The End of Preservation
Last year, I canned apple pie filling and dehydrated the remaining apples. The apple pie filling is essentially a dump and serve and one only needs to do the crust and baking parts of making a pie. It is a big hit but I made like 50 or 60 pies worth which is probably more pies than we eat in five years time. So with this year's crop of apples, I was looking to do something different. My mom used to make jellies when I was young and I remember her strawberry jelly quite well. I thought perhaps making jelly out of apples would be a close second so I looked up several recipes from various trusted sources.
The first recipe I made was a pectin less jelly from a source that I get 95% of my canning information from and is run by a government agency. I have never had things go wrong following their formulas. But my first batch looked like apple soup still more than 24 hours after canning. I looked elsewhere and about all the recipes I found were similar except they used pectin. So I dumped the apple soup back into a pan, added pectin and recanned it. At the same time, I made a second batch using the same recipe but also adding pectin. The first batch, the recanned batch, set up but the second batch didn't. What did I do wrong?
After much research, I found out there is a lot that can go wrong using pectin and it sounds like misfires in the jelly world aren't uncommon. There were even lots of fix recipes out there for turning jelly soup into jelly and so I followed one of those fixes and successfully got the second batch of apple jelly canned and set up. So now we have enough jelly to last us for a few years, unless my wife gives a fair portion of it away which sometimes happens. The rest of the apples we picked are for eating until they go bad and then compost. There is still a small truck load of them left on the tree.
Below is one of my canned jars of pears. This is my second time for canning them so I didn't have any issues there. I think I had two pints out of about 80 that I canned that siphoned and ended up in the fridge for immediate consumption. Not sure why they siphoned but with 78 good pints, I'm not complaining or opening up and grand inquisition into the matter.
So with these now stacked in boxes at the foot of my canning shelves since there is no room on the shelves themselves, I carried all my canning gear downstairs and packed it away to next year. I hope anyway. I may end up with a bumper daikon radish crop and want to preserve some of them. I hope not but I've said that before and had things not work out that way. I horde homegrown food like others did toilet paper during the pandemic.