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3 Ways to Preserve Apples

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It’s apple picking time! But what can you do with them all once you get them home? Here are 3 tasty ideas for preserving all those delicious apples for future enjoyment.

October is the month when apple orchards fill with hungry harvesters eager for the crisp snap of a freshly picked apple, but what happens when you get home with your boxes and bushels of apples, and they won’t fit in the fridge?

Applesauce is a great option – it’s easy to make, delicious, and you can tailor it to your tastes with spices and added sugar. A basic recipe is below. Once you make that great big pot of applesauce, here are 3 helpful ways to preserve it for future use:

Basic Applesauce Recipe

Ingredients

• 2-1/2 pounds (7-8 medium) apples*
• 1 gallon soaking solution**
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/2 to 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon, or to taste (optional)
• 1 to 4 tbsp sugar or honey, or to taste (optional)
• salt to taste (optional)

*Some of the best apples to make applesauce are Cameo, Gala, Fuji, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, and Mutsu (Crispin).

**Prepare an acidic soaking solution to hold cut fruit and delay browning. Use one gallon water and 3,000 mgs crushed plain ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) tablets OR 4 teaspoons (5 grams) citric acid. Or, use one gallon plain apple juice.

Directions

1. Wash apples, cut into quarters, and remove the peel and core. (A countertop apple corer/peeler can be purchased for around $20; a good investment if you plan to make applesauce in quantity.) Place prepared fruit in the soaking solution, allow to soak no more than 5 minutes, and then drain in a colander.

2. Place drained fruit and water in a saucepan, cover, and cook over medium heat about 20 minutes, or until very soft. (Hard, unripe fruits or quince can take up to an hour to soften completely).

3. If spiced applesauce is desired, add pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon to taste before pureeing sauce. Using a potato masher, hand blender, food processor or stand blender, puree softened fruit until chunky or smooth, as desired. Add sweetener to taste. Some cooks also like to add a pinch or two of salt.

4. Cool, cover, and refrigerate up to 3 days – or for longer term storage options, see below. Makes about 1 quart applesauce; recipe may be multiplied. ……………………………………………

Three Ways To Preserve

Freeze Applesauce

Make applesauce recipe and cool it thoroughly. Package applesauce in freezer-safe containers…, or thick zipper-style plastic bags designed for freezer use. Freeze applesauce up to 12 months.

Can Applesauce in a Boiling Water Bath Canner

Make applesauce recipe and while apples are cooking, wash pint or quart canning jars in the dishwasher and hold on a heated cycle. Alternatively, wash and rinse canning jars, fill with hot tap water, and place in a boiling water bath canner.

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After cooling period, place jars at least one-inch apart on a dry towel or wood surface away from drafts. Cool the jars naturally for 12 to 24 hours.

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If the jar is sealed, wipe with a clean damp cloth, including the bottom, sides, threads, and lid…. Store jars in a cool dry place (50 degrees F to 70 degrees F). Best used within one year.

Make Applesauce Fruit Leather

Making fruit leather is a good way to use culls, ripe fruit, slightly bruised fruit, or fruit left over from making jam or other preparations. Prepare applesauce recipe and use any of the following variations:

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Before making fruit leather, preheat an oven or food dehydrator to 130°F to 140°F. Line the drying tray with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Spread prepared sauce 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch thick on the liner.

Dry for 4-8 hours, or until leather is evenly pliable and firm with no soft spots…. Peel fruit leather from liner while still warm. Cut and roll into serving pieces….

Cool thoroughly before wrapping pieces individually in parchment or foil…. Store in an airtight containers in a cool, dry place up to 2 months. Freeze for longer storage.

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For full instructions, visit Mother Earth News

 

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