Canning – Easy First Recipe
I am not a “home-body”. Well at least I wasn’t. I can cook, clean and do the laundry, but not the type to start canning food when I am surrounded by stores. Or so I thought. Have you noticed the prices of everything is going up? The ingredients listed on products are getting hard to pronounce and sound like a chemistry experiment.
I started canning a couple of years ago, just to see if I could save some garden produce. Our tomatoes were coming in faster than I could cook them. There are only so many jars of pickled vegetables that I want in my fridge. So I bought a pressure canner. I saw that it would do foods that needed to be made with pressure and also could double as a bath canner. Greek to me at that time.
I went on the Internet and began to gather information, especially for my tomatoes. What I found was an entire culture of food preparation. I ended up freezing the tomatoes and went on to can some apple butter and pumpkin butters. Hmmmm. The recipes were simple and my husband joined in my first experimental batch.
My first experiment was with crock pot apple butter. It turned out great. As I heard each jar begin to “pop” I was thrilled. No, I was hooked. I began to search around the garden to see what else I could can. I moved from butters to soups and stews. I was enjoying this way too much.
Now it is 2 years later, my basement has a shelf filled with treasures from this summer. I also like it when I get a yearning for something homemade, like split pea soup, I can just go and get a jar. Knowing all my ingredients are natural, is also a benefit. Great for me because processed foods do a number on my gut.
Here is the simple apple butter recipe I started with. If you have never canned before, I know you will enjoy it. Also, I purchased all of my supplies before the end of summer, which I found to be much less expensive.
Crock Pot Apple Butter – Makes Approx: 8-9 pints
6# apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 C apple cider
2 C packed brown sugar
1 C granulated sugar or honey
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
dash of salt
Fill a bowl with all ingredients, except the apples. Mix ingredients well. Add apples and fold ingredients to cover apples. Add to crock pot. Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours.
Once done, I find ripe apples have given off more liquid at times. To alleviate this, just remove the cover, turn the crock pot on High for another 15-30 minutes. This will make the butter thicker.
Put in heavy duty blender (I use the Ninja) or use an immersion stick.
Pack into hot canning jars leaving ¼ inch headspace and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Makes 3 pints