Apple Season Is Here
The apple crop in Wisconsin is ready for enjoyment. If you are fortunate enough to have access to apples, here are some ways to enjoy them now or to preserve for the future.
8 pounds apples (Jonathan, Winesap, Golden Delicious, McIntosh
2 cups cider
2 cups vinegar
2 ¼ cups white sugar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1. Wash, remove stems, quarter and core fruit. Cook slowly in cider and vinegar until soft. Press fruit through a colander, food mill, or strainer.
2. Cook fruit pulp with sugar and spices, stirring frequently. To test for doneness, remove a spoonful and hold it away from the steam for two minutes. It is done if the butter remains mounded on the spoon. Another way to determine when the butter is cooked adequately is to spoon a small quantity onto a plate. When a rim of liquid does not separate around the edge of the butter it is done.
3. Sterilize clean half-pint and pint jars by covering with water and boiling for 10 minutes. Remove and drain hot sterilized jars. Fill hot jars with hot fruit butter, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims and adjust lids.
4. Process in water bath canner; five minutes for half-pints and pints.
Yield: 8 to 9 pintsSource: making Jams, Jellies & Fruit Preserves, Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series, UW-Extension
ApplesauceSelect apples that are sweet, juicy and crisp. For a tart flavor, add 1 to 2 pounds of tart apples to each 3 pounds of sweeter fruit. Wash, peel and core apples. To prevent browning, slice apples into an antioxidant solution including 1)crush three vitamin C tablets and dissolve in one quart of water 2) lemon juice and water (use 3 tablespoons per quart of water), or FruitFresh®.
Drain slices and place into an 8- to 10-quart kettle. Add ½ cup water. Heat quickly until tender, 5 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Press through a sieve or food mill, or skip the pressing step if you desire chunk-style sauce. If desired, add 1/8 cup sugar per quart of sauce. Taste and add more if preferred. Reheat sauce to boiling. Pack hot sauce into clean, hot jars leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove bubbles and wipe jar rims clean. Adjust lids. Process in a boiling water canner: 15 minutes for pints, 20 minutes for quarts.Source: Canning Fruits Safely, Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series, UW-Extension
Drying ApplesSelect mature, firm apples. Wash well. Pare and core. Cut into rings or slices 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. Dip in ascorbic acid or other anti-darkening solution for 10 minutes. Remove from solution and drain well. Arrange in single layer on trays. Place in food dehydrator and set on fruit/vegetable setting. Dry until soft, pliable, and leathery; no moist area in center when cut (6-8 hours).