Fall in my neck of the woods means apples and lots of them! They’re in grocery stores, orchards, roadside stands, and produce auctions. While I don’t eat apples personally because they don’t fit into my eating plan, I love a good deal that allows me to put some food into the pantry. Fortunately for us, my mom found such a deal at a produce auction, so we ended up with two bushels of apples for $24.
So what did we do with all those apples? We made applesauce, apple butter, and dried apple rings. And as I started to put back food with my mom for the great apple push of 2019, we even canned some apple jelly. (She already had juice that she’d canned, so that made the jelly really simple.)
It had been a long time since I’d made applesauce, so I appreciated Mom walking me through that. Canning was usually something that I did with my dear friend Sue who passed away last year, so doing it with another special person in my life was so nice. We used a standard recipe and we did not add sugar. When I brought it home for my family to taste, my son said to me, “I didn’t think I liked applesauce, but this is AMAZING!”
We also made some no-sugar-added apple butter that was pretty delicious. A little of that stuff goes a long way, and it’s a thousand times better than the garbage that you buy in the store. My family will eat it on toast and sandwiches, but the best way to enjoy it in my opinion is by stirring a bit of it into plain yogurt. Mom and I also discussed using it to make a glaze for pork. I haven’t tried that yet, but I’d imagine that thinning it with a little apple cider vinegar would make a tasty glaze indeed.
My favorite method for putting back apples though is drying. My 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator can dry about 18 large apples in 7 or so hours, and drying those apples makes the house smell so good! I use a tool that cores and spiral-slices the apples, I place them on the trays, and in about seven hours, you have dried apple deliciousness. After the apples are completely cool, I pack them into freezer bags and keep them in the freezer until they’re needed.
My family loves to snack on them, but I was also considering a caramel apple cinnamon roll attempt (for folks who eat that sort of thing.) We’ll see how that goes.
Of course my family enjoyed some of the apples for fresh eating as well, but temperature conditions in my house aren’t that great for apple storage apparently. I ended up having to feed some of them to the chickens, but that’s OK. Maybe I’ll end up with some apple trees later.
- Excalibur 9-Tray Food Dehydrator — the best dehydrator I’ve ever used
- Norpro Apple Parer, Corer, and Slicer — the tool that I use that makes apple processing incredibly easy
- Applesauce — the recipe that we used to make applesauce minus the sugar
- No-Sugar-Added Apple Butter — the recipe that we used with some tweaks to the spices