Nothing To Crab About

I’ve been fond of imitation crab ever since my first taste of it dipped in a little homemade cocktail sauce. And I kind of like imitation crab that’s mixed with cheese that can be found at some Chinese buffets. The former is great to serve as an appetizer at a party.

But after discovering lump crab meat, I’ve decided the real thing is a lot better. My only cooking experience lump crab is the canned variety, which is about all we can get up here in the hinterland. I used it in a seafood chowder along with some shrimp and halibut.

Crab meat, like shrimp and salmon, works great for appetizers. The following finger-food recipe for crab-stuffed mushrooms would be a nice addition to a New Year’s Eve party.

I think the canned or even the imitation varieties would work well in the recipe. Both usually can be found in a supermarket’s meat department, although the canned sometimes is lumped in with other grocery items such as tuna.

Spicy Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
20 large (about 2½-inch diameter) white mushrooms
2 cups white wine
2 cups water
1 clove garlic
Juice of ½ lemon
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 shallot, peeled, minced
1 clove garlic, peeled, minced
1 pound cooked lump crab meat
1 egg
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup bread crumbs
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and finely chop the stems . Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot, bring all the poaching liquid ingredients to a boil. Add the mushroom caps. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Remove mushrooms from poaching liquid, season with salt and pepper and place bottom side up on a baking sheet.
In a medium skillet heat vegetable oil and saute the chopped mushroom stems, shallots and garlic until light golden brown. Set aside and let cool. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in the crab, egg, Dijon, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and zest and bread crumbs.
Evenly divide the mixture among the poached mushroom caps. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm or room temperature.
Yield: 20 stuffed mushrooms.
Approximate nutritional analysis per stuffed mushroom: 48 calories, 37 percent of calories from fat), 2 grams fat (no saturated), 2 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 101 milligrams sodium, 29 milligrams cholesterol, no fiber.

Appetizing Shrimp Appetizer

Appetizers are on the minds of many people. Of course, that’s because New Year’s Eve is just a day away.

At most parties celebrating another year gone by, you’ll be able to find trays of colorful vegetables served with rich, creamy dips. Maybe another with some sweets. And then, there’ll be chips, nuts and the like. Perhaps even bruschetta, which is the favorite of Paulette Hogan, who is a fellow exerciser (along with her husband, Pat) at Altru’s Fitness Cener in the old Rehab.

But if there’s one food that probably will be found at a majority of the parties, it’s shrimp. There are all kinds of shrimp appetizers. The simplest is just plain shrimp dipped in a cocktail sauce. (I like to mix a little horseradish and ketchup in mine.)

And then, there are the more elaborate ones. Some involve battering, breading and deep-frying, which are served with a rich dipping sauce and aren’t the healthiest but certainly among the tastiest.

The following recipe, based on the Red Lobster’s Parrot Bay Jumbo Coconut Shrimp,  is a good alternative that’s not full of fat and empty calories and still tastes great.

Coconut Shrimp with Pina Colada Sauce
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
¾ cup all-purpose flour, divided use
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup fat-free milk
½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
¼ cup shredded coconut
Cooking spray
¼ cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons liquid pina colada mix
2 tablespoons canned crushed pineapple (packed in water, not syrup)
½ tablespoon sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Set a rack on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put the empty baking sheet and rack in the 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the dipping sauce ingredients, cover and put it in the refrigerator to chill while you make the shrimp.
Put half of the flour in a medium bowl.
In another medium bowl, mix together the remaining flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Stir the milk into this flour mixture and let this batter stand for 5 minutes.
While the batter rests, combine panko bread crumbs and coconut into a third medium bowl.
Remove the heated baking sheet and rack from the oven.
To batter the shrimp, dip each one in the plain flour, then the wet batter. Next, coat each shrimp with the panko-coconut mixture. Coat the preheated rack with cooking spray. Carefully place each shrimp on the hot rack and lightly coat the shrimp with cooking spray.
Put the shrimp in the 400-degree oven and bake for about 9 to 12 minutes or until the shrimp is fully cooked and the breading is crispy.
Serve shrimp with pina colada dipping sauce on the side.
Yield: Serves 3.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving (4 shrimp with 2 tablespoons sauce): 293 calories, 49 grams carbohydrates, 5.8 grams fat, 310 milligrams sodium, 1.5 grams fiber, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 15 grams protein.

