Canning Tips to Keep in Mind for the Holidays

Caramel Apple PieEven though the gardens are mostly gone there is still plenty of time to do some home food preservation.  As I was making some Mrs. Wages® Pie Filling this week, I was thinking ahead to the holidays and started making plans for giving some of my home preserved food away.

Giving something you have made to family and friends shows that you care about them and adds your personal touch to the gift.

Don’t forget that Mrs. Wages® has a new home canning guide that is available on their website.  It would make a great gift for the home canner.

Other ideas for gifts include a small water bath canner (for jams and jellies) along with a case of jelly jars and labels.  Gadgets such as apple peelers, bubble freers, jar lifters, and of course packages of Mrs. Wages® mixes along with garden seeds would help some get ready for the next season. Go to the Mrs. Wages® online store by clicking here.

Give a Gift from Your Kitchen
Let’s look at some ideas and recipes for foods that you might want to share.  Start with the Apple Pie Filling.  To make the pie filling you need:

  • 1 package Mrs. Wages® Fruit Pie Filling
  • 12 cups of peeled and sliced apples (about 4-5 pounds as purchased)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups fresh apple cider (my twist to the recipe)
  • 3 wide-mouth quart jars, lids, and rings

Prepare a boiling water bath canner with enough water to cover quart jars.  Place the clean jars in the water bath and bring the water to a simmer.  Blanch the apple slices in simmering water until they are softened.  Place the hot blanched apples in a pot with a lid to keep them warm.  In a large saucepan, using a wire whisk, mix together the sugar, Mrs. Wages™ mix, and cider stirring until smooth.  Place over medium heat, stirring constantly, and cook until the sauce is thickened and bubbly.  Pour the sauce over the prepared apples and mix well.

Remove the jars from the canner draining the water out as you take them from the canner.  Using a funnel, fill the jars with the apple mixture leaving at least 1-inch of headspace.  With a bubble freer, remove any bubbles that may be trapped in the jar. Using a damp paper towel, wipe the jar rims making sure that all of the mixture is cleaned from the rim.  Add the lid and  place the ring on the jar finger tight.

Using a jar lifter, place the jars of apples in the boiling water bath canner making sure the water is at least 1-inch over the tops of the jars.  Bring the water to a boil and begin timing after the water reaches a boil.  Process for 20 minutes.  At the end of the processing time, remove the jars from the canner and allow to cool for 24 hours.  Test to make sure the jars have sealed.

For my pie filling, I used a mixture of Arkansas Black, Jonagold, and Rome apples.  Make sure that most of the apples are firm apples that hold their shape during cooking.

Now for the gifting …  Put together a kit to make something with the pie filling.  My suggestion is a kit for apple crisp. I also give away my reduced sugar wine jelly during the holidays.

Why don’t you let me know what kinds of gifts you cook up your kitchen by leaving a message (or, better yet, a photo) on my Facebook Page!

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