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Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Posted by bellamart (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 10, 07 at 13:51

I made canned apple pie filling last nite and thought I had all the air bubbles out. This was not an easy task since the filling was thick and the apples were only blanched but it looked like they were out. This morning I looked at the jars and saw there were some air bubbles still scattered throughout the jars.

Is this safe to still store the jars or do I need to go through the whole process again?? No site I have been on answers this question, only how to get the air bubbles out before you process. Can anyone help?
Thanks in advance!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

It is extremely difficult to get bubbles out of thick mixtures. I'd recommend you cut back on the ClearJel next time. It's not necessary to use as much as the recipe calls for.

But the good news is your apples are safe and you don't need to re-process.

Carol


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

I agree, the Clear jel is too much. I add extra apple juice sometimes to thin it down if I need to, as well.


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Carol,
Thanks for quick response and thank God I don't have to hassle with that again!!!
I never made this before and it is great to hear I should cut back on the clear gel, considering the price I paid is highway robbery!! lol
How much clear gel would you suggest to cut back on?


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

If you used the UGA Apple Pie Filling recipe (see link) which calls for 1 1/2 cups, I'd cut back to 1 cup or even less. To my taste, those recipes are so heavily thickened the resulting pie filling is just like glue - way too gummy. I remember the first time I made Boysenberry Pie Filling (following the recipe religiously) I ended up using 1 jar of filling with an equal amount of frozen berries just to reduce the thickness to a consistency I could live with.

It's not a safety issue to reduce the ClearJel, so you might do a 1-quart batch as a trial run and see just how much thickening you prefer. The bonus, as you mentioned, is it's also more economical.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Apple Pie Filling


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Yes, it did seem extremely thick from the clear gel. I have never made it before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was hoping that when I put it in the pie crust and baked it, that it would thin down and be ok. However, what you have said about it being very gummy has me worried.
Do you think there's any way to salvage my fillings? If I use more apple juice before I bake it, will that make it too runny or gummy? If my pies come out ok and I ever can any more pie fillings, I will definately cut back on the clear gel.


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

I don't imagine it will thin down in the pie, or if it does, it will thicken up again when cooled. You have a couple of options for salvaging the filling. One is to thin with apple juice, as Linda Lou suggested. Another is to can a batch of plain apple slices and then combine 1 jar of thickened with 1 jar of unthickened to use in pies, cobblers, etc.

I can spiced apples with sugar, water, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and mace but no thickening. That sort of thing could be easily done and then combined. It's additional work, but on the other hand, you have double the jars for pies, crisps, etc.

I do like the thickened fillings (regular recipe) layered with yogurt and granola for breakfast parfaits, so that might be a possibility, but obviously it doesn't fill the bill as far as pies are concerned.

Carol


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Yes, I thought of adding additional apples after I posted. Your canned spiced apples sounds great! I would love to have your recipe.


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

In the future if you do add a liquid, try adding frozen, canned apple juice concentrate. It can help increase flavor as well as sweeness, naturally. My pie filling also had a few small bubbles, but I'm not concerned.


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

I wish I had remembered this thread. I just made cherry pie filling and it was actually boiling out of the jars after I finished processing it and placed it on the towel to cool. So no seal, of course.

Will the pseudo-sealed jars keep in the fridge for 7 days until I can get back to the farm to pick more cherries and make another batch to even out the thickening? And will the Clear Jel survive a thickening and reheating?

I thought about adding cherry juice, but it looks so good having lots of cherries in the jar instead of too much of the gel. If I have to resort to store-bought canned pie cherries to save this, I guess I will, but I'll still pick more cherries and make a separate "perfect" batch for my dad.

This was supposed to be my dad's Father's Day present because he loved my cherry pie at Thanksgiving. I know he would open a jar and pour it into a store-bought crust to make a pie for dinner. I'll send him a picture anyway and I can always start over if I have to. But can I just refrigerate the jars for 7 days before reprocessing?

Melissa


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Here, we have sour cherries packed in water in glass jars. These are sold at some supermarkets in the import food sections. As to Clear Jel, its one of those things that seems to remain quite stable compared to corn starch as a thickener. If the acidic level is very high, the Clear Jel can thin out and seperate a little. If your making the pie filling in the future, mix the Clear Jel with a little juice or water, as a slurry. Then pour in a little of the slurry while the mixture is boiling to see what the thickness is like, as Clear Jel sets up quite fast while being added to a boiling liquid. Keep in mind that Clear Jel does thicken while cooling too. Be sure to leave about 1/2 to 3/4 inch head space between the top of the filling and top the edge of the jars. If the mixture isn't quite thick enough, you can easily add a little more of the slurry of liquid and Clear Jel. I like it to be slightly tart, and hate it when there is more liquids than solids. Cherry pie is supposed to be loaded with cherries, not a red pudding.. At times, I even add a little sour cherry flavoring if they are canned cherries, and taste a bit bland.