Umami-Rich Lasagna

I don’t remember my first serving of lasagna. But it must have been good because I’ve never turned a piece of it down ever since. In fact, it’s become one of my favorite things to make.

I’m mostly enamored with vegetarian versions these days, although a good meat-based one still hits the spot. One of my favorites contain fresh spinach — and lots of cheese. I’ve even made pans that contained Swiss chard.

Just the other day, I received some correspondence from Kikkoman, the soy people, and it contained a recipe for Umami-Rich Lasagna, which caught my eye. Unami means taste in Japanese and is popularly referred to savoriness.

This vegetarian version contains both ricotta and mozzarella cheese as well as mushrooms, onions, eggs and pasta sauce. And, of course, a little Kikkoman soy sauce.

I’ thinking about making it later this week, perhaps for dinner on New Year’s Eve. It will be a nice change of pace from the big Christmas meal of mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing and the rest, as well as all the sweets that go along with the holidays.

I can’t think of a better way end 2009.

Umani-Rich Lasagna
1 16-ounce package lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 28-ounce jar pasta sauce (or homemade)
½ cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce, divided
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs, well-beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions. In large skillet, heat oil; add onion and mushrooms and saute until onion is translucent. Stir in pasta sauce and ¼ cup of soy sauce; heat through.
In medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs and remaining soy sauce. Spread a layer of pasta sauce on bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Layer with noodles, cheese mixture and mozzarella cheese. Continue layering, ending with a final layer of noodles and pasta sauce.
Cover with foil; bake 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Yield: Serves 8.

Holiday Roast

People who were dreaming of a white Christmas a couple of weeks ago are getting their wish fulfilled — and more.

With a major winter storm upon us, travel plans of many have been put on hold. A co-worker of mine rescheduled his Friday morning flight to Minneapolis to this morning only to find out it was canceled.

And a fellow exerciser told me his son from Fargo probably would have to forgo coming home Friday because of the weather, which is expected to dump anywhere from 6 to 20 inches of snow on the region in the next day or so.

The weather even has affected my family. My stepdaughter and grandson probably will be not be able to go to Greenbush, Minn., to see her dad, and Therese and I won’t be heading over to my mom’s in Crookston for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of sauerkraut and baby back pork ribs. I’m really going to miss the meal. It’s one of my favorite.

But Therese plans to make calzones for supper, and we’ll be able to enjoy spending time with Amy and Rakeem on the night before Christmas for the first time in several years.

A lot of families have traditional meals on Christmas Eve, and one such is the standing prime rib roasts. My friend and co-worker, Mark Young, and his wife, Patty, are doing one up tonight, and I’m eagerly awaiting a report about how it turns out. I’ve never fixed one but hope to sometime in the future.

And when I do, the following recipe looks like it might work.

Standing Prime Rib Roast with Horseradish Sauce
1 teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground pepper, granulated garlic
1 4-rib standing prime rib roast, 10 to 11 pounds
¼ cup freshly grated horseradish
2 cups creme fraiche or sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground pepper
Combine salt, pepper and garlic in a small bowl; rub the mixture over the roast. Refrigerate the roast at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Remove roast from refrigerator to come to room temperature, 1 hour. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place roast, bone side down, in a baking pan. Cook until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion reads 120 degrees for medium-rare, about 1 hour, 20 minutes, or to 130 degrees for medium, 1 hour, 45 minutes. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine horseradish, creme fraiche, mayonnaise, salt, Worcestershire sauce and pepper to taste in a medium bowl; refrigerate until ready to serve.
Carve roast in thin slices. Pass horseradish sauce at table.
Yield: Serves 12.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving (based on 2 tablespoons sauce): 941 calories, 75 percent of calories from fat, 79 grams fat, 31 grams saturated fat, 206 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram carbohydrates, 53 grams protein, 478 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Fudging It

If there was one thing that epitomized Christmas at our house when I was growing up, it was a back porch full of tins and boxes that contained candy and cookies. There had to be between a dozen and two dozen different types of goodies.

My mom is a fantastic candy maker and baker — and has been for as long as I can remember. She makes the best divinity around. When I was a kid, Mom used to make it for a lot of people. Although she gave a lot of her divinity away to family and friends, she did have people who paid her to make it because it was so good.

