Saturday, October 11, 2014
I could have made pie filling to freeze [Choose your favorite recipe, put the dried stuff in the sliced apples, toss and put in freezer bags in the freezer. Easy squeezy.]
But I'm trying to can more and freeze less.
So I took that mountain of apple slices and canned them plain. Just jars of apple slices. Since this was a first time for me, I went to the National Center for Home Food Preservation and mostly did it their way. I used vitamin C tablets to keep the the apples from browning [same way I do peaches.] and I put them in a light syrup.
A word about syrup. The reason that fruit is canned in syrup is not that food companies want you to eat more sugar. It is that the sugar helps stabilize the cell structure of the fruit and keep it firm and not mushy. It helps keep fruit beautiful. And those companies know that you are much more likely to buy pretty food than mushy shreddy food, so they keep it beautiful.
I've canned fruit both ways. Sugarless fruit loses its shape and looks ragged pretty fast. This time I did not want applesauce, so I used a light syrup to keep the apple slices as slices in the jar. [You could even use a very light syrup.]
Those apple slices are fabulous! We loved them in our favorite coffee cake base. We used the same cake that's in the pumpkin cream cheese coffee cake recipe and left out the cream cheese and pumpkin. Use the apple juice from the jar to replace the milk. Add the apples by either dumping them in the batter and mixing them in entirely - OR, you can put them on top of the batter in the pan and swirl them around a bit before baking. Either way, YUM!