Canning Apples

A few weeks ago, we got two bushels of Rome apples from the tree we rented from Earth First Farms. I’ve slowly been making my way through putting them up. About a third of our apples were pristine enough for fresh eating, so to maximize their long term storage we cleaned out the crisper bin in the refrigerator and filled it with apples. We think we’ll have fresh apples through at least January this way, and we’re excited to have fresh fruit on hand like this throughout most of the cold winter months. Apples with peanut butter and a bowl of oatmeal or square of coffee cake is a great wintertime breakfast!

The other two thirds needed to be preserved in some way. I’m about halfway there. The second weekend we had the apples, I canned the second third. I meant to do a step by step pictorial post, but canning with a new baby in the house presents a set of challenges similar to canning while nine months pregnant with a broken ankle – frequent breaks and interruptions. But no matter, the job got done in an afternoon, even though I had to hand peel all of the apples! I wanted to buy a crank apple peeler/corer/slicer but I waited to long, and for a good while there were sold out. By the time they were back in stock, I already had the apples and didn’t want to pay for rush shipping. It wasn’t too bad using the hand peeler, but I’m definitely getting the peeler/corer/slicer for next year, since it will make much quicker work of it, and be easier on my carpal tunnel wrist (thank you years of repetitive office work).

At any rate, I peeled the apples, sliced and cored them with once of the push-down apple slicers and dunked everything into a lemon water bath so they didn’t turn brown until all of the apples were done. Following the recipe in the Ball blue book (which is listed as “Apple for Baking”), I gently boiled them in water for about five minutes, then packed them into jars with the water and processed them in my water bath canner. Here’s the finished product –

I actually got nine jars, but one didn’t seal and is residing in the fridge. It’s been there about a week now, so I need to use it up or toss it out. Provided it still smells/looks okay today, I’ll be making a deep dish apple pie with it later this afternoon.

And tomorrow, I’ve got to tackle the last third of the apples, which are currently hanging out in a box in the kitchen. They seem to be holding their own, but I want to get them put up before they start to spoil.  I’m basically out of pantry space to accommodate more jars, so into the freezer they’ll have to go – I plan on cooking up some apple pie filling. And I’m going to use some of the peels to make apple peel jelly as well, so I’ve got to get an early start tomorrow in order to get it all done!