For several years I have pressure canned carrots and green/wax beans from the garden. This year I swore I would preserve as much as humanly possible of all our garden fruits and vegetables, so when spring rolled around I set to work locating a cookbook to guide the process. After a good deal of research I decided upon Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything by Mary Clemens Meyer & Susanna Meyer. This cookbook turned out to be an excellent choice to suit all my preservation needs, yet there was one particular recipe I have been itching to try. This is, of course, the apple cake in a jar recipe. To give credit where credit is due, this specific recipe is from Amy Gingerich. I made minor revisions that I will be sure to note for you, but my attempt yielded 9 pint jars of this yummy cake, in which I put to use our first year of apples from our apple trees.
Apple Cake in a Jar
2/3 cup shortening 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 2/3 cups sugar 3 cups flour
4 eggs 2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons cinnamon 3 cups grated apples
2 teaspoons baking soda 2/3 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2/3 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. In separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients alternately with water and mix until smooth. Fold in apples, raisins (which I omitted), and nuts.
Spray wide-mouth canning jars well with non-stick spray. * (Be sure to use wide-mouth jars.) Fill no more than half full with batter, being careful to keep rims clean. Place jars on baking sheet in preheated 325 degree Fahrenheit oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, sterilize flat lids and metal rings in boiling water.
As soon as cake is done, remove jars from oven one at a time. Wipe rim of jar; put on lid and ring. Jars will seal as cakes cool. Cakes will keep for up to a year. Makes 7 to 9 pints, or 3 to 5 quarts.
*Due to my issue with the contents of non-stick spray, I chose to lightly grease each jar with shortening using a paper towel and my hand. This works just as well.
This recipe is excellent with caramel dribbled over the top, and makes a fantastic addition to a college or military care package. And for those of you still intimidated by pressure canning, this seals itself- a true bonus. Give it a try and enjoy!
**So how is it? Check out: https://diamondpointspirit.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/apple-cake-in-a-jar-success/ to see! Just had a jar last night (5/30/14) and it was excellent.