If you are anything like me, you go apple-crazy in the fall. My family and I love apples, and I especially love the great prices at orchards vs the high price tag at the local grocer. Just today, I visited Country Mill Orchard and came home with over 30 pounds of freshly picked organic liberty and crimson crisp apples. Here's what I plan to do with them - to preserve them for the winter and beyond.
Fresh pressed apple juice
Making fresh juice and freezing it makes for a great and delicious way to enjoy extra apples in the coming months. The recipe is so simple and easy! I take about 10 pounds of washed and cored apples (with skins on) and 1 lemon with the peel removed. Juice them to make approx 1 gallon of fresh juice. I then freeze it by pouring it 3/4 full into bottles. It can simply be placed in the refrigerator when you are ready to thaw, and I mix it with equal amounts of water to make the perfect juice blend for my family - with NO added sugar!
Applesauce - option one
If you have a fantastic juicer like this one, you will be able to use the pulp from the apple juice to make a delicious applesauce! Simply collect the pulp and pour into a saucepan with 1/4 cup of the apple juice you just made and a few tsp of cinnamon. Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat. Every edible part of the apple was used and no benefits were left behind!
Applesauce- option two
I never peel my apples. There are so many nutritious benefits in the skin of the apple. Surely you could modify this recipe and remove the skin if you choose. Take 4 chopped apples, 1/2 cup of water, 1tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp lemon juice and 1/4 cup of honey. In a saucepan, combine apples, water and cinnaon and cook for about 15 minutes on low heat until apples are nice and soft. Allow to cool to room temp, add the honey and stir. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Yum!
Frozen Apple Slices
Simply slice up some apples, soak them in a bowl of lemon juice - leave out for a few hours to dry and seal in freezer bags. This makes for an easy grab-and-go snack for later on. My kids even love them frozen!
Apple Pie in a Bag
Prepare your favorite apple pie filling recipe and put it in freezer bags for future baking!
If these suggestions haven't offered you the perfect way to preserve your apple bounty, be sure to check out this amazing list with 18 additional ways to stretch this apple love.
Cheers, and happy apple picking!