Recently the babe and I went apple picking with our mothers club. It was a lot of fun and I ended up getting a lot of apples. I picked 21.5 lbs!!! I really wanted to make my own apple sauce for the babe, pies and crisp.
I have been having so much fun baking up a storm. First I made two batches of apple sauce; the first batch I decided to do on the stove top...well I ended up having the burner on WAY to high and I had a good two inches of burnt apples at the bottom. Sorry I didn't get a picture as I was freaking out about my good pot looking like that! But luckily my good friend Niki just did a post on how to clean your pots when they get like that!! So before I got even get the camera I had dumped a bunch of baking soda in the pot, used my vinegar and water sprayer to spray in some of that and filled it up with hot water. Placed it on the stove to boil for about 10 minutes before I used a scrub brush to simply wipe away the black stuff. I did have to take an SOS pad to it to get the very bottom of the black stuff but it saved my pot. Thanks Niki.
So for the second batch of apple sauce I used my crock pot, which was the way I should have went in the first place. It seems this little guys are getting a lot of attention in the apple sauce making business. I have had some friends and family members give me their greatest crock pot recipes. There are lots of variations you can use but since this pot was for the babe I simple just stuck to apples, cinnamon and nutmeg. Other ingredients that could have been used are orange juice and vanilla.
For the recipe I place just enough water to cover the bottom of the crock pot. As I was cutting up the apples I had it on high. As you can see from the picture I cut the apples in big chucks instead of small pieces. Thats because I have a hand mixer which I always use to puree my apples when they are really soft and tender to make a creamy apple sauce.
When the crock pot was filled with the apples I put in some of the spices, placed the lid on and let it cook on high for about 2 to 3 hours. When the apples were good and tender I took the hand mixer to it.
Once cooled I placed it into a old apple sauce jar and now it sits in the fridge ready for the babe to eat it. I will continue to make apple sauce and freeze it in Ziploc baggies for the baby.
So now looking at all the peelings, cores and seeds in my kitchen I think to myself there must be something you can do with these things. Of course there is and once again Niki has already done a post on it. Your great girl. However instead of making apple jelly from it I decided to make my own apple juice!! I decided to can it and use it for my homemade apple cider recipe this winter.
So I gathered up all the left overs and put them into a big pot (not my good one because that was being cleaned) and started to boil it up. After it was done boiling and all the peelings where turning into mush I dumped it into an pillow case and hung it from the kitchen door. After I let it drain for a while I rung the rest out with my hands and the help of the kitchen sink. That black and white thing is the pillow case that is tided around the sink.
After I got all the juice out I could I placed the pot back on the stove and let it simmer a bit. Well it was simmering I add a bit of sugar to it and then I put two canning jars into the oven to warm and placed lids and covers into boiling water. When the liquid was done I poured the juice into the jars and placed the lids on top. There was enough for these two jars plus a mug full.
We did get to sample the mug of juice later that night after it cold. It taste like a fresh apple (should I be surprised). It wasn't sweet enough for hubby but I think that it will work out great for the cider recipe.
I still have lots of apples left and we plan on going picking again next week. So other things I plan on making, I am sure I will post about them, include apple butter, pies, turnovers and crisp.
Here are some recipes that I will be trying.
Crock pot apple butter
Butterscotch apple crisp
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