Around this time last year we were hard at work picking and pressing apples to make apple cider. With the recent passing of my Hubby’s grandmother our apple picking plans got changed. We did gather several large buckets of apples from our own apple tress, but it wasn’t enough to justify renting an apple crusher and press. So, for this year I’m preserving apples in other ways.
Apple Juice: You want to start with apples of course, but the paths you can take to turn your apples to apple juice are many. You can cook the apples, then strain them (instructions here), use an electric juicer, an apple press or steam juicer. This year I’m using a steam juicer. It’s great tool for smaller batches of fruit but a little slow for juicing buckets of apples. I wish I had my own apple press. Once your apples are juiced you can freeze the juice or can it. My freezers are full and I dislike thawing bags of frozen juice so I opted for canning this year.
Apple Jelly: The great thing about apple jelly is you don’t need to use pectin to make it. Apples are already quite high in pectin. Simply add sugar, boil away until you get to the gel point and you’ve made jelly. Granted it takes a little time and patience but it’s worth it. I use an apple jelly recipe from The Joy of Jams, Jellies and Sweet Preserves.
Apple Sauce: Start by cooking your apples with a little water to prevent scorching. Once cooked pass the apples through a food mill or a China Cap. You can keep apple sauce in the fridge, freeze it or can it.
Dried apples: When I get tired of juicing, saucing and canning I turn to the dehydrator or oven. Drying apples doesn’t take much prep, which is nice, but it does take a while before they are ready. Once the apples dried they disappear fast, so be warned!
Any apple preserving ideas you’d like to share?