Apples! Sauced and vinegared.

It’s Fall, and for us that means Applesauce Time! With two kids we’ll go through it faster than ever.

This year instead of going to a pick your own place we asked our local farmer if he had Jonathans (my favorite for applesauce and pies – I missed them SO MUCH last year!). He didn’t, but his friend – also local – did and he arranged to have them brought in for me.

I love working one on one with local farmers. That’s how commerce should be. (This particular farmer has sold his land to a developer and is continuing to farm the land until they actually start building… so he may not be around next year. For three years we’ve relied on his amazing peaches & produce to get us through the summer. What will we do without him? Think my trees will be productive by next year? Yeah, right!)

Sofía looks forward to applesauce making every year.

Her job is to put the sliced apples into the crock pot, and put the scraps and cores into the plastic jar for our next batch of apple scrap vinegar.

Look at all those apple scraps! It’s gonna be some appley vinegar! And this was only a fraction of the scraps. The chickens got at least this many, and the rest went into the compost to feed the earthworms.

Apple scrap vinegar couldn’t be easier: You fill a jar with your apple scraps, then you top it up with a solution of 1/4 cup sugar dissolved in 1 quart water. Repeat until full. Add in a good splash of some raw vinegar if you have it, to “prime” the bacteria. Then cap the jar with a paper towel secured with a rubber band and set it in a dark place for two weeks, when you will strain the vinegar out and let it cure for another 2 weeks before it is ready.

Applesauce is nearly that easy too; apples, 1/2 cup water, crock pot for a few hours until the apples are mushy. Run them through a food mill if you like, (not mandatory) to make sure you get out all the forgotten bits of skins and seeds. Add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice, sugar & spice to taste, and can it up … or freeze it. We got four quarts out of each large crock pot batch, and half a bushel of apples made two batches.

This year, on a whim I decided to spice up our second batch and ended up inventing “Christmas” applesauce – I added in a 1/2 cup of cranberries while it was cooking, and sweetened it with a cup of dried dates cooked right along with the apples. A bit of cake spice (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice) and a 1/2 teaspoon of orange-vanilla extract, and it tastes amazing! I told Sofía that it smelled like Christmas while I was cooking it and she took a bite of the finished applesauce and said “Oh, Mommy! Christmas is delicious!!” So “Christmas applesauce” it is. Actually, I think I might serve it instead of my traditional cranberry compote right alongside the Thanksgiving turkey. I’m glad I made it in small jars for gifting – the cranberry bits in it look extra pretty. Shoulda taken a picture, durn it!

4 Responses to “Apples! Sauced and vinegared.”

  1. Erin Says:

    I’m not sure if you’ve tried this before….you can take your apple scraps and make cider too, without a press! gives an explanation, but I just use scraps he uses whole apples. I used his exact recipe the 1st time and it was toooooo much cinnamon! I 1/2ed the number of sticks. Also the 1st time it had a weak apple flavor so now I add less water. I put my scarps into the crockpot and put in water until it covers 2/3 of the way up the apples. Just one more option;) I;ve been meaning to try vinegar, but everyone is now hooked on apple cider, lol.

  2. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Man, wish I’d seen this before! I gave most of the scraps from the EPIC PIES to the compost heap. :( I did save a gallon bag in the freezer for more vinegar though, so maybe I could try this instead!

  3. Diane Says:

    Ha! You’ve been buried in the avalanche that is my “farmy/eats” RSS folder forever now. (That folder has grown HUGE over the last couple of years and it takes me to catch up with it.) I’ve just moved you to “friends & family” so I actually get to read your posts when they come through. Then I can comment and not feel like a dork because it’s six months after it was originally posted. Heh.

    Very cool on the ACV! I’ve been wanting to do that but just haven’t yet. Last night, a neighbor offered us the remains of his apple tree so looks like I’ll get my chance. Yay!

  4. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Oh cool! I see folks around here with apple trees just loaded with unwanted fruit… I never quite get up the courage to ask if we can pick it. :/ If I had a cider press maybe?

    I haven’t been updating my blog much lately; working on starting a new business, plus the dying of the year, has sort of meant not a lot to say that’s interesting to everyone else in the world. :) I hear ya on not staying updated – I have over a thousand items in my Google Reader, so many that it just gives up and says “many” instead of counting them all! Lol!

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