Monday, October 27, 2014

What to do with all those apples

This has been a really good year for apples.  Not too hot.  Not too cold.  Not too wet.  Not too dry.  Pest management was minimal.  Trees grew strong and healthy.  This is the kind of year that orchardists and tree managers look forward to.

So what to do with all those apples:
Before immediately making pies, what kind of apple are you comtemplating?  Put simply, some apples are better suited to cooking than others.  Braeburn, for example, makes a wonderful apple butter.  As this apple cooks, it easily breaks apart creating a delicious sauce and, with a little effort, makes a lovely apple butter.
Other apples such as Fuji or Jonagold hold their shape making them perfect for pies or baked apples.  When peeling and prepping pie filling, don't worry if you get a little carried away.  After making the first pie, put just enough filling for another in a press and seal (Ziplock type) freezer bag.  After removing the air, lay the sealed bag in foil pie tin, and freeze.  The pie filling will freeze in the shape of the pie tin.  When ready to use, remove the pie tin shaped filling and place in a prepared pin pan, covering with pie dough, finishing normally.   Easy-peasie.

Another good idea is a nice alternative to snack chips: dried apples.  Peel and slice the apples about 1/4" thick, then soak for about 2 minutes in a citric acid solution (2 T citric acid to 1 quart water).  Available at most health food stores, citric acid is a nice alternative to sulfur and will keep the fruit from turning dark while adding Vitamin C.  Place treated slices in the dehydrator for about 10 hours (135 F degrees).   I like dried apples crisp and slightly tart, so this is perfect.  When ready, place the apple slices into a air tight container and seal.
As you're enjoying these, remember: as good as these are, whether you are eating an apple straight off the tree or nibbling at them one slice at a time: ten apple slices can equal an entire apple.  Moderation is the clue.  (I know: no fun.)

For ideas and more info: read here.

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