Have you heard the one about evaporation?

The following is an abridged account of my correspondence with the publisher of Put Em Up, which is a decent canning book.

Me:  Dear editor: I am looking at the Spiced Apple Chutney recipe on p 107 of Put Em Up.  The volumes don’t seem to make sense.  I don’t see how 5 Pints of chutney can come from four apples and 6 cups of other ingredients.  I wonder if that should be 5 cups, or if there should be more apples (or if those apples should be huge!).

Editorial Assistant: Below is our cookbook editor’s response to your Spiced Apple Chutney query:

“This recipe looks fine to me. 5 pints equals 10 cups. As the reader pointed out, the cider vinegar, brown sugar, onion, and cranberries total 6 cups. And the diced apples should yield about 4 cups (roughly 1 cup per medium apple), adding up to 10 cups of chutney.”

Me: Great.  I’ll make sure I use large apples, since the recipe doesn’t specify.

Me: (last night):   I made the recipe today, although I was still curious, since any recipe like this will see evaporation, and it will not be 10 fluid cups given that the brown sugar is loosely packed, and the onions have air between them.

I made the recipe today, using large cortland apples.  It yielded (fanfare) 5 cups.   NOT 5 pints as the recipe said.


About danmalleck

Medical historian and jack-of-all-trades curmudgeon. I tend to ramble about politics, social incivility, and our self-centred culture more interested in buying the next cool ringtone or LED TV than actively engaging in the sorts of discussions and issues that matter. The more opportunity we have to buy more stuff, the less concern there is, it seems, in politics, social justice and let's face it, basic human decency, unless those things actually can save us money or get us more things to show how awesome we are through displaying our material wealth. And I like to brew beer, make cheese, and put food in jars.
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