Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How To: Can Apples

Today, I'm sharing my first "How To" post! There are certain things that I want to learn how to do and many of those things are to be learned from my grandmother. She is just about the wisest person I've ever know. I love her so much!!

Her name is Ila Mae, but to us she's just our Ma. She makes THE BEST fried apples!! Everyone who eats them, loves them. They just stand on their own. The actual cooking process is easy peasy and can be done with fresh apples from the store to the stove, but today I'm sharing Ma's way of doing it.

It starts with canning apples. Every year about this time, she and I travel to a nearby apple orchard to get a bushel or so. Ma prefers to use Gala apples for canning, but I'm sure you could use whatever kind you prefer. These just have a good taste by themselves, can well, and are a good cooking apple.


Step 1: Wash, peel and slice your apples into thin but not paper-thin slices. Place in a large cooker, cover apples with sugar and let set overnight (or all day if you want to start this in the morning and can late afternoon.) This process is also called "Cold Packing"...I had never heard of it before now, but hey, if Ma says it, that's what we're calling it!

Step 2:Spoon your apples into quart size jars. Pack apples down so that you can fill as full as possible.

Step 3 & 4: The sugar and apples will create their own juice after sitting overnight. Once you have the apples packed in the cans, use the reserved juice to funnel into your jars. Don't overfill...just up to the neck of the jar.

Place tops and lids on jars, turn lids tight.

Step 5: Fill avcooker about half way with water. (You don't want to submerge the jars; water should rise to just below the neck once you place them inside.) Place jars in a large cooker with a rack at the bottom. Cover and let water come to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes.

That's it! Once they're done, just take them out carefully and let them sit on a counter until cooled and store in pantry or cabinet.

Side story: Ma's "canning room" is off the garage...and in the garage is this treasure...
A General Electric refrigerator that my grandparents have had for approximately 66 years. SIXTY. SIX years. And it works PERFECTLY and is SOOO quiet! I just can't get over it, but I love it. And I can honestly say, I never thought about loving a refrigerator.

Back to apples...

So you can open a jar at any time and cook them, you don't have to let them sit and preserve or anything. They're ready when you are.

To fry the apples just empty a can into your skillet, juice included, add a little butter and a little more sugar..just let them cook down, stirring occasionally until they start to caramelize. You'll have to judge for yourself how "cooked down" you want them. We prefer them to still be in whole pieces but you can cook them down even finer than that.

These are fabulous by themselves, but are even better with biscuits or a plain 'ol piece of loaf bread. In our family, sometimes they're a side dish and sometimes they're dessert.

Is your mouth watering yet? Canning apples will provide that perfect dish for your family throughout the year!! Give it a try!

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