Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Apple Pie Filling Recipe

Apple Pie Filling Recipe

As promised, here is the recipe. It will be in similar fashion to the peach pie filling recipe: one set of ingredients needed for one quart and another set needed for seven quarts.

Ingredients needed for one quart:
Blanched, sliced fresh apples - 3-1/2 cups
Granulated sugar - 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons
Clear Jel - 1/4 cup
Cinnamon - 1/2 teaspoon
Cold water - 1/2 cup
Apple juice - 3/4 cup
Bottled lemon juice - 2 Tablespoons
Nutmeg - 1/8 teaspoon
Yellow food coloring (optional) 1 drop

Ingredients needed for seven quarts:
Blanched, sliced fresh apples - 6 quarts
Granulated sugar - 5-1/2 cups
Clear Jel - 1-1/2 cups
Cinnamon - 1 Tablespoon
Cold water - 2-1/2 cups
Apple juice - 5 cups
Bottled lemon juice - 3/4 cups
Nutmeg - 1 teaspoon
Yellow food coloring (optional) 7 drops

Instructions for either set of ingredients:
Use firm, crisp apples. If apples lack tartness, use an additional 1/4 cup lemon juice for each 6 quarts of slices.
Wash, peel and core apples. Prepare slices 1/2 inch wide and place in water containing ascorbic acid to prevent browning (note: I skip the ascorbic acid part.)

Place apples in boiling water (no more than 6 cups in 1 gallon boiling water at a time). Boil each batch 1 minute after the water returns to a boil. Drain but keep heated fruit in a covered bowl or pot. (This is called "blanching" your apples.)

Combine sugar, Clear Jel, and cinnamon in large kettle with water and apple juice. If desired, food coloring and nutmeg may be added. Stir and cook on medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Fold in drained, blanched apple slices immediately and then fill quart jars with mixture without delay, leaving 1 inch headspace. Adjust lids and process immediately for 40 minutes in a boiling water canner.

NOTE: Do NOT use Ultra-Jel. It is only for cold or low heat procedures. You MUST use Clear-Jel.

This recipe comes from my mom through the Ag Extension Office.

Enjoy. And thanks for the reminder to get this recipe out. =)

Oh, and another note... we love to use this not only for pies, but for crisps, cobblers, and toppings on ice cream, and cheesecake. I'm making myself hungry!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Spelt and Hard White Wheat available

Did I ever mention that we have this years harvest of spelt now available and ready for sale (and shipping). We also have hard white wheat bagged and ready.

Spelt is available in 25 lb and 50 lb bags.
Hard White Wheat is available in 50 lb bags and 45 lb buckets (all ready for storage).

For prices, go here:

Talk to you again soon.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Apple Pie Filling

My boys asked me if they could help me put away the apple pie filling.
"No, not yet," I replied.
Then the oldest said, "Oh, you have to take more pictures?"
"Yes, I have to take more pictures." =)

He knows the program. I have to take pictures to prove how pretty everything is and that it is so completely possible to do. And I love to have show and tell with my blog and blogger friends.

(What am I going to blog about when I am done blogging about canning? I'll have to get creative until next year?)

So, here is the apple pie filling:

Pretty, huh? I love looking at the beautiful apple slices in there.

I always blog when I am completely busy or completely tired. Today, I'm tired and hope my blogging isn't lacking too much of wit or information. I apologize if it is. I'll be more awake after we complete the potato harvest. At least that is the goal --- only one more day to go? (We are praying and hoping to finish on Saturday, probably really late and early into the morning.)

I'll post the actual recipe later. Watch for it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Apple Juice

More canning of apples:

Today's Show and Tell: Apple Juice

My favorite part of these pictures is the color variance. Isn't it cool how much the colors can change depending on the batch of apples and the variety we used? Isn't it pretty?

I think we ended up with 3 very distinct colors of juice.

CONFESSION: This is the first time I have EVER bottled apple juice - or any juice for that matter. It was SOOO--- easy! Why haven't I done this before? It only takes 10 minutes in a water bath canner (a.k.a cold pack canner?)

And why did I have so much juice, you ask?
From the day we made applesauce. I used my juicer and put some of the juice back into my applesauce, but still had tons left over. We had some nice, juicy apples, I guess.

(Did you watch the one minute long Johnny Appleseed clip? "...The Lord is good to me..."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tribute to Johnny Appleseed

I've been canning apples for the last three days and today, when my mom came over to help for a bit, she reminded me of this song and movie - Disney's Johnny Appleseed. And, she got this song stuck in my head - from the movie. Go here to hear it and even watch a few clips of the video:

What a fun video. Brings back good memories of peeling apples for pies as a kid.

The apples are plentiful for us this year. Our trees produced wonderful apples and the birds or bugs didn't even get too many of them.

Today's show and tell: Applesauce

The apples were beautiful, red and sweet. And they made good sauce - the brown is mostly natural, with very little help from the added cinnamon.

Side note: I keep doing "canning classes." In fact, one was the other day, doing applesauce.
We frequently discussed how applesauce really isn't that hard to make, it is just such a long process for what doesn't seem like a lot of bottles canned at the end of the day.

Are you familiar with canning applesauce? I am assuming you are. If not, let me know and I'll be more specific.