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Personally, given the fact that you have a high-acid sugared product and you're now refrigerating, I don't see a problem in keeping it 7 days and then combining with another batch of just cherries (with any amount of additional sweetener you feel suits you), heating and processing. You're out time, utilities and new lids, but you've salvaged the batch.

The texture may be softer, but no one's likely to notice in a pie anyway.

This is another downside of those recipes. They're far more likely to boil over. I tend also to allow more a bit more headspace for that reason. I really don't know what the extension agencies are thinking of, recommending so much thickening.

As far as quality is concerned, I much prefer to freeze pie cherries, but I understand for gift-giving that's hardly convenient and some also need the freezer space for other purposes.

Carol


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Thanks a lot Carol, I think I'll try it. I left one inch of headspace as recommended...that seems like the maximum ever recommended, so I guess all I can do is thin it.

I was thinking I would add more cherries, liquid, flavoring, and lemon juice, but no more Clear Jel. Do you think adding just cherries would be better?

I also thought that maybe thinning it with juice would be ok after all, if I put it back into the same number of jars and throw away the extra "pudding" as Ken calls it. Would Naked brand Cherry Pomegranate juice be ok? It's a 100% juice blend, pretty tart, but is the pomegranate juice ok to add?

I hadn't thought of freezing. Can I freeze the pie filling with Clear Jel in it?

I had 5 quarts, so I'm willing to experiment two different ways. They'll go in the fridge tonight while I think about it. I want to end up with 2-3 quarts for my dad. For the Thanksgiving pie, I can freeze some cherries later with no time pressure...I was planning another picking trip in a few weeks, not next weekend, so the no-new-cherries solutions are looking more attractive the more I think about it.

Thanks for the quick responses! I'll report back when I get around to trying a fix.

Melissa


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

I freeze ClearJel-thickened cherry pies (unbaked) and put them in the freezer with no problems whatsoever. I don't see any reason why you couldn't freeze the thickened filling.

What if you just froze the contents of the unsealed jars and then with the next picking made a fresh batch for your father with approximately half the thickening? You could also freeze some plain cherries and mix with the existing quarts for baking. For fruit pies I never make less than two at a time - one for baking and one for freezing. From my perspective, once I have the ingredients out and have made all the mess, I might as well make double. It's like money in the bank, having a few pies frozen and ready to bake.

Just a suggestion. Pie cherries are one of the most successful "freezable" items you'll ever run across.

Personally, if I were re-canning, I wouldn't add juice of any other kind. Pie cherries are one of the great gourmet treats. A cherry pie shouldn't be messed with.

Carol


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

I have used Clear Jel as a thickener for meat gravies and in frozen meat pies. It does seperate a little and will have a little watery liquid. I have been using another modified food starch much more suitable for freezing. Its called Freezer Flo and has been consistant in my chicken pie fillings with added veggies and a crust. These are made and frozen raw, except for the meat which is precooked.
It will take very little liquid to thin out the filling. You don't want to go too far with thinning, as once made in a pie and sliced open, the filling will run out all over, leaving the top crust to become hollow and empty. My cherry pies are thickened enough that once cut into, the cherries remain for the most part, quite firm, but still have a little liquid as a thick syrup. Pomegranates have been around forever, but just in that few years they have been very popular as a natural antioxident. I even see blueberry juice in bottles, as well as Goji and a few other exotics I have never heard of before.


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

I have never experienced separation of ClearJel in the freezer.

Those canned quarts are never sufficient for a pie, as far as I'm concerned. You basically have 3 cups of fruit and all that thickening. I generally use 5-6 cups of fruit per pie, so if I'm making two pies I'd use three quarts of canned fruit, only one of which would be thickened. The other two quarts would be drained of most juice and added to the thickened mixture.

But it's entirely personal preference. I like lots of fruit in pies and not too thickened. It just seems too viscous for our taste.

Carol


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Fascinating Carol! I thought I remembered one quart making a decent pie in a shallow Pyrex pan. My dad would be using the refrigerated or frozen dough which would be pretty shallow. But I use 6 cups of apples in a regular pie.

For the plain cherries, do you use a recipe and method similar to the Clear Jel recipe, and leave out the Clear Jel? Also, do you like almond extract and/or cinnamon in the filling?

