Friday, October 21, 2011

Apples, Apples, Apples

So all the kids started back to school in September (while, not mine as they are too little) and then the fundraising started!  It seems that everyday someone is at the door, or messages are posted on Facebook, that their kid is doing a fundraiser for one thing or another.  (It actually is crazy seems kind of crazy the amount of fundraising you have to do once your kid is in school…not really looking forward to that part!)

I try to help out as much as I can as I know that I will be there one day, and one of the purchases I made was for a BOX of apples!  My favourite school deal so far!  So what did I do with the apples, while first I had to hide them from my oldest who decided that he needed to eat 3 apples a day.  I’m glad he loves apples so much since you should eat one a day but he was going to eat them all before I could make some apple goodness!  The first thing that I made was an apple pie, and it was delicious!  I also cut up, cooked and froze enough apples to make 2 more pies, for easy pies during the winter.

To do this you basically mix up enough apples, sugar and spices for the number of pies you want then you add water and corn starch and boil it until the apples get tender.  (Watch how much water you use, there are tons of recipes out there but I have found that there is too much water in them.)  Then just divide it up into freezer bags or containers and freeze…depending on the type of freezer, they could be good for up to 12 months…not that it will last that long!

With the rest of the apples I made Apple Butter in the slow cooker.  A friend of mine made some that way and said it turned out great so I followed the recipe she used to a point…I didn’t really measure how many apples I used and didn’t know the size of my slow cooker so I winged it.  She also mentioned that she used way less sugar and it was still good, I did the same especially since most of my apples were gala which are sweet on their own.

Basically I cored and chopped up the apples until my slow cooker was full, I added about 1/2 c. of white sugar and 1/2 c. of brown sugar and some nutmeg and cinnamon.  Then I left it to cook for probably 17 hours, it could have cooked faster if I cut the apples up smaller.  After about 12 or 13 hours I tried to mash up the apples and the last hour I mashed them up more and left the lid off. 

As I mentioned, it was full of apples and now it is just under half full.  When I was at this step I place the apple butter into sterilized jars and canned it.  This is my first canning venture as well so I don’t have a water bath canner but I decided to wing it and see if I even liked canning.

On the bottom of the pot I put a towel to keep the jars from sliding around and then a couple of them still wanted to touch so I put a few non-metal spoons between them.  Smile 

I bathed them in boiling water for 10 minutes, the canning book I read said that I only had to do it for 5 minutes but I was nervous about that…just didn’t seem long enough…then my mom told me later I should have done it for longer still.  (So I guess we’ll find out if it is still good after a couple of months…eek)

Not a lot of jars but it wasn’t a lot of work so I am ok with that.  We have had one jar and it was delicious!  I would probably put even less sugar in but I don’t like really sweet fruity things…if that makes sense.  A couple of jars may become Christmas presents but we may just eat it all ourselves!  Mmmmm…..

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