Melted Apples

So a couple weeks ago I went apple picking with Muscles, Chief, and MacBeth. I picked one bushell half Cortland half MacIntosh. Wolf made apple jelly which didn’t come out. He thinks he added too much honey and I agree. First, it never jelled and second all you could taste was honey. It was as if there were no apples in it.

Then I tried to jar up some apple pie filling. Now, last year I did this with great success but this year is a completely different story. The first time I tried I melted the apples completely. There is no way I can do anything with the goop in the jars so I guess I’m going to toss them. I *hate* tossing food, especially food I made. The second time I made some changes to the recipe and it helped a smidge but not enough because the apples melted anyways. Here’s the recipe (I don’t remember where I got it. Somewhere on the web).

Canned Apple Pie Filling
makes 7 quarts. 2 quarts make a 9” pie

4 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
10 cups water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
6 pounds apples

In a large pan, mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add salt and water and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and food coloring.

Sterilize canning jars, lids and rings by boiling them in a large pot of water.

Peel, core, and slice apples. Pack the sliced apples into hot canning jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.

Fill jars with hot syrup, and gently remove air bubbles with a knife.

Put lids on and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.

The changes I made were as follows: instead of putting hot liquid into the jars I put it in cold. I then put the jars into the hot water bath and cooked for about 13 minutes. While the apples retained some shape not all of them did so I can’t see how I can make them into a pie, cobbler, or crisp because they’ll completely melt during the cooking time.

Like I said I made this recipe last year with great success so I don’t understand what happened this time. The only thing I can think of is the type of apple I used. Last year Wolf bought apples at the grocery store and this year I picked. I’m thinking the type of apple he bought was different than what I picked, that they were a harder apple.

So I don’t know what to do with the melted apple pie filling. I don’t want to chuck them but…

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10 Responses to Melted Apples

  1. Silverwolf Sanctuary says:

    You need to be careful when canning with a hot water bath. If the recipes says ” put the hot liquid in and BOIL for 20 minutes” you should not alter those instuctions. By put cold liquid in and shorting the time you have not effectively not processed the jar properly. That can lead to botilum! When you said cooked them for 13 minutes, did you wait for the boil to return before setting your timer? All time needs to be when the water has come back to the boil after the jars have been put in.
    How old and or soft were the apples used? When you slice them are you putting them in an acid bath to keep them from going brown?
    Acid Bath: 1 gallon water with 1/2 cup of lemon juice.
    How soon after slice are you processing?
    This year I have used: macs, cortlands, honey crisp, baldwins, granny smiths, gold delisious, I have not had melting.

    As for the use, do they taste good? If so just make little one person tart, like hostess so there is not chuck but they taste yummy!
    As for the jelly what kind of pectin are you using? I use and have good luck with: “Ball’s Natural Gel No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin.” You can add sugar to this to the sweetness you like. So with our Grape jelly I only added 3/4c sugar whereas the standard recipe said to add 4c sugar. We like it a little tart and I cooked it longer than the box direction, I use the plate test to see when my jelly is set.

    We luck out and got access to someone’s little orchad and have picked to date over 12 bushels of apples the last 2 weeks I have been processing apples: Apple butter, Apple sauce, Green tomato mincemeat, Cider and soon Apple cider jelly. Yesterday was a detour we picked close to ten pounds of Wild grapes so I made grape jelly.
    Todays detour is processing the pears four bushel I think it will be Pear butter, pear jelly and canned pears.

    Hope it helped.


  2. Howling Hill says:

    Glenn: yes, the water was boiling when I put the jars in.

    The apples were not even a week old. I went apple picking on the 20th and did the first batch a couple days later and the second batch the next day. The apples didn’t seem soft but I guess they must’ve been because they melted. I sliced, put into the jar, then added the liquid pie filling so it was as immediate as I could make it.

    Yes, they taste fine. Very yummy actually. The tart idea sounds like a good one.

    Wolf didn’t use any pectin as the recipe he followed didn’t call for any. The remark in the book was “apples make their own pectin.” I guess some is in order, hu?

    Sounds like a lot of magic is occurring in your kitchen right now!

  3. Allie says:

    If the apples are mushy like applesauce, you can add them to baked goods. I use apple sauce in my zucchini muffins.

  4. Silverwolf Sanctuary says:

    Yes I understand the water was boiling when you put them in, but the jars temp lower the waters temp and usally takes the boil off. So you have to wait until the water comes to a boil again and then start the timer.

    Yes apple have high pectin, but most of it lies in the skins.
    I always use pectin. Try reprocessing the apple jelly using pectin, add one box of said pectin (above) to 4c of the apple jelly, bring to a boil and test for thinkness and re-can.

    Honey to sugar: To use honey in place of sugar, use 7/8 cup for every cup of sugar, and reduce the liquid in the recipe by 3 tablespoons. The only problem is you can’t subtract the extra liquid.


  5. Kathie says:

    Apples do technically make their own pectin. Some varieties are better than others of course, and I couldn’t tell you which are better. Did the recipe call for honey or sugar? Honey will effect jel quality.

    Becareul messing with those processing times. Apples should always be processed at 20 minutes minimum before adding time for altitude. Its the processing time that kills all the nasties.

    I never treat my fruit for browning, just fyi. In my experience the heat from the processing takes care of that. It may not win me any blue ribbons at the fair but it tastes just fine…

    Can you use the apples as ice cream topping?

  6. Howling Hill says:

    Allie: that’s a great idea. The apples all floated to the top of the liquid so I can just use them and toss the sugary liquid.

    Glenn: ok, I know what you mean now. Yes, I waited until the water boiled again before I set the timer.

    Kathie: got’cha (and Glenn) on mucking with the times.

    I can use them as ice cream topping but I gave up ice creme so that won’t work. I’m going to take Allie’s suggestion and make apple muffins with them.

  7. Definitely use them in baked goods – you can find a lot of recepies that use “sauce” to sweeten and moisten muffins and cakes!

    As for treating the sliced apples with a lemon juice acid bath is because we tend to do large batches and it keeps the apples from breaking down (turning brown and mushy.) If you are making sauce or cider or something wherre you do not mind them breaking down, you don’t need to treat them.

    Gotta love this time of year – every dish is dirty but the jars keep adding up! :)


  8. Beth says:

    You can simply use it as a topping/dipping sauce for biscuts, or good bread for when a sweet attack overtakes you. May not be fancy, but it will tast good! (FYI I’ve done the same with leftover Rhubarb sauce)

  9. Howling Hill says:

    Maggie: I’m doing some third ride time in Laconia tomorrow. They asked me to bring something sweet so I’m making apple muffins using the apples from this attempt.

    Beth: another great idea!

  10. morgannadimone says:

    Why not use it as apple butter???
    (On your apple muffins)

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