I know you all thought that October’s Can Jam would be apples, which, of course, would have been wonderful, since I still have 20 lbs in the garage awaiting preservation. Some were thrilled with my pick of chiles (although none more than I!) while others, not so much. As a consolation prize of sorts, I’ve done my own round-up of apple preserving recipes, tips & techniques (just in time for apple season to be over here in the Northeast. Don’t say I never gave you anything.).
Have a great apple recipe to share? Shout it out in the comments below!
Basics: Store apples for months in a cold (32 – 40 degrees F), preferably humid (80 – 90% rh) spot, either in a refrigerator, a root cellar, or even a basement or garage.
Details: Some apple types keep better than others: lists abound on the Interwebs but I find they are no substitute for personal experience (for instance, Stayman-Winesaps are rumored to be excellent keepers, but mine did not last a month). Apples need air circulation (so don’t bury them in woodchips or sand, like you might for potatoes & onions) and a bad apple will quickly spoil the bunch, so check through them regularly. Last year I stored apples from the end of October to the end of February; granted, they were quite wrinkly by then, but still tasty in chutney.
Basics: Core, peel and slice apples for their intended use (pie, for example); toss with lemon juice to prevent browning. Pile into a Ziploc bag if you don’t mind them sticking together a bit upon freezing; otherwise individually quick-freeze slices, spread out on a plate or tray in the freezer, then pile into a bag once frozen. Alternatively you can freeze prepared pie filling or applesauce (I have made pies from frozen apple pie filling and I think that canned pie filling works better; freezing the apples breaks the cellular structure of the fruit, releasing more juice once the apples thaw, and seems to make for a very soggy pie). You can also freeze apple “leavings” (the cores and peels leftover from various recipes) until you gather enough for a batch of apple pectin stock.
Basics: Wash, core and slice apples, laying slices individually, without touching, on the trays of a dehydrator, or on baking sheets. Dry in the dehydrator at 135 degrees F for 12-18 hours, or in your oven as low as it will go (range is usually 150 – 200 degrees F) and start checking at 8 hours. Store in airtight containers for up to 1 year.
Details: I like my dried apples unpeeled; you can peel them if you like. I also do not treat to prevent browning; they only brown slightly while drying, and it is not unappealing. This is certainly the easiest way to preserve apples and they last quite a long time; I’m just now using the last of the fall’s 110 lb harvest (perfect timing if I do say so myself) and while they have softened a bit over a year’s storage in Ziploc bags, they are just as tasty as they were last November. How dry you make them is a matter of preference, but the drier they are, the longer they will store; I dry mine until they are leathery, but still flexible, and they last at least a year.
Use: In homemade granola, in muffins, quickbreads or scones, rehydrated in a marinade or dressing, or solo as a snack. Also, I am always surprised by how much people love these as a gift; so simple, yet people consistently ask for more.
- Apple Bourbon Butter
- Apple Carrot Chile Chutney
- Apple Cider Jelly with Rosemary & Peppercorn
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple Ginger Jam
- Apple Jalapeno Preserves
- Apple Jelly with Lemon & Lavender
- Apple Pectin Stock
- Apple Quince Jelly with Vanilla Bean
- Apple Rhubarb Chutney with Fennel & Cardamom
- Canned Apple Pie Filling
- Cranapple Chutney
- Cranberry Apple Butter
- Curried Apple Chutney
- Fiery Apple Chile Syrup
- Indian-Spiced Apple Butter
- No Peel ‘Em Apple Butter
- Plum Apple Chutney
- (Virtually) No Stir Apple Butter
You can, of course, also ferment apple juice into apple wine and apple cider into hard cider (I just haven’t attempted this yet. Oh, but when I get an apple tree with actual, reachable fruit – watch out!)
AROUND THE WEB
- Tigress’ Ancho Apple Butter at Tigress in a Jam
- Marisa’s Slow Cooker Apple Butter at Simple Bites
- Elise’s Jalapeno Apple Jelly at Simply Recipes
- David’s Apple Jelly at David Lebovitz
- Shae’s Award-Winning Apple Earl Grey Almond Jelly at Hitchhiking to Heaven
- Julia’s Apple Plum Star Anise Jelly at What Julia Ate