I have learned something very important during out first apple harvest. Collecting apples from the trees is only the first step. You have to actually do something with the apples after you pick them or they end up sitting on your front porch in red laundry baskets attracting fruit flies, deer and every neighborhood kid within a 5 mile radius…for example. I don’t mind the kids sitting on my porch eating apples. I think it’s cute. However the fruit flies have infiltrated my home and the deer decided to eat my tomato plant for dessert.
So, long story short, I decided to can apples. I did some research online, and purchased a basic canning set along with Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissof. Everyone recommended the Blue Ball canning book, which has been in existence for a million years but it just seemed so…old. I wanted to learn the basics of canning but I wanted some modern recipes and flavors. This book has everything: step-by-step details along with some gorgeous photos. I wish I could photograph like that.
For the past two weeks after the baby has gone to bed, I have spent hours, and hours…AND HOURS canning apples. I did the basic applesauce and apple butter, along with a plum pie filling. Did I mention we have plum trees? Just two, but we hardly collected anything off the trees because a hornet’s next was hanging from one of the trees and the hornets were very territorial to say the least. I usually fight for what’s mine, but in a battle between me and a hornet’s nest, I’ll wave the white flag, no questions asked. We had some leftover plum syrup, which was a gorgeous salmon pink color and will probably taste amazing on waffles.
After I grasped the basics, I started branching out and searching Pinterest for more recipes. My favorites came from the blog Our Simple Happy Life. Her Spiced Applesauce, Vanilla Rum Apple Butter, and Honey Apple Jam with Lemon Zest (OMG, was that good), were really fun to make and were a big hit with my professional taste-tester (Read: my younger sister).
Gabe ordered a massive dehydrator from Cabella’s last week and once it arrives we will start dehydrating apples. They taste good in tea and Gabe likes to snack on them. I don’t really care for dehydrated apples, but I could use a break from canning. I can’t can no more.
Oh, I included a photo of my new apple peeler that peels, cores and slices apples into this accordion thingy. I get a kick out of it every time. It reminds me of the slinky commercials where the slinky falls down the stairs.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to clear a space in my garage for approximately 531 jars of canned apples.