Written by Megan of Stetted.
Now that we’ve covered a few of the basics of canning, I wanted to move on to one of my favorite things to can in the summertime: pie filling.
I adore pie, but my family doesn’t need pie weekly. All too frequently my pie cravings hit in the dead of winter, when it’s hard to get good, fresh ingredients for pie. Those cans of filling from the grocery store just don’t cut it for me, so I’ve taken to making my own pie fillings from fresh peaches and apples when they come in season.
This year I decided to expand my pie filling stash to include cherries, thanks to a stock-up sale our local store had recently. Pie filling is quite easy to put up and requires only a few ingredients.
As in jam, the fruit is cooked slightly before packing into jars. Blanching the fruit helps soften it and allows you to pack more into the jar. The trick is to get as much fruit as possible into the jar – too much liquid and not enough fruit will result in a soggy pie when you pop the seal months down the road. Cherries pack into jars fairly easily, but you can use a wooden spoon handle to press the fruit down and remove any trapped air bubbles.
Like many other canning recipes, this calls for lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice is recommended rather than fresh juice; pH levels are very important in canning and bottled juice has more consistent pH. [Read more…]