Friday, October 14, 2011

Canning Cider

I have a great friend who offered to let me and the kids come over and help pick up apples and pears.  We then took them over to a local Amish Farm where we had them pressed into cider!!!  All of our kids anxiously watched as our apples and pears were pressed into the golden goodness.  We started out with about 4 1/2 bushels of pears and 1/2 bushel of apples. 

To this we added 1 bushel of apples from the Amish man.  He suggested to add some apples since we mainly had pears.  Our kids watched as the apples and pears went up a gasoline powered conveyor belt be chopped and dropped down into a pressing table.  Then they were slowly pressed.  It is amazing how much juice comes out of the fruit.  Out of respect for the Amish faith I did not take pictures of this process.  The Amish family were working around the machines and they do not believe in taking pictures. 

Out of all this fruit we got 22 gallons of Cider!!  My  friend was gracious enough to let me have half of this.  So I brought home 11 gallons of Cider.  I gave one gallon to my parents and decided to can 8 gallons of it.  That left us with 2 gallons to consume fresh.  Since we picked up the apples and pears off the ground I pasteurized the cider before drinking it.  This is simply bringing it to boil and boiling it for a couple of minutes.  I then let it cool back down and put in jugs and put in the fridge to drink.

To can the cider it is very simple.  You just bring the cider to a nice rolling boil, this also pasteurizes the cider that I am canning. 

Pour the hot cider into your hot, clean, sterilized jars.  Fill the jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Boil your new lids and place on top of jars after wiping the rims clean.  Hand tighten the rings and place in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. 

Here are my 8 gallons of Cider ready to be put into the pantry.  It will be nice to open up a jar of cider this winter and serve cold or mulled with spices.  The tall jars are 1/2 gallon jars.  I purchased 18 of these this year.  These are only used for juice.  The smaller jars are quart jars.  I am excited to have some good cider.  Since we had more pears than apples it is a bit sweeter than apple cider.  My kids love the taste of it and so do I!!


Lady Farmer said...

Wow! What fun for your children to help with the apple cider making. I'm sure they will remember the days of taking apples to the Amish and tell their children about their childhood!
We made six gallons from our little apple crop this year. We started freezing ours (in glass jars) because I have heard that boiling/canning kills all the vitamins in it. Have you heard that?
Enjoy your delicious cider!

Kateri said...

I've never had pear/apple cider--that sounds so yummy!

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

That sounds great! I wish we had something like that around here. Thanks for sharing such a fun day.

Deborah Jean at Dandelion House said...

I'm thursty! Looks yummy and what a great thing to do with your children!

Ladybug said...

Looks yummmy My sister makes Pear
Butter which is awesome...

Ladybug :-)

Hibiscus House said...

I enjoyed that and always wondered how you make cider. Your story is very interesting. I love the Amish and the way of life. Thanks for sharing.