And she is no slouch when it comes to her cookies, either. I still have a hard time choosing which ones are my favorite. Each year, she makes up a big box of cookies for us so we can share it with our family and friends. I guess her Hershey Dream Bars are my favorite, though.

But when it comes to candy, I prefer her fudge over the divinity. I think it’s because of my fondness for anything chocolate.

I planned on sharing her candy recipes today, but she’s out running around, so readers will have to settle for the following recipe from Maryann Boho, who runs The Williamsburg Chocolatier, which was started by her mother, Evelyn Dixon, in 1985.

Belgian Chocolate Walnut Fudge
Butter (to grease pan)
¾ pound Veliche Belgian chocolate 58 percent or 72 percent (the higher the cocoa content the richer the fudge)
3 cups miniature marshmallows
¾ cup chopped walnuts
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
3 tablespoons butter
Butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch pan. Have chocolate, marshmallows and nuts ready. Combine sugar, milk and butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan. Bring to boiling and lower heat. Gently simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching, about 6 minutes or to 227 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat. Immediately stir in chocolate and marshmallows until melted. Quickly stir in walnuts and pour into prepared pan and smooth into pan.
Allow to firm up about 1 hour in the refrigerator. Remove and cut into squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for best results. Let stand out about 30 minutes to get to room temperature before eating.
Yield: About 3 pounds.

Season for Seafood: Part 2

A week or two ago, I wrote that there was nice sale on seafood at my local supermarket. It seems this time of the year — around the holidays — that always seems to be the case. Well, I stocked up on shrimp and scallops and have been enjoying them ever since.

My most recent meal involved scallops, and although it didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned, that’s not to say the outcome was unsatisfactory.

I had decided to fix some scallops for supper and went on the Internet in search of a new recipe, one that also contained fresh mushrooms, since there was a package of them in the refrigerator that needed to be used.

My perusal of the Web led me to, a site that I’ve become familiar with the past few years. I’ve found a lot of interesting recipes there, and this time, came up with another one.

The recipe for Scallop Mushroom Casserole looked pretty good, so I decided to give it a try. I tweaked it a bit, using fresh mushroooms instead of canned ones and cream of mushroom with roasted garlic in lieu of mushroom soup and plain old garlic powder. I also used a little grated mozzarella and sharp Cheddar as well as Parmesan for the topping.

However, when the casserole came out of the oven after the alloted time, it seemed a little watery, not exactly what I expected. I initially thought about making some pasta, but at Therese’s suggestion, made a couple of baked potatoes in the microwave (putting them in a sleeve for 4 minutes each).

The casserole turned to out to be mighty tasty served over the spuds, which was accompanied by a tasty carrot slaw, made with a little salt, pepper, mayonnaise and vinegar.

It’s a quick recipe, one that would be welcome by cooks who are busy this time of the year. Here’s my version of the casserole —  and another scallop recipe —  which I would suggest serving over pasta, rice or baked potato.

Scallop Mushroom Casserole
1 pound scallops
1 can cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup
Tabasco sauce to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped onion
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
Salt  and pepper to taste
Baked potatoes
Saute onions and mushrooms in butter, then mix everything together except cheese. Put in thin layer in baking dish. Sprinkle layer of cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve over potatoes

Pan-Seared Scallops with Spinach Couscous
¾ cup water
½ cup couscous
¾ pound fresh sea scallops
2 tablespoons olive oil (divided use)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat, add the couscous and spinach, stir and cover with a lid. Let sit 5 minutes.
While couscous rests, rinse scallops in cool water, drain and dry with paper towel. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. When it is smoking, add scallops and saute 2 minutes. Turn and saute 1 minute.
Remove lid from couscous and add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with a fork Divide between 2 plates. Add scallops to the plate and sprinkle coarse salt over scallops.
Yield Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 443 calories, 31 percent of calories from fat, 15.3 grams fat (2.1 grams saturated, 10.1 grams monounsaturated), 54 milligrams cholesterol, 35.4 grams protein, 39.1 grams carbohydrates, 3.2 grams fiber, 898 milligrams sodium.

Potato Gratin

One of the most enjoyable things in life for me is cooking for other people. I’m pretty lucky that my wife and I have the opportunity to share meals with friends — and especially family — at least a couple of times a week.

