Monday, October 25, 2010

Apples = Fall...

As all the lovely summer fruit starts to fade from the farmer’s market, a cook's fancy turns to apples…could be the beginning of some odd cooking novel…but the truth is that apples do make it feel like fall. Could the connection be from back in the dark ages of grammar school, when it wasn’t yet fashionable to ‘eat local’, and fruit wasn’t shipped around the world so the concept of what was in season was a fact Jack,
from September to – it seemed like forever – the fruit serving in my home packed lunch was…an apple! A-h-h fall…And now there are so many wonderful varieties showing their pink, yellow, green, red, and variegated faces from the over flowing bins. All those flavors and textures, sweet, tart, crisp, soft. Old favorites like Jonathans or Pippins and some newer favorites like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady beckon us to overfill our shopping baskets. Well, last week I got into the swing of it and decided to first, make some apple sauce and then for fun, some apple cranberry jam…I purchased about 12 lbs of Honeycrisp apples (my current fave ) and lugged them home. The first order of business was apple sauce. As I began peeling the apples I truly yearned for one of those little gadgets that peels and cores apples! It’s been a while since I have prepared that many apples and I actually got a cramp in my forearm! But a little cramp has never slowed me down…The apple sauce I like is a pretty straight forward affair, apples, water, sugar, cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg for good measure…
Apple Sauce

9LBS. Apples

2 ¼ C Sugar

1 ¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg

Wash, core, peel apples and cut into quarters. Cook approximately 10 minutes in a covered saucepot with just enough water to prevent sticking. Put apples through a food mill or food processor. Return apples to the saucepot and add sugar and spices. Bring applesauce to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking. Maintain at a boil while filleing jars. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, put on two part lids and place jars in water bath canner. When water is boiling process both pints and quarts for 20 minutes.

Next came the apple cranberry jam, although after making it I think it should more aptly be called cranberry apple jam – next time – more apples, but it is REALLY yummy none the less. Sort of like a really flavorful cranberry sauce in jam form. I have figured out some way to enjoy it almost every day since it’s creation…
Apple Cranberry Jam – adapted from Ball Bluebook Guide to Preserving

2LBS Cranberries

3LBS Apples cored, peeled and chopped

1 Orange seeded and chopped

3 C Sugar

2 C Water

½ C Honey

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepot. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil gently almost to gelling point - about 35 minutes. remove from heat, skim off foam if necessary and ladle hot preserves into hot jars. Leave ¼ inch headspace, remove air bullbles and put on two part lids. Place in water bath canner. When water is boiling process ½ pint jars for 15 minutes.

Everything was beautiful and yummy, and the house smelled of apples and spice. It really is fall now! My next task is to try some Ancho Apple Butter that I saw a recipe for on the Tigress in a Jam blog! That just sounds to good to pass up and after my success with the Chile Blackberry Syrup last summer the spicy/fruit thing is very appealing…I’ll let you know how it goes!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, there. Looks great! If you want to save some time on your apple sauce and apple butter, you can just cut the apples into chunks and cook them without removing the peels and cores. When you put them through the food mill, it will remove the peels and cores for you.