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apple preserves

Picking the apples was just the start! Then came the processing. I spent the whole of Easter Monday in the kitchen doing things with apples but only got through the buckets and one crate. Half the Akane were juiced and frozen and the rest were peeled, cored and sliced and dried in my dehydrator. I have one of those gizmos that peels, slices and cores apples all in one go. That speeds things up considerably. I bottled some of the Lobo, using  juice from the Akane as part of the liquid. I used a new recipe to make some apple and sultana pie filling which was also bottled.

I wanted to make some apple jelly but thought it would be quicker to make it from fresh juice rather than boiling up apples and letting them drain. I did a bit of a Google and it seemed as though it would work. I used juice from the Lobo and threw some spare cores into the juicer as well to make sure there was enough pectin. I added a cup of sugar for each cup of juice and boiled it up till some set on a saucer. It seems to have turned out OK, but isn’t set very firmly.

I also used some Lobo juice to make a new batch of cider vinegar. I have been making cider vinegar for several years now so I poured what was left of the last batch into bottles and gave the ‘vinegar mother’ a rinse before adding the new juice and covering the top of the bottle with a chux butter

That was it for that day, but in the succeeding days I made some apple butter.  This  is a mixture of apple, cider vinegar, sugar and spice that is cooked till thick. We like it on toast, pancakes and waffles. It was very messy to make as it plops everywhere when you are boiling it down. Our old dog was hanging around licking the drips off the floor and has now got apple butter in her fur. Next time I think I will make it in the microwave like I do Quince paste.

leatherI also made some apple-berry fruit leather. For this I filled my slow cooker up with peeled, cored and sliced apple and added a 500g bag of frozen berries. When it was cooked I put it through the mouli and dried it on solid sheets in the dehydrator. Each sheet was then cut into 16ths to make strips for my son’s lunchbox. He doesn’t like apple (or many other fruits) so this is one way of getting some fruit into him.

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