Apples Everywhere: Preserved 4 Ways

Scrolling aimlessly through my Facebook feed, as is done, an advertisement from my local Buy Swap and Sell group appeared. Now this caught my attention as it was from an orchard selling 2 kg bags of seconds apples for just $1 a bag.

Quickly I turned to Mr Hack exclaiming that’s only 50 cents a kilo! In our area supermarket apples hover around $5 a kilo.

The next day during the designated pick up time, we purchased 10 kilos of apples for $5 – crazy cheap.

And for seconds apples they were fresh juicy Pink Ladies that happened to be too big or too small – or shock horror blemished – for the supermarket. (Humans are a weird breed demanding uniform looking fruit and vegetables.)

Anyhow, the next day we went back and bought another 10 kilos, plus they gave us another two kilos for free.

Suddenly we had 22 kg of apples!

What To Do With 22 kg Of Apples

Grabbing my all time favourite fail safe preserves book, I went straight to the index and looked up what I could do with apples.

Windfalls: Preserves and Other Country Kitchen Secrets
My fav preserves book

Browsing through the index, I finally decided on apple jelly, apple and berry jam, apple sauce and dehydrated apples.

Hint: Use an apple spiraliser to make preparing the apples so much easier! It peels, cores and cuts the apple into a spiral.

Apple spiraliser aka Curly Wurly Apple Machine

To preserve 22 kg of apples we had to get the box of recycled jars from the shed. Things suddenly got serious!

All up I made 16 jars of apple sauce, 16 jars of jam, 8 jars of apple jelly and dehydrated 4 kg of apple rings. Currently, we have no spare jars in our kitchen and an overly full pantry! (Although, the kids are doing their best to eat a jar of apple sauce a day.)

The jars were from purchased jam, olives, tomato paste etc and had been washed with the labels removed.

Before putting preserved food in the jar I give them a wash in the dishwashing machine to ensure they are squeaky clean. Another method is put them in the oven or microwave.

Apple Jelly

Apple jelly is essentially a clear jam. It’s very fancy looking and always impresses!

It’s used in the same way as a jam spread.

Apple jelly
Apple jelly
Ingredients
  • Quantity of apples
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Jelly bag or piece of muslin cloth
Method
  • Wash apples, cut in half, leave the skin on and the core in
  • Just cover with water and simmer until the fruit is soft and mushy
  • Pour the mixture over a jelly bag (I use a piece of muslin cloth from a fabric shop placed over a colander.)
  • For every cup of extract add one cup of sugar
  • Stir until the sugar in dissolved, then boil briskly until the setting point is reached
  • Bottle and seal
Apples in the pot ready for cooking
Apples in the pot ready for cooking
Mushy apples draining through a piece of muslin cloth on a colander
Mushy apples draining through a piece of muslin cloth on a colander
The cloudy extract ready for cooking with sugar
The cloudy extract about to be cooked with sugar
Boiling the extract with sugar
Boiling the extract with sugar

You can use this recipe with crab apples, and for half – half combinations such as apple and plum, apple and rose-hip or apple and quince.

Apple and Berry Jam

Now this recipe challenged me.

The first batch of apple, blueberry and strawberry jam didn’t get enough attention from me as I was cooking and, well, burnt on the bottom of the pan. Thankfully it still tasted yummy and set perfectly. Although, the jam is a very dark colour. I just tell people it’s the blueberries that give it such a dark hue …

How good does this look!
How good does this look!

Then the second batch, this time apple and strawberry, wouldn’t set properly. Even after re-boiling it with three whole lemons for the extra pectin. Maybe I should have just forgotten about it and let it burn to get it to set!

Eventually it did set into a ‘soft’ jam. Good as a thick ice cream topping or to scoop onto scones.

Apple and strawberry jam
Apple and strawberry jam
Ingredients
  • 250g apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 punnet of berries (250g)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Juice from a large lemon
Method
  • Simmer the apples in water until they are soft
  • Add strawberries and cook until mushy
  • Put in lemon juice and sugar, stir until dissolved
  • Boil briskly until setting point is reached
  • Bottle and seal

Apple Sauce

My kids adore apple sauce! (Just as well I made 16 jars of it.)

Eat with ice cream, or roast chicken, or really anything at all – even on its own by the bowlful, shhh.

It’s also super easy to make.

This apple sauce won't last long at my house
This apple sauce won’t last long at my house
Ingredients
  • 1 kg apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 200ml water
  • 200g sugar
  • juice of one lemon
Method
  • Simmer the apples in water until they are soft
  • Puree the apples with a stick mixer, or blender, or push through a sieve or Mouli
  • Add sugar and lemon juice to the apple puree in a saucepan
  • Simmer the mixture and stir frequently until thickened
  • Bottle and seal

Dehydrated Apple Rings

Dried apple rings
Dried apple rings

The easiest way to prepare apples for dehydrating is to use an apple spiraliser. Slice down one side of a spiralised apple to create perfect rings.

Prepare the food dehydrator by filling the each shelf with apple rings. Do not overlap them as they need the airflow to dry them out.

This batch took around 12 hours to dry.

Once they are dry, store them in a sealed container in the pantry.

This is only one shelf in our pantry full of apple preserves!
This is only one shelf in our pantry full of apple preserves!

If you’re interested in making another impressive jam, check out the recipe for lilly pilly jelly.

What’s your favourite preserving recipe for apples? Please scroll down and share your recipe in the comments box.

Cash Hippy

I'm an everyday person on a journey to save money and care for the environment at the same.

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