After our move we had to give up our garden, but the home we now have came with a very large apple tree. So now I have the big job of figuring out how to use up these apples. Unfortunately most of them have worms or are bruised so they will not easily store very long. Here is a list of ideas of what to do with this apple harvest:
- apple sauce
- apple jelly
- dried apples
- apple fruit roll
- apple pie filling
- and of course make a few batches of apple crisp (my favorite dessert)!
So far I have made apple jelly, apple sauce and dried apples. On the docket today: apple fruit roll (and maybe some more apple crisp..).
One thing I have learned is if you have the right equipment, processing a batch of apples goes much smoother. Drying the apples is a cinch with the apple peeler/corer/ringer. I just run it through and then cut the ringed apple in half and put all the pieces on the drier. They make eating the apples fresh so fun too. Highly recommend getting one of those if you too own an apple tree. I have also used it to make the apple sauce and jelly. It easily takes off the peel and cores it for you, so why not?
Making apple sauce is super easy too, just has a few more steps. I core and peel them using the handy tool, then I put them in a pot with just a small amount of water to prevent them from sticking. Don't add too much as the water will cook out of the apples as they soften. Cook until they are soft- which was surprising to me how fast it was. Then you can run it through a mill or put them in a blender to get them to a smooth consistency. After its ready, I just add a tiny bit of lemon juice to make it so it wont go brown as quickly. I do not add any sugar or cinnamon but you can at this point flavor it if you would like. Just do it to taste. Bring back to a boil and hold at a boil while filling the hot jars for bottling. Process 10 minutes for half pints and 25 minutes for the full size jars.
Jelly can be made without adding pectin. Here is the recipe:
4 cups apple juice
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
First you need to make the juice. Here is a time when having a juicer will make your life so much easier. That is how I made the juice I used.
To make the jelly: put apple juice in a large pot and add sugar and lemon juice. stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil on high heat stirring constantly. Boil until jelly gets to the jelling point. To test this put a dab on a plate and place in the freezer for a few minutes. Pull it out of the freezer and push the glob of jelly with finger to see if it holds its form pretty well. Then it is ready to bottle. Process 10 minutes for half pints. Makes about 4 half pints.
APPLE FRUIT LEATHER
To make apple fruit leather or fruit rolls, I am just going to make apple sauce then pour the sauce on the sheet of the dehydrator and dry it. I am not going to add sugar to it.
Hope this helps! Having an apple tree is lots of fun, but also allot of work. A great thing to have when building up your food storage.