Preserving the windfall glut of apples

MaC

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#1
We are due 80mph winds tomorrow, so tonight I have gathered the apples off my tree. They're just ripe enough that they're starting to fall, and I know that if I'd left them they'd have been blown down and crashed onto the pavers. Bruised and bashed are only really fit for quickly used for cider or feeding pigs.
I quite like cider, but it's a real bother for me crushing the apples, and I don't keep pigs.
So, I'm going to turn mine into preserved apples for use in pies, strudels, sponges, etc.,

Wash the apples, lay them on an old towel and let them dry.
Using a tattie peeler scoop out the little flower end and dispose.... I know of no other way to get rid of those little black flecks tidily. Scoop out the stalk end, remove the stalk but put the fleshy scooped out bit in a pot, then peel the apple and save the peelings in the same pot as the end bit.
All those peelings, etc., will end up making apple spread.

Slice the peeled apple into pieces, working around the apple and in towards the core. If the core is fleshy, put that into the apple spread pot too. I generally remove the seeds, but I'm a fussy besom.
In a decent sized frying or saute pan, melt enough butter to cover the base in a thin layer. Now fry the apples :) Don't let them brown, just cook them until the edges soften. Add soft brown sugar and stir well, allow the sugar and butter to bubble and thicken like syrup.
It's a personal decision whether to add spices such as cinnamon, allspice, etc., and it's a personal taste thing as to how much butter and sugar that one adds. For a fifth (50g) of a block of butter, I use three quarters of saute panful of apple pieces and a mugful of soft brown sugar. More of either is fine, less misses the buttery/caramel flavour.

I use Kilner jars and fill them up, clean the rims, seal and then boil the jars with water an inch over their tops, for about twenty minutes or so.
This makes a really good and tasty filling for anything apple later in the year. It keeps very well too.

If you don't have Kilner jars, you can use jam jars. They're not meant for this job, but they do work. Just check the seal when the jars are cold. If the lid doesn't stay depressed, or the contents have obviously taken in water then it didn't work and you need to use the stuff up relatively quickly. If you up the sugar ratio the the mix can be made just as jam and it'll seal the same way if jarred when hot.

If you don't want to go to the bother of jarring the apples, then they'll freeze well in bagfuls after they've been fried in the butter and sugar. They defrost quickly in the microwave.

As for the peelings and cores, well, they're easily used too.
Just add a bit of water to the pot, put the lid on, and poach the skins, etc., until they're cooked. Mash and strain. Boil up the resultant juice and stir constantly as it thickens. When you can see the bottom of the pot when stirring, it's just about time to jar. If you're careful you can boil it down to a thick syrup that will cool down into a paste.
Pure apple spread is tasty, almost toffee like, keeps well, and is excellent on toast, oatcakes, teacakes, etc., It works well inside those refillable tubes that are excellent to take camping too.

I have bucket loads of apples to deal with, and my neighbour has the same of pears, so tomorrow is an apple day :D

M
 
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#2
My Pears became pear and ginger jam. I'd not made it before and thought I'd have trouble with pears as they are low in pectin, but I needn't have worried and it's turned out to be delicious. I wish I'd nabbed more of them now!
 

MaC

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#4
Nice idea. Pat would like that I think. I'll suggest that we make some :)
Pears dry beautifully, and they're tastier than apples too. Sweeter and chewier.

M
 
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