Tuesday, September 7, 2010

End of Apples

Last week was a super busy one, so busy in fact that I could not get to blogging about any of the canning I was doing. All was being done in short order and on a deadline since we were headed out of town for the Thresher's Reunion in Iowa on Labor Day weekend. One of the first things I finished off was the last of the box of apples! I am sure we will go apple picking at least once more this year before the winter, so this will not be the last of the apples for the year to be sure. This time I was experimenting in making my own pectin for use for next year. I got the idea from the fine folks over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. They have a really great tutorial that you can follow over there for making your own.

This project took the second bag of apple cuttings and scraps and put them to good use. This last set of scraps was not as fruitful as the other scraps with the added apples that I used for the apple syrup. I also squeezed the jelly bag this time in an attempt to get more juice out of the scraps to supplement the meager amount that had drained out using gravity alone. This made for a cloudy final product, but I think that I can drain off the pectin without adding the solids into the jam that I am making when I get around to using it.

Once the peels were juiced, it was into the fridge as I had run out of time that day. I could have drained off the solids here at this stage, but I was in a rush on that Friday to get it all finished up as I had a sick husband who came home early from work and a seemingly million item long list on my to do before Wednesday. Having a sick spouse at home was not going to make this to do list go by quicker. Needless to say, I cooked down the apple juice and then performed the pectin test outlined on the website. I got a good test, but I forgot to take a picture of the results. It was neat how the alcohol and juice just looked like liquid until I put the fork into it and scooped up. Then I got to see all the pectin globed up and solidified.

From there it was a quick trip into the two waiting jars and a 10 minute trip into the boiling water bath. They sealed down and then after sitting on the shelf for a day separated into the two layers you see here. I cannot wait to try them out. I think this year when I make my Pinot Pear jam I will use one of the jars instead of adding an apple like I did last year. From that experiment I am sure I will be able to tell if this will be strong enough for cherry next spring. If it turns out or not I will let you know. It is always good to hear about experiments and their end results. I hope it works well as this would be a great new way to use up something that otherwise would not have a use for me.


Anonymous said...

Ahh, this is such a thrill, thank you for trying it out! I'm so glad it worked for you! (And it really is amazing when the pectin forms a blob in the alcohol - always a good sign that it's going to set the jam well!)

Cheers, Celia

Fabulous Pants said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog Celia! Your tutorial and directions were so clear and concise. It made this project so easy!