Here are a few tips I've learned:

** Use a juicer to cook down your apples. Many people I know use a stock pot to cook down apples and then end up burning several batches of the apples. Use a juicer. You only have to worry about keeping the bottom full of water. And as a bonus - you get apple juice to either put back into your applesauce or to drink or to bottle and use for later.

** Use a "Victorian Strainer" or even a good Back to Basics Tomato Strainer has the capabilities to make good sauce.

** Don't fret about making a huge sticky mess while doing applesauce. It happens to most people who face up to the challenge.

Are those good tips? The most important one is the juicer tip.

I love homemade applesauce!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Peach Pie Filling Recipe

I've had enough requests to share my recipe. Rather than email to those who really care, I'm just going to blog it.

Before we start, there is one thing you need to know: there are two recipes here - one to make 1 quart of filling (1 pie/cobbler/whatever) and then to make 7 quarts. You just need to choose if you are going to can 7 quarts and enjoy the pie filling later, or if you just need enough to make a killer dessert tonight. Ready?

Ingredients and quantities needed for 7 quarts (canning load):
Sliced fresh peaches 6 qts
Granulated sugar 7 cups
Clear Jel 2 cups
Cold water 8 cups
Cinnamon (optional) 1 tsp.
Almond extract (optional, but YUMMY) 1 tsp.
Bottled lemon juice 1 & 3/4 cups

Now, ingredients for 1 quart:
Sliced fresh peaches 3 & 1/2 cups
Granulated sugar 1 cup
Clear Jel 1/4 cup
Cold water 3/4 cup
Cinnamon (optional) 1/8 tsp.
Almond extract (optional, but YUMMY) 1/8 tsp.
Bottled lemon juice 1/4 cup

Select ripe, but firm peaches. Peel peaches - to loosen skin, submerge peaches in boiling water for approximately 30-60 seconds, then place in cold water for 20 seconds. Slip off skins and prepare slices 1/2 inch thick.
For fresh fruit, place 6 cups at a time1 gallon of boiling water. Boil each batch 1 minute afte rthe water returns to a boil. Drain, but keep heated fruit in a covered bowl or pot.
Combine water, sugar, Clear Jel, and, if desired, cinnamon and/or almond extract in a large kettle. Stir and cook over medium high heat until mixture thickens and begin to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil sauce 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Fold in drained peach slices and continue to heat mixture for 3 minutes. Fill jars without delay, leaving 1 inch headspace. Adjust lids and process immediately.
Recommended process time for peach pie filling in a boiling water canner: 40 minutes.

I got this recipe from my mom.

I just made this recipe for the one quart to make a "fresh" peach crisp. It is divine! I used way more peaches than it called for in the 1 quart recipe, and I didn't boil them before combining them with the sauce. I just heated them with the sauce after it was thickened. It turned out wonderfully. I feel guilty eating almost the entire thing! =)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Grain Mills: VitalMill vs. NutriMill

Have you heard of the new VitalMill? It has been around for a few months, I'm just slow at talking about it. Since it is still relatively new, I decided to do a little comparison for you between the "new guy" and the "favored unit." If you are looking at grain mills, this is a must read.

The VitalMill:

The Nutrimill:
Are you ready for the comparison so you can become an expert and thus know which grain mill best fits your needs? Here goes!

First, the VitalMill features:
  • VitalMill grinds non-oily grain (wheat, rye, spelt, millet, rice, corn, beans, quinoa, amaranth & oats
  • 20 cup bowl capacity
  • Strong, durable stainless steel milling heads
  • Self cleaning chamber
  • Free-flow air design. It will not overheat.
  • Hopper extension for larger capacity and quieter milling
  • Wide opening access mill lid
  • Easy grip handle
  • Clog free - no gumming, no jamming, no plugging
  • ETL approval (US & Canada)
  • 5 year warranty

Now the NutriMill features:
  • Nutrimill grinds wheat (both hard and soft), oats, rice, triticale, kamut, spelt, dried pinto beans, popcorn, split peas, buckwheat, barley, rye, millet, sorghum, dried mung beans and soybeans!
  • Over 20 cup bowl capacity (largest available)
  • Ergonomically designed control knobs and bowl handles for safe and easy use
  • 1:1 ratio for milling grain into flour: fill the hopper once and get a bowl full of fresh flour!
  • TruTrack (tm) bowl locking system - connects right every time
  • Patent Pending TruFeed (tm) - precision grain flow control
  • Easy grip hopper lid for easy access and quieter operation
  • World's first variable, high speed mill motor
  • # 3xAirFlow (tm) - for improved motor cooling and longer mill life
  • Improved texture control - from fine flour to cereal grain
  • Nutrimill can be turned on with grain already in the hopper, and can even be switched off and back on again with grain still in the milling chamber without plugging!
  • Lifetime Manufacturer's Warranty: This great warranty includes the Nutrimill's stainless steel milling heads!
So there are the basics. It has also been noted that the VitalMill is still quite noisy - especially compared to the NutriMill, however, if you are on a budget, get some earplugs, and the VitalMill will do a very nice job at milling your flour.

Until next time,
Happy shopping.

p.s. And to see more grain mills or to purchase on of these (on sale now in time for Christmas) check out our Grain Mills page:


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