I really enjoy fixing food for my grandson, Rakeem, whose tastes somewhat parallel mine. Although he doesn’t eat as many different kinds of vegetables as I do, nonetheless he does get a sufficient amount in his diet. And he loves most fruits, as do I. We often share oranges at night after a meal while watching sporting events on TV such as hockey or baseball.

But what is is most satisfying is that he likes all the wild game that I bring to our table —from baked pheasant to elk sausage to venison burger to any freshwater fish.

But there is one food for which he has a real affection — potatoes. It doesn’t matter if they are mashed, boiled, baked, oven-fried or whatever. He’s a machine when it comes to them. It reminds me of myself when I was a kid. I couldn’t get enough potatoes, either.

Recently, a co-worker of mine, Dale Stensgaard, gave me a recipe that was passed on to him by his brother, Daryl, for Potato Gratin in Red Wine. Dale said he thought I’d enjoy the dish. And if do, Rakeem surely will, too.

Following is Daryl’s recipe, along with another similar one that I’ve come across. Either would be excellent fare any time, but especially during the holidays.

Potato Gratin in Red Wine
¼ cup chicken fat or drippings from a roast (or olive oil or butter
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick (about 6 cups)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup red wine
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup water
In a large skillet, add half the potatoes, onion and garlic. Stir-fry until edges turn brown. Season with half the salt and thyme. Repeat with remaining batch. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.
Pour wine and ½ cup water over the mixture, top with olive oil and bay (or two or three). Bake for 1½ hours at 350 degrees and then serve.


Potato Gratin with Swiss Cheese
1½ cups half-and-half, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 ounces shredded Swiss cheese or crumbled goat cheese
1¼ cups reduced fat milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme or 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
8 cups thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes, peeled if desired (about 4 pounds)
1 cup panko bread crumbs mixed with a few tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 2 tablespoons half-and-half with flour in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Whisk in the remaining half-and-half, cheese, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic and thyme or rosemary.
Arrange half of the potato slices in a single layer in an 11-by-7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour half of the milk mixture over potato slices, stirring the milk mixture immediately before adding. Repeat procedure with remaining potato slices and milk mixture. Bake for 40 minutes.
Sprinkle on the panko bread crumb mixture and continue baking 20 to 30 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and golden brown at the edges. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Cut in squares or other shapes.
Yield: Serves 12.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 225 calories, 31 percent of calories from fat, 8 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 31 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams protein, 256 milligrams sodium, 25 milligrams cholesterol, 197 milligrams calcium, 3 grams fiber.

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Burritos — A Quick Meal

When I was growing up, stay-at-home moms had all the time in the world to fix supper for their families. In our house, there weren’t many days when my mom didn’t spend hours slaving over a hot stove preparing dinner for me, my brothers and dad. And that doesn’t include all the time she spent baking.

But in the past 20 years or so, more moms have joined the work force, and time in the kitchen has come at a premium. And with that, recipes for quick dishes are at the top of many cooks’ list.

I’ve always been a fan of quick meals. While I’d almost always rather spend time preparing an extravagant dish, there are some days when the time or the inclination just isn’t there.

That was the case just the other night. We had a bunch of leftover chicken, so I decided to make some quick chicken burritos.

All I did was chop up about a pound or so of the chicken, heated it up a little bit in some olive oil and then added a cup of water and a package of burrito mix before cooking it for about four or five minutes. I then put the meat mixture on a heated burrito and topped it with some salsa, lettuce, grated cheese and warm black beans. It was delicious. 

The directions for the mix called for a pound of ground meat such as beef or turkey, but I’ve found that cooked, cut-up chicken works just as good. You also can substitute leftover turkey.

Burritos are one of those quick foods. And they’re not just for supper anymore. They even are good for breakfast, as the fast-food industry has picked up on, because they are great grab-and-go fare. At home, you can prepare them ahead of time and keep them warm.

And one of the nicest things about burritos is that young people love them.

Speaking of breakfast burritos, here’s a recipe for one that looks pretty tasty. And with the busy holiday season in full swing, it’s one that any time-starved cook will appreciate.

