Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Homemade Grape Juice

After washing the grapes, place them in the strained pot at the top.
Here are the grapes when taken off the stems.

There is some discussion still in our family about whether or not
keeping the stems on the grapes matters when it comes to taste.
Whether or not it is a factor, the white grape juice turned out MUCH
better than the purple/red this time around.

This is what they look like all together.

This is the middle of the stacked pans - it's where the juice collects

This is the base pan - you must keep it at least 1/2 - 3/4ths full of water.

Here we go... Get all of the glass jars clean and ready.
You'll want them to be hot at the time the juice is placed in them so they don't crack.
I just usually keep them in the dishwasher as we are processing.

Use a small pan like this one to heat the rubber side of the lids.
About 5 minutes per lid. This makes for a nice seal. All you have to do is fill the jars,
place this on a clean top, screw on the ring and let the jars cool down overnight.
They will seal without further processing.

Set up a raised area that you can work on to fill jars.
We place a cheesecloth and a small strainer in place to
avoid a lot of settlement or debri in the jars.

Once there is enough juice, start filling the jars.
Sometimes it helps to use pliers so the clamp doesn't slip.

Be sure to use hot pads to move the hot jar from the stool to the counter.

Keep going, checking the water on the bottom level
and the grapes. You may need to add more or replace the entire
load of grapes. They'll look like watery plump raisins.

The jars will be very hot. Let them sit in one place and cool all night long.
Don't let them touch each other and try to keep things as clean as possible.
The jars can be washed once cooled if there's any extra stickiness
you need to clean before storing.

Many hours and dishes later, you've got wonderful grape juice.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Pie Recipes by Jenna McKinney: Pumpkin, Pecan, Apple

Wow. I can't believe I don't have my favorite pie recipes on here yet. I may be a little late for Thanksgiving this year, but they'll be here for whenever I want them in the future.

Pumpkin Pie 
2 eggs
1/2 tsp each: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt
3/4 c sugar (brown or granulated)
1 3/4 c canned pumpkin
1/2 c water
1 c evaporated milk
1 unbaked pastry shell (see my recipe)

Mix eggs, sugar, spices, salt and pumpkin well. Add milk (see tip for homemade evaporated powdered milk) and water. Stir until mixture is smooth. Pour into shell(s).
I usually double this and split it between a large 9" pie pan and a smaller Marie Calendar sized one (those seem smaller than normal); placing more of the filling into the 9" one.
Bake at 400 F for 45-55 min (until crust is brown and middle isn't giggly).

Tip - mix up your own powdered evaporated milk:
1 c water + 2/3 c powdered milk

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 c lite corn syrup
3/4 c melted margarine
3 beaten eggs
1 1/2 c pecans
Blend all ingredients, stirring in pecans last. Pour into unbaked pie shell.
Bake at 350 F for 35-45 min.

Apple Pie - Round One

Apple Pie Round Two.... Apple filling

Apple Crumb Topping

Fresh Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Fresh Apple Pie
1/2 c brown sugar + 1/4 c granulated sugar
2 T each: quick tapioca or flour (or 4 T flour)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
7 thinly sliced apples
1 T butter

Apple Pie Crumb Topping: 1/2 c brown sugar, 3/4 c flour, 1/3 c margarine
Place apples, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into pie crust.
In a small bowl, mix flour and tapioca together. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle mixture on top of apples and other ingredients already in pie crust. Bake for 50 min at 400 F.
Alma's first homemade pie crust

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