Wednesday, November 13, 2013

'A' is for Autumn and Apples!

Hubs and I took our yearly vacay to the mountains this past weekend.  We have friends there, and since both of us grew up near the beach, we like to change up the scenery every once in a while.  It was a beautiful weekend to go.  The evenings dipped into the 30's, but the days were bright and merely brisk.

On our way out of town we stopped into the farmer's mart and got some goodies.  Sold by the bushel, 'deer apples' are apples that hit the ground naturally before they can be picked off the tree.  They are somewhat bruised, but otherwise completely edible.  Hubs has been lusting over the thought of making apple cider, so he picked up a box with that purpose in mind.  We had also already grabbed a peck of hand picked Arkansas Black apples.  (We planted an AB the same day we planted all of our other trees, but this year it decided to go to tree heaven.  So we figured we'd have to buy them if we ever wanted to try any!)

We also got a quart of local honey with honey comb in tact (nom!), some very fresh heads of cabbage, and a cream soda.  For me.  Delish.  Oh, and when we were leaving home we came across a guy selling half bushels of sweet potatoes, so we bought two!  Think I'll have my work cut out for me soon enough...

I decided to can mah apples.  I used this instructional on how to do so.  It was very easy, but pretty time consuming.  Basically you boil six cups of peeled and sliced apples in a gallon of syrup (or water/juice) and then hot pack into jars and process for 20 minutes in a waterbath.  I did a medium syrup, 12 cups of water, 2 cups of white sugar and 2 cups of brown sugar.  I also added some cinnamon to the mix, but apparently not enough.  If you wanted really cinnamon-y apples, I think you'd be better off to put some in each individual jar.  

Also I made apple infused water juice drink.  That's what's in the pink jars to the left.  Natural coloring from the red peels.  I love that it turned out pink, it makes it look rich and decadent.  It was really easy to do since I was already peeling apples.  I just stationed my peeler right over the pot!  Two birds with one stone and all that.

  I don't really know what to call this beverage.  Lemme think...

Apple Cider Juice
-Peels and cores of 4-6 apples, seeds omitted (the more apples, the stronger the flavor)
-6 cups of water
-Cinnamon stick
-Allspice berries 
-Sugar to taste, about 1/4 C

1.  Combine apple cores and peels, water, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries and cloves in medium saucepan.  Bring to a rapid boil.
2.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Continue cooking for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Stir occasionally.
3.  Strain all of the solids out of the juice.  Some pulp is okay, but if none is desired, consider also doing a fine strain.  Add sugar.
4.  Enjoy!  Drink warm (a friend suggested adding some Goldschlagger to create a cinnamon apple adult drink) or try it chilled like a spiced apple juice.  Keep refrigerated.

Little Boo loves it!  So do I.  Even Hubs' friends thought it was good, although they were interested in combining it with some rum or honey whiskey.  Can't say that I blame them!

I refrigerated the cider after making it, but I'm interested to research if anyone has a canning recipe for juice like this.  Please hit me up if you know of one!

What are you doing with your apples this Fall?


  1. Noms! Can we make homemade apple cider of the fermented persuasion? :)

    1. Yeah girl! But have you tried that kind of stuff before? It's a lot easier said than done. (Meaning it's too complex for me and my tiny attention span.)

      Mike made some last year. It was the not so sweet variety. Also one of the jars popped IN the pantry one morning randomly and I thought there was a drive-by.

      I'm a big fan of making the unfermented type and adding my own summin summin after the fact ;)