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Burrito
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons whole milk
Pinch white pepper
Pinch salt
½ teaspoon vegetable oil
1 10-inch flour tortilla
1 slice mild Cheddar cheese (optional)
1 cooked strip bacon, crumbled
2 tablespoons salsa
Beat eggs, milk, pepper and salt together. Place oil in a small nonstick skillet. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and set over medium heat. Cook tilting the pan so the raw egg runs to the edge. Meanwhile, wrap tortilla in damp paper towels and heat in microwave about 15 seconds.
Continue cooking the egg and tilting the skillet until the egg sets and forms an omelet. Use a rubber spatula to fold half the omelet over the other half. Place the omelet on the bottom half of the tortilla. Sprinkle with bacon and top with cheese, if desired. Fold in the sides of the tortilla over the omelet and roll from bottom where the omelet is to the top. Cut in half, if desired. Serve with salsa.
Yield: Serves 1.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 439 calories, 43 percent of calories from fat, 21 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 217 milligrams cholesterol, 34 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams total fiber, 2 grams total sugars, 20 grams protein, 1,188 milligrams sodium.

Slow-Cooker Brisket

Cooking over the holidays can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to juggle time in the kitchen with work. Luckily, we share the cooking duties in my family.

On Christmas Eve, my mom always fixes baby back pork ribs with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. And on Christmas Day, we generally have roast turkey with all the fixings. Therese and I generally share the responsibilities.

But when it comes to New Year’s Day, I’m always at a loss at what to make.

This year, I have a plan. I’m going to fix a elk brisket. Over the years, many cooks have found that briskets are a boon during the busy holiday season. You can make it ahead and refrigerate the meat in its sauce for two to three days or freeze it and reheat in the microwave, oven or stovetop.

But I’ve come across another way to fix brisket — in a slow cooker. I figure it’s the perfect recipe for me, since New Year’s is a workday for me. Plus, I don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing a big meal.

So, for those of you who might be pressed for time like me, here’s a way out.

Slow Lemon Brisket
2 ribs celery, halved lengthwise
2 onions, quartered
1 first cut or flat cut (leaner section) beef brisket, about 4 pounds, trimmed
2 lemons, cut into thin slices
1 cup raisins or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 low-sodium beef bouillon cubes, dissolved in 2 cups water
Line the bottom of a large slow cooker with the celery and onions top with brisket. Place lemon slices and raisins on the brisket season with salt and pepper to taste. Add dissolved bouillon.
Cook on low until meat is fork-tender, about 10 to 12 hours. Remove meat to cutting board let stand 15 minutes. Skim fat from cooking broth. Adjust seasonings, if needed. Remove lemon slices cut in half. Pour broth into a serving bowl add lemons. Slice meat across the grain into thin slices. Halve or quarter the lemon slices serve with the broth and lemons.
Yield: Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 301 calories, 25 percent of calories from fat, 8 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 77 milligrams cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrates, 39 grams protein, 322 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Apple Pie in a Jar

The other day, I received an e-mail from Pam Zimbelman of East Grand Forks. She said she has a recipe for apple pie filling that can be canned and that it calls for clear gel. She was wondering if that meant clear gelatin or fruit pectin.

My response was that I’d never heard of gel or pectin being used in a pie filling, only jams and jellys. But I did send her a recipe for Apple Pie in a Jar, which was given a few years ago by Karla Miller of Grand Forks.

Usually each fall, I can a few quarts of Apple Pie in a Jar besides vacuum-sealing some cored, peeled and sliced apples for use over the winter. I’ve already done my vacuum-sealing (6 cups per bag, just enough for apple crisps) and hope to do a few "jars" in the not-too-distant future.

The "apple pie in a jar" just needs to be poured into a pie crust and deposited in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes before it’s ready to eat with some ice cream or a slice of cheese.

If you have any apples lying around that need attention, I recommend giving the following recipe a try. And during the holiday season, when time is at a premium, it can be a godsend if you’re planning on making an apple pie.

Apple Pie in a Jar
4½ cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons lemon juice
10 cups water
7 quarts peeled, cored and sliced apples
Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and water in a large saucepan. Place over high heat and cook until thick and bubbly, stirring frequently. Cool slightly and add vanilla. Stir well. Then add lemon juice and stir well.
Pack apples into sterilized warm jars. Slowly sauce carefully over apples, covering them completely. Run a knife or spatula around inside the jar to remove air pockets and distribute the mixture more evenly. Leave ½-inch head space for processing.
Place jars in water bath and process for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and cool.
To use as pie filling, place the contents of 1 quart jar in pie crust and place crust over top. Seal edges and vent for steam. Bake in 350-degree oven for 40 minutes.