October 9, 2023

The Mad Canner: Apple Pie Filling and Curried Apple Chutney

It's apple season! 

Forget those western Red Delicious apples you get at the supermarket. You know the ones - mealy and mushy and no crunch. Give me local apples from a fifth-generation orchard! Fresh, crisp, crunchy and delicious! It's worth the thirty minute drive to get there. 

This was the year I needed to make apple pie filling and curried apple chutney. There is enough applesauce, apple jelly, and apple butter in the pantry to see us through to next season, so I could concentrate on what we were out of. 

One half bushel of Cinnamon Crisp apples produced thirteen quart jars of apple pie filling and twelve half-pint jars of chutney. The peels and cores made the local deer pretty happy, too. 

Working with apples is labor-intensive. Apples need to be peeled and cored, sliced and diced, and blanched and/or cooked before being water-bath canned. I much prefer pressure canning because I believe it produces a more reliable, long-term seal, but it is what it is. I like to hear that instant "pop" of the seal setting when I lift a jar from the Presto canner, and it takes a bit longer when water-bath canning. All of the jars pictured did seal.

To make the job of peeling easier, I have a spiralizer attachment for the KitchenAid mixer. I can't say it does a perfect job, but man does it cut down on the time. A simple manual chopper diced up the peeled apples for the chutney. 

Both recipes are in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which is pretty much the canning bible. The National Center for Home Food Preservation uses pretty much the same recipes

I won't need to make the chutney again for probably three years. Yes, if the seals are intact, the product can last more than the eighteen months Ball states. You need to be more diligent in listening for the seal break when opening,  and remember - when in doubt, throw it out. Never consume anything you're not one hundred percent sure about. Unlike me, Himself isn't a lover of the chutney so it doesn't get served frequently so it's in the pantry for a longer time. Now that I'm retired, the apple pie filling may or may not be enough for an entire year. We'll see. 

I've been reading more apple recipes in the Ball book. Apple season isn't over here, and the Cinnamon Crisp apples have become my new favorite. Yum! Himself has requested apple dumplings (a freezer item) and I think I'd like to make some apple jam for on pancakes. We need to be out and about later this afternoon, so maybe we can take a bit of an extra drive for another peck of apples. Probably for sure. 

Canning may seem like an old-fashioned activity, but it's really food science. And it's time management. An afternoon spent canning apples netted twelve side dishes for twelve dinners, and made baking pies quick and easy. And you know what? When I walk into my pantry, all the pretty jars put a smile on my face. 

The Lady of The Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, apples, home food preservation, canning food, pantry preparedness, time management, rural living, country lifestyle orchards, Ball book, Presto canners, pressure canning, water bath canning, chutney, a writer's life

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