Food preservation: canning cake

I like my shelves full of canned goods. I can have healthy, home made food from scratch with only opening some of my cherished jars.

I do like to have some cakes canned on the shelves as well. For unexpected visitors or a surprise dessert for the children.

Food storage even saved the (birth)day one day. The girls have been handing out small bundt cakes with some sprinkles on their birthdays on school for a couple of years now. That is what they do here, on elementary school. It became almost like a tradition: I woke up the birthday girl with a fresh cake and a candle and we sang some birthday songs. She would eat the cake in bed, as a huge exception on normal days.
But this year DD1 wanted popcorn to hand out in class. So this morning, I thought, I don’t have a wake up/breakfast cake for her… And then, suddenly, there was food storage: I took one of the canned cakes from the shelves, opened it, put a small beeswax candle in and DD1 liked it as much as fresh cakes!
There are 2 ways to can cakes: one is to make the batter and bake the cake in a conventional oven. The second way is to put the batter in the jars and ‘cook’ the cake ‘au bain marie’. That is what I do, cooking and canning at the same time the cake.
What you need:
250 grams butter
250 grams sugar
4 eggs
juice and peel of half an organic lemon
500 grams of all purpose flour
baking powder
1/2 cup of milk
Mix the butter with sugar, the eggs, lemon juice and peel very well. Then stir in the flour and baking powder. Poor in so much milk that the batter is coming of a spoon easily.
Grease the jars well with buttter and sprinkle with almond meal against sticking. Fill your well rinsed jars only  half with the batter, close your jars and put them in a water bath filled with enough (cold) water.
Canning: 120 minutes at 100 degrees celcius.
The cake will be best used within 6 months.
P.s. we have different conical shaped glasses so the cake will come out with ease.

Food Preservation: Making juice with the steam juicer

I use my steam juicer to make the most delicious home made fruit juices, which we use the whole year round. The steam juicer is very easy to use. It  sits on top of your stove.  It has several tiers.  In the bottom tier, you pour in normal tap water. Above the bottom tear, there is a next tier where the juice is collected. In the top tier you place the fruits, which you have cleaned and if necessairy, peeled and cored. The water in the bottom tier simmers, the steamer tier fills with steam, and the juice from the fruit slowly seeps out of the fruit and drips down into the collection tier. A pipe and a tap come out of this juice collection area and you can fill clean, sterilised bottles straight from this pipe with the hot juice.

There are two ways of saving the juice: by canning or by hot bottling procedure. Here in Europe we have special rubber caps for sealing the juice. There are 2 sizes. I use mostly the size of a regular wine bottle. I have asked everybody to save their empty wine bottles since I ‘don’t drink myself. You need the wine bottles with the cork closure, the screw cap bottle is not good to hold the rubber cap.

The rubber cap is sealing itself vacuum and will keep the juice for more then a year, but most of the time it is finished and I have to limit my children to take juice from the storage all the time:) The bottles on the right are already vacuum sealed and the bottles on the left are just put on.

This year I have been very lucky and I had a lot of free wind fall apples and pears. I also got about 20 kilos (approx. 44 pounds) of strawberries and 40 kilo’s ( about 88 pounds) of goose berries. I also helped a neighbour to prune her grape vines, and I was allowed to keep al the grapes! Of course I did forage some kilo of elderberries as well.

I made this year about 230 wine bottles of mixed fruit juices: apple/pear/grape juice, apple/pear juice, apple/elderberry juice, apple/gooseberry juice, apple/strawberry juice and plain spicy apple juice.