Tuesday, September 3, 2019

More Indigo Dyeing and Canning

This past week my sister came over to try out indigo dyeing (I guess I think everyone should see how interesting it is).

This time we used the indigo kit from Jacquard. It worked really well - created that nice dark blue I was hoping for the last time I dyed with indigo.

I sewed a top with one of the pieces of fabric (the pattern is the Bondi Top by Sew to Grow - it was harder to sew than I thought it should have been, but it is comfy and I like the fabric. I had to add some pleats at the neck because it was so big).

I also finished spinning a project that I started spinning in July during Tour de Fleece.

This is from a local raw fleece that I had processed and dyed. Ended up with over half a kilo, and over 2000 metres of about Sport/DK weight yarn.

I started knitting the Autumn League Pullover, a free pattern by Alexandra Tavel.

Canned Apple Pie Filling -

We have been making canned apple pie filling this week (this is the first time we have had apple trees so we are trying every way to preserve apples) and I wanted to share my experience. I am really pleased with the results.

the first two batches
I used the recipe from a canning magazine I had bought at the beginning of summer, but here is a link to the same recipe with lots of helpful tips
The recipe calls for ClearJel (a modified corn starch) as a thickener. I couldn't find it anywhere in Winnipeg (a large city) so I ordered it online from Ontario. I had read a lot about thickeners while I was searching out the product and apparently you can't substitute regular, ie. easy to find, thickener because they don't withstand the canning process. I also read that some people didn't add a thickener when canning apple pie filling, just used their regular thickener when they baked a pie. We have been canning all kinds of apple products, Maple Apple Butter is delicious, as well canned apples in light syrup, the canned apples just floated, so I don't think making apple pie filling without a thickener would work as well.

Since my package of ClearJel was only enough for a couple of batches of pie filling we decided to see if we could find the product locally and decided to try the nearby smaller towns, with better luck. Prairie Foods in Plum Coulee had Thermo Flo - a different brand of modified corn starch. I used the same amount of starch for the latest batch of pie filling and it didn't seem as "gloopy" as the ClearJel, but thickened nicely (there isn't much online about Thermo Flo, ClearJel seems to be the popular one).
After the first batch we have been experimenting with the recipe a bit each time, it was a bit too sweet with lots of 'sauce' - we are up to 16 cups of sliced apples instead of 12, a bit less sugar and an extra 1/2 cup of water. We do leave a good 1" of headspace (up to where the jars start curving in) when filling the jars, and leave the jars in the canner (regular water bath canner), off the heat, for 10 minutes, to minimize siphoning.

A jar from the first batch on the left (without the ring) and the latest batch (first with the thermo Flo) fresh from the canner on the right (with the ring) - a better fruit to 'sauce' ratio for us.

Photos from Around-

 Swallows on the wire.
 Our first ever homegrown watermelon - tiny but so delicious!
We thought it was funny that our oldest was so surprised that there were so many seeds - he has only had seedless, and we remembered why we only ate watermelon outside when we were young.
Surprised by a couple of deer on our walk.

All the best!♥︎


PaintedThread said...

That apple pie filling looks delicious!

Lady Locust said...

Oooooh, aaaaaah, Indigo :-) It's beautiful. We do the same thing when we get apples, cider, dehydrate w/ cinnamon, pie, apple butter & more I'm sure I'm forgetting at the moment.
Have a great evening.

Joan said...

Love all that you are up to Joanne...that apple looks delicious too.. We are jhome again after just over 10,000k to the East Coast and back .. Looking forward to getting back to quilting...Joan

Terri said...

Your apple pie filling looks wonderful! I would highly recommend a book called "Stocking Up." IT tells you how to can, freeze, dry, or preserve almost everything! My grandparents were organic gardeners before it was popular and they used this book constantly. Even though I don't live on a farm, I still have this book in my collection. It's got great recipes too! I googled it and found it everywhere from $1.99 (US) to $38.00 (Amazon).

I really enjoy reading your blog!

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