“Autumn and Cinnamon go so perfectly together.”
It is late September, which means… Apple Season!
Every year I preserve a couple hundred pounds of apples. They also go into pies, crumbles, drinks, and little mouths.
You know it is apple season when a walk through the house turns up half eaten apple cores a toddler forgot about.
There are several ways to preserve apples. I will share a few of my favorites with you.
This is a great way to preserve your apples whole. If you have access to a cool dark place, like a cellar or basement, simply store your apples there. Apples store best in temperatures of 35-40 degrees. Periodically check them to insure the apples are not showing signs of rot, and that the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold.
If you have an extra refrigerator with space, you can keep your apples there for a good amount of time. Just remember not to freeze them. If they freeze, you will have a dark brown pile of mush. Not very appealing.
Generally, when we run out of apples in the refrigerator, I just head down to the cellar to replenish them. This keeps it easily accessible for my kiddos when they need a snack.
Other than storing the apples whole, this is my favorite way of preserving apples. I make applesauce, apple pie filling, lemon apple preserves, and apple core jelly, just to name a few. Recipes will be shared soon. Apples are high in acid and a great fruit to preserve by water bath canning.
Due to the constant simmering of applesauce, in the fall, my house has a lingering scent of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Autumn and cinnamon go so perfectly together, and applesauce becomes a staple for all dinners.
Dehydrating apples is another option when preserving. We have several dehydrators that we load with thinly sliced (a mandolin comes in handy here, but not necessary) unpeeled apples. Sprinkled with cinnamon, apple chips makes a tasty snack for on the go. Recipes will be shared soon.
If you have an apple press, cider is a tasty way to preserve apples. A cider press grinds up wind fall apples and then presses the juice from the pulp. Left to ferment, cider becomes an alcoholic beverage known as hard cider.
What is the difference between apple cider and apple juice? Apple cider contains the pulp and sediment leftover from the apples, giving it a stronger apple taste, and still providing you with the health benefits of eating a fresh apple. Apple juice is ultra filtrated, containing no pulp.
You can store your cider in the refrigerator, or water bath can for longer storage.
I do not own a cider press, so I just use my juicer, pour into quart jars, and then water bath. I use the apple juice to marinate and cook pork, to make spiced cider, and for sweet sauces and cakes.
With the leftover scraps from other apple projects, you can make raw apple cider vinegar. Simply, take your apple peels and cores, throw them in a jar with a sugar water mixture, cover with cheese cloth, and leave in your pantry to ferment into vinegar. Full recipe coming soon.
If you do not have access to apple trees, research farms in your area. Often, farms with orchards invite people out for “you-pick-it” days. Remember to buy in bulk, if you can, to preserve and eat throughout the winter, spring, and summer. This is a great way to support your local farmers and to have the best tasting fruit available.
Do you have another way to preserve apples? Share your favorites in the comment section below. I love learning new ways to preserve fruits and veggies!