherwise known as a hand-cranked food processor!

And since it was my brand new toy, I pureed the first batch (one downfall, it only holds 4 cups, so for maximum efficiency, you can only puree about 1-1/2 cups at a time), but Teddy was oh-so-willing to demonstrate and be my model for batch #2

6 cups of apple puree – aka applesauce if I’d stopped right here! Had to do some quick math in my head for the next step, because the recipe called for 9 cups of puree. So I’d figured then that I’d only get 2 pint jars instead of 3 😦 Don’t know if I let the initial cook-down go too long, or if I just should’ve used more apples. It just tastes yummy wonderful, though, so I’m not complaining too much 😉

bubbling away, with sugar, cinnamon, and cloves added – I was starting to wonder if it was ever going to thicken enough!

So while I waited, here’s what I did:

Got the jars warming and the lids simmering….

And took pix of (some of) my new Tupperware! This is a small canister (got my coffee in it) and my Quick Shake Container. The canister is from a set of 4, it’s actually labeled Hispanic collection or something like that because of the flowers. I just know I liked it, and it will go wonderfully well with my (future) Coca-Cola kitchen – loving that the Tupperware colors right now are RED and WHITE!

This is the Chop-n-Prep, and if you wanna fine-dice some herbs/onions/etc, THIS is the way to go. It even comes with the lid so that you can take the blade out and store whatever you finely minced in it. Teddy calls it the lawnmower because you pull the little cord (the white handle thing in the pic) like when you crank a lawnmower 😉

This is the SmartSteamer (I got it as one of my 1/2-priced items). The microwaves are directed away from the food and only into the water tray at the bottom, so that the food is truly steamed. Best broccoli I’ve EVER eaten! I love broccoli raw, and I usually like it cooked – but drowned in sauce. This was just straight, steamed broccoli, with only the occasional flavoring that dripped from the marinaded chicken in the top tray. DELISH!

And so you can see the two cooking trays and lids, here ya go 😉

I got two sets of these Empanada Makers/Pie Presses (total of 4) – can’t wait to make my own Hot Pockets! So much healthier 🙂

Teddy wanting to get in another pic

For now at least, this is what I’m using my Thatsa Mega Bowl for – Perler Bead storage! Also, I got 4 sets of the Midgees (2 oz shot glasses, essentially), but they are perfect for sorting and storing the different colors of beads 🙂

Tupperware not pictured (already put into storage): the other 3 canisters, the measuring cup and spoon set (Why is Tupperware the ONLY company that includes the 2/3 and 3/4 cup measuring cup?), the Mix-n-Store pitcher, the Saucy Silicone Spatula, and the Double Colander. (Yes I know, I made out like a BANDIT! Thanks so much if you helped make it possible by ordering from my party!)

This is another round of Pumpkin Yumminess ready to go in the oven. And yes, that’s a Perfect Brownie Pan. No, I’m NOT thrilled with it. This is only the 2nd time I’ve used it, and it was a Christmas gift last year. At least this time, the batter didn’t leak out onto the cookie sheet. But I still had to bake a LOT longer than the time listed on the box in order for the middle square to be done. In my opinion, it doesn’t turn the inside brownies into “corner” brownies as advertised. Now is it cool because everything’s evenly cut? Absolutely. But I’m just not thrilled with it.

By now, I THINK the Apple Butter is about ready….

See how much it’s cooked down? The question is, does it “hold its shape on a spoon?”

and about 8 seconds later…

looks good to me!

(If that’s not what “holding shape on spoon” is, PLEASE somebody let me know if I need to let it cook down longer ;-))

ahhh …. finally! The moment I’ve been waiting for 😀

My 2 jars of apple butter, processing away!

2 jars of apple butter, steam canned 😀

And there they are! All done and cooling and resting and such. AND SEALED!

And I leave you with oven-baked Pumpkin Yumminess
Had to do 2 pans worth – pay no attention to the “hole” in the back pan; had to test for quality, ya know 😉

And it’s SO much better baked in the oven than the microwave!

God bless!

Free Stuff!

So I mentioned a couple days ago that I won a giveaway. Well, after a visit from Mr. UPS man and Mr. Fed-Ex man on Wednesday, and the UPS guy again today, it’s officially all here!

My Steam Canner (I LOVE IT!) and the Canning Tools

Close-up of what tools I got in the canning kit

My fancy canning jar 😉

This is a .30 litre (that’s 10 oz to us) amphora jar. The one piece lids are even pretty!

See? Even the lid says it’s Made in Italy!

Diametro 70 mm – lucky for me, that’s the exact same as the standard Ball canning lids 😀

And notice the pretty little detailed “handle” on the side

I know it doesn’t show up well in the pic, but the glass has a pretty floral design in it, too

My 3 pretty Italian jars! The other two are .5 litre, or 17 oz, and also have the pretty floral design on them

Once I get used to canning, I can’t wait to use these!

And here’s my lovely steam canner, hard at work 😀 If you look above the date, you can see the steam plume jetting out

This lovely is multi-talented, too! The steam dome (top part) can also be used as a 15-qt stock pot, and the bottom can also be used as a roaster. It can process 7 pints or quarts at a time (I almost felt bad only doing 2 pints) for at least an hour only 6-8 CUPS of water, and the process time is the same as traditional water-bath canning. You just start timing once the steam plume hits 8″ 🙂

And tomorrow, pictures of APPLE BUTTER! Okay, okay, one sneak peak:

Ain’t it bee-you-ti-ful? My first ever canning experience 😀

Can’t wait to taste this yumminess on some homemade wheat bread! (There wasn’t enough to make the 3rd pint jar – what a shame! – but it means I’ve got some in the fridge NOW – yippee!)