Canning Pumpkin

Pumpkins offer far more than a door-stop at Halloween. This season is also the prime time to find and use sugar or pie pumpkins, the best for cooking and baking.  Pumpkin seeds from any pumpkin can also be dried and roasted.

pumpkins

Canning pumpkin butter or mashed or pureed pumpkin is NOT recommended.

The only directions for canning pumpkin and winter squash are for cubed flesh. Only pressure canning methods are recommended for canning cubed pumpkin.An average of 16 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 10 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints – an average of 2¼ pounds per quart. Pumpkins and squash should have a hard rind and stringless, mature pulp of ideal quality for cooking fresh. Small size pumpkins (sugar or pie varieties) make better products.

Wash; remove seeds, cut into 1-inch-wide slices, and peel. Cut flesh into 1-inch cubes. Boil 2 minutes in water.Caution: Do not mash or puree. Fill jars with cubes and cover cooking liquid, leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process following the USDA recommendations, which can be found here  at the National Center for Home Preservation

Apple Season

It is apple season and here is one of the easiest items you can preserve and use all year long.

apple-pie

Apple Pie Filling

Ingredients:
4 1/2 – cups sugar
1 – cup cornstarch or 1/2 cup Clear Jel starch
* We prefer Clear Jel
2 – teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 – teaspoon nutmeg
1 – teaspoon salt
3 – tablespoons lemon juice
10 – cups of water
6 pounds of tart apples, washed, peeled and thinly sliced
(I used a combination of golden delicious and granny smith apples)

Directions:

In a large pot, blend together sugar, cornstarch/Clear Jel, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the 10 cups of water and lemon juice with a wire whisk. Cook and stir until bubbly and thick; remove from heat.

While the filling is cooking peel and slice the apples. Add apples to a solution of 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to 1 quart of water to avoid discoloration while you peel all the apples.

Drain the fruit well before packing in jars. Pack apples into clean, hot canning jars leaving an inch from the top of the jar.

Fill with the hot syrup, leaving 1/2 inch space from the top of the jar. Remove air bubbles by running a knife around the insides of each jar. Close the jars with sterile lids and rims.

Process in a boiling water bath for 20 -30 minutes. Use a jar tongs to remove the jars from water Place the jars on a dish towel to dry and allow the jars to cool for several hours.
*Confirm process time based on elevation at National Center for Home Preservation

Check the seals to make certain the lids are sealed properly.