I'm thinking I'll freeze the existing stuff, give it to my dad who has a second freezer, and freeze him some plain cherries to add. Then for me, I'll try another batch with half the thickener.

This filling has so much Clear Jel it's cloudy, not clear like the last time I made it. Pretty gross all around. So glad it's salvageable. Thanks!

Melissa


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Well, I don't can cherries if I can avoid it (except for dark sweet cherries in a liqueur syrup). Freezing is definitely my preference.

But if I were canning, I'd just can the cherries plain in a light sugar syrup, similar to peaches, apricots or any other fruit. Check the link below.

For pies I use an old Farm Journal recipe called "Cherry Pie Special" modified for clearjel (which I add after the cherries are thawed, if frozen, or to fresh cherries).

The original recipe called for canned plain cherries, tapioca for thickener, a bit of almond and a bit of lemon juice. No cinnamon.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Canning Sweet or Sour Cherries


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

The Clear Jel, if too much is added can give a slightly cloudy sauce. Also, if its not cooked enough to properly set, it can also cause some cloudiness. When I make pies and want to use the premade crusts (thank God they now roll them instead of folding), I will paint water on one crust and add a second, then roll out to a slightly larger diameter as my pie pans are almost 10 inches around, and quite deep. A single crust will barely reach the edges. I also paint water on the top crust and sprinkle some sugar on it before its baked. I do this with apple pies too. I use about 2 quarts of filling per pie. Tapioca is always a good standby for thickening a filling that is going to be baked, but NEVER use Tapioca for any home canning.


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

For clarification, I was referring to baked or frozen pies with tapioca as a thickener. I was not referring to canning.

Carol


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Just wanted to report back that I picked another gallon of cherries to add to my 5 quarts of too-thick pie filling. I reprocessed in two batches. The first time, I wasn't thinking and left the cherries in the syrup while returning everything to a boil. Those started to fall apart. The second time, I strained the cherries out and reheated just the saucy part. (I boiled the new cherries for one minute, and reheated the previously canned ones in the microwave so they would be hot when I added them back to the sauce.)

The second batch looks better than the first, but I now have six quarts and three pints of pie filling with good seals that ring a nice clear note when tapped. I thought the filling looked pretty thin, but I would rather have the seals than the thickness. I might make a test pie and determine whether my dad should add some thickener before baking. I'll give him the better-looking jars, maybe saving enough of the pretty filling to make the Thanksgiving cherry pie for the relatives.

Thanks so much for all the help Carol, I really appreciate the dialog and advice! I ended up keeping the jars in the fridge for two weeks before reprocessing, but the jars were sealed enough that I had to pry them open, so I felt ok about it. Thanks!

Melissa


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

I can apple slices in a very light syrup and add lemon juice. When ready to make pie, I drain the syrup into a sauce pan and thicken it as I would making gravy. When thickened I add the drained apples, 1 teas. cinnamon and one or two thinly sliced fresh apples. Stir just enough to mix. Place in pie shell and add top crust.


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Good idea Shirley. Do you have any experience with pre-thickened canned pie fillings? I'm wondering whether it will further thicken in the pie, as regular pie fillings do, or whether it does all its thickening ahead of time. I suspect the latter. I'll see how bad it runs out and decide...last Thanksgiving it didn't sit in the pan long enough to run out, everyone ate it up quick! My dad was really impressed that I made it. Not sure why, because I make other pies pretty frequently, but then again he's always impressed by what my sister and I cook. What a great dad. :-)

Melissa


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

Melissa,
I have canned pie filling before and found the apples at the top 3/4 of the jar and the thickening at the bottom and had to stir before placing in the crust. I gave up on that method as I prefer no thickener when canning. Once the syrup is thickened in the saucepan, that is it. Don't make it thicker than gravy. Remember, it will set up more after baking and cooled. I make my elderberry pie the same way.
You made me smile when you said you Dad liked your pie. When I was a teenager and made pie, Dad asked me to teach my mother how to make it. Guess he preferred mine. He especially liked my crust which my Mom taught me how to make. My Mom made wonderful pie though.

Shirley


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RE: Help!! Anyone know about air bubbles and canning???

I made apple pie filling last year and used Clear Jel. It was enough that the apples didn't float. When I make a pie, I also add an other fresh apple to the filling, when filling a pie. Spread butter or margerine on the inside bottom crust prior to filling. This helps keep the bottom crust from getting too mushy from the liquid. Another one is to use Alligator pepper as a seasoning for the apples, see link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grains of Paradise


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