Friday, October 16, 2009

Pumpkin Sweet Apple Harvest and Apple Pie Filling Canning

It seems to be getting colder early this year and I've started to think that my apples might freeze before I get them picked, so today I got my long handles picker out and harvested four shopping bags full of my Pumpkin Sweet Apples.

They are an amazing apple green when ripe just like Granny Smith and a great old heritage apple with good storage qualities. Best used as a cooking apple I love them baked, in pies or apple sauce. I've never tried canning them before so this year I though I would can some pie filling and apple sauce. Today I canned five quart jars of Apple Pie Filling.

This also gave me an opportunity to use my new Starfrit Apple Peeler and slicer/corer, both worked very well and only cost $11.50. The slicer only makes eight sections from each apple and I thought they were too thick for pies so I cut each section into two pieces. To keep the apple sections from turning brown before I could can them I put them in a solution of one gallon of water with two tablespoons each of vinegar and salt.

Next I made a thick syrup by cooking until thickened a mixture of 4 ½ cups sugar, 1 cup cornstarch, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, 10 cups water and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. The rest was easy pack the jars full of sliced apples, cover with the syrup, finger tighten jar lids and process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes after the water returns to a full boil.

The syrup is delicious I hope it makes a good pie.

Some Pumpkin Sweet Info:

Pumpkin Sweet (Pound Sweet, Pound Sweeting, Pumpkin Sweeting, Rhode Island Sweet, Round Sweet, Vermont Sweet, Lyman’s Pumpkin Sweet, Sweet Pumpkin, Yankee Apple) - The name for this apple is derived from its large size and yellowish-orange color. It originated in 1800's in the orchards of S. Lyman of Manchester, Connecticut and was first recorded in 1834. It has long been a popular apple in the South sought out for its culinary qualities. It is excellent for baking or canning, but less desirable for fresh eating. Fruit is large to very large with tough, smooth skin with patches of russet, occasionally showing a brownish-red blush. The yellow flesh is firm, crisp, juicy, and very sweet. Ripens October or later.(Quoted from Big Horse Creek Farm website.

1. The finished product, 2. The finished product, 3. The corer/slicer, 4. The corer/slicer, 5. In a vinegar and salt bath to stop browning, 6. The Starfrit peeler, 7. The Starfrit peeler, 8. The harvest, 9. Pumpkinsweet Apples on the tree, 10. Long handled picker in action., 11. Long handled picker in action., 12. Harvest

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