Monday, October 05, 2009

Barter Harvest

I don't have an apple tree, but I do know people with them and I know one that owns an orchard and loves grape jam and pickled beets. And I have that to spare. So what do you get for a couple jars of jam and a jar of pickled beets? Two bushels of apples; quite a bargain barter!
He asked me what I wanted, I told him whatever would be good for applesauce. I got one bag of Sweet Sixteen (very sweet), 2 bags Cortland (very tangy and crisp), 1 bag Macks (very firm), 1 bag Honey Crisp (set those aside for fresh eating), 1 bag Chestnut Crab (very good, sweet, crisp apples - just the right size for a quick snack. Those I saved too), 1 bag Connell (good all around apple), and 2 mystery mixes.

I looked up a bunch of applesauce recipes and they all said that you needed a food mill. I didn't have a food mill, and wasn't going to be able to get one at 8pm on a Sunday night, so I winged it, as usual. I thought I might be able to press the cooked apples through my steamer basket, but then decided that I would just peel the apples instead and use an immersion blender. Worked perfect, except that peeling two bushels of apples is a pain in the butt!

Here's a tip to keeping the apples from browning while you're peeling all those apples: add some crushed vitamin C tablets to a bowl of water to keep the cut pieces in. The ascorbic acid in the C keeps the apples from browning.

The recipe is easy, just cored peeled apples, some water, and if desired: lemon juice, sugar and spices. Apples are high acid, so water bath canning is fine. The lemon juice option is just to maintain color. Some batches I sweetened, others I left plain. I used cinnamon and ginger for spices and dark brown sugar for sweetening.

My son assured me that these will not be around longer than a month. I'd better get more apples.

BTW: the really dark jars are pickled beets.


Blogger Mary Delle said...

Lucky you. I love homemade apple sauce from good orchard apples. I'm too far in LA to know of an orchard. Maybe I should start asking around. I do recall how much I love really good applesauce.

10/05/2009 9:52 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Mary Delle, canning applesauce would be somewhat expensive if I had to purchase the apples. When I visit places and notice people using apple trees in landscaping I'll ask if they use the apples. If they don't I ask if I can come back in the fall to pick. And for applesauce, they don't have to be perfect apples, so most apples will do.

10/05/2009 10:59 PM  
Blogger Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Your son has good taste! I wish I could help to consume this treasure! I found your blog on Blotanical. Happy gardening and blogging to you!

10/06/2009 12:43 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

beautiful color!

10/06/2009 9:59 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Tatyana, good to see that people are finding me on Blotanical. The applesauce was very good

Wendy, I was admiring the color myself.

10/06/2009 10:20 PM  
Blogger Nutty Gnome said...

Wow, that looks like a great batch of apple sauce.
Canning isn't really that popular here in the UK - I suspect we've lost the skill of doing it - or, in my case, never had the skill!

I wandered into here from elsewhere(but I've lost track of where I started!)and I've had a lovely time reading all your posts. Thank you for a great blog :)

10/07/2009 10:54 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Nutty Gnome, I thought with all the allotment growers there that there'd be a big canning crowd. I have to say that canning isn't popular in most of the US either. Both my parents canned, so I was already familiar with it.

10/07/2009 4:17 PM  

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