Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Canning Apple Cider

I was so blessed to meet Betty through a friend of mine.
She is a sweet older lady from our church with an orchard full of beautiful {almost organic} apples.
Every year she lets me pick boxes and boxes for a meager price.
This year the Galas were ready really early, so I brought 10 boxes of beautiful apples to be pressed.
We have another sweet older man in our area who presses for $1.25/ gallon.
The juice is so amazing and I love canning it for the winter months!
We love to have warm apple cider with a cinnamon stick and hot buttered popcorn at night.
Here is how I can it in 1/2 gallon jars...
{I have to put this disclaimer in, because by no means is this a standard way to can! Please remember that you are doing this at your own risk...even though I have NEVER in 5 years had any issues! If your canning method didn't work, the cider will have a mold at the top...or it will turn into vinegar. You probably won't want to drink it like that anyway :).}

1. I use 1/2 gallon jars, but any size is just fine. My directions will be for the 1/2 gallon jars, because they are too tall to water bath in a standard canner.

2. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.

3. Start by boiling your jars and lids and rings.

4. Put sterile jars in hot oven to rest.
The key to this process is to keep everything HOT and bacteria free!

5. Heat apple cider in heavy bottomed pot to 180 degrees for 1 minute.
This will kill any bacteria. If you let it get much warmer, the taste is compromised. 
By heating to 180 for 1 minute, the juice stays so fresh tasting!
{Bringing the juice to 160 degrees is effective pasteurization.}

6. Using a funnel, fill HOT jars from the oven with HOT cider. Leave about 1/2 inch head space at the top.

 7. Wipe top of jar with a damp rag to remove any drops of cider on top edge.
Seal with HOT lid and ring.
Listen to your jars pop as they seal!

8. Let sit for 24 hours before removing ring.

For pint or quart jars, water bath for 5 minutes...longer for altitudes over 1000 ft.}

{In 5 years, I have only had 3 jars not seal properly. Remember...HOT, HOT, HOT is the key to success! I do realize not everyone is comfortable with this, so please use your best judgement :). We usually use the juice up within 6 months.}

Wishing you a day full of Autumn joys...



Michelle said...

Your so lucky to have someone that presses. This year our apple orchards didn't do well at all. My favorite one was out of apples in less them a week. He is usually open for 2 months. He just didn't get a good crop this year.

Bonnie said...

Thanks for this post Julia. My mom canned this way for years and we are all still here. I try to follow best practices and use the guidelines from my extension service but I agree with you that sanitation and heat are so important. I'd love to have those jars in my pantry. They might not last 2 weeks at our house. Love your blog! You always post useful things.

Megan @ Restoring the Roost said...

What a wonderful post! I just love apple cider. Thanks for the tutorial on canning it- I will add it to my pin boards!

Natalie said...

Oh thank you so much. I was planning to make apple cider from our own tree next year (well, try anyways) but didn't want to end up with a bunch in the freezer. This will be perfect...I've pinned it for later use.
Thanks again.

Jennifer said...

Your apple cider looks superb~
Don't you just LOVE preserving things through canning!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to have such a gracious
man and woman at your church!
Your apple cider looks so warm
and yummy! I look forward to apple
cider as the weather is changing and the nights are so crisp and cool!
Thank you for the tutorial!

Unknown said...

Hi, this is the first time I've run across your blog; I was trying to see if someone else is using the method you are using on apple cider. I did not know what the temp should be. I suppose I could check the pH? It sounds like you use the 180, tip them over (did you tip?) for the half-gallons, but not the quarts. Have you done quarts? In the past, I've always water bathed cider, but we don't care for the cooked taste. I've got 30 gallons of cider settling in the cooler (and another 15 bushels of #2s waiting) and not enough room in the freezer (and 42 empty quart jars). Does 180 and tip yield a fresher tasting result than 180+5 minutes in a water bath? I hope you're still taking care of this post and have an answer. I need to take care of this shortly. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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