There is nothing better than homemade applesauce from hand-picked apples, and it is so easy to do! If you want chunky applesauce, use a potato masher to mash the cooked apples. If you prefer smooth apple sauce, run the cooked apples through a food mill. The key is adding a few strips of lemon peel to the apples while cooking. The lemon heightens the apple flavor.
Preparation time: 45 minutes. The sugar amounts are just guidelines, depending upon your taste and on the sweetness of your apples, use less or more. If you use less sugar, you’ll likely want to use less lemon juice. The lemon juice brightens the flavor of the apples and balances the sweetness.
1. Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir often.
2. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peels. Mash with potato masher.
3. Ready to serve, either hot or refrigerated. Delicious with vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt.
Freezes easily, lasts up to one year in a cold freezer.
Home Made Apple Cider
The apples you choose are very important as they define the taste of the cider. Most manufactured apple ciders use a variety of different types of apples in their standard apple ciders. You can employ this mixing technique or simply use one variety of apple to make your cider. Red Delicious, Green Delicious, Fuji, Jonagold and other sweet-tasting apples. Granny Smith, McIntosh, Pink Lady and other tart-tasting apples will produce sharper ciders due to their tangy flavors.
Step 1:Choose your apples
1. Experiment with a variety of different types of apples, if you are going to mix apple types in your cider. Try to get a good mix of red, green and gold apples.
2. Choose fresh apples that are picked directly from the trees. You should never use apples that have fallen on the ground as these may possess cider toxins and bacteria.
3. Discard any apples that are bruised or discolored. You should only use fresh, healthy apples to make apple cider.
4. If you don’t grow your own apples, try to visit a local farmer’s market to purchase the apples. While you can purchase apples from any grocery store, you’ll have a fresher cider if you opt for farmer’s market apples.
Step 2: Prepare the Apples
* Before you begin pressing the apples to get the juice out of them, you’ll need to first prepare them.
1. Wash all the apples thoroughly.
2. Core the apples. You can do this manually, however, it’s much faster to use an apple corer.
3. Slice the apples into quarters.
4. Put the quartered apples into the blender or food processor and puree them.
5. Continue pureeing the apples until they are very finely ground. You will be able to extract more juice from the apples if you attain a very fine ground.
Step 3: Press the Apples
Now that you have cored and pureed your apples, you are ready to press them.
1. Place the cheesecloth over the container in which you’ll store the apples.
2. Pour the pureed apples into the cheesecloth.
3. Squeeze the pureed apples through the cheesecloth and into the container below.
4. Apply firm, steady pressure as you squeeze. This will ensure that you extract all juice possible from the pureed apples.
If you are making large amounts of apple cider, you may wish to use a cider press. A cider press is a device with mechanically pulps and squeezes apples, and will extract juice more efficiently than squeezing by hand. Or you can use a fruit/vegetable juicer sold in a variety of shops.
Step 4: Store the Apple Cider
Now that you have extracted all the juice from the apples, your cider is ready to be stored. If you wish, you can also pasteurize your cider.
1. Cover the container with an airtight lid. The cider should not be exposed to air or it will go bad much more quickly.
2. Store your apple cider in the refrigerator. If kept refrigerated, it should stay fresh for about seven days.
3. Pasteurize your apple cider by heating it to 160 º F. This will help to kill any bacteria present. Pasteurized apple cider will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
4. Freeze your apple cider if you won’t be consuming it in the near future. When frozen, apples and apple cider will remain fresh for up to one year.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pregnant women, elderly people and children should not drink unpasteurized apple cider as it may contain bacteria.
Variations on Apple Cider
You can have a lot of fun by experimenting with different seasonings and additions to your homemade apple cider. Don’t be afraid to try your own variations! You might discover a sensational combination.
1. Add cinnamon sticks to your apple cider for traditional holiday taste.
2. Mix apple cider with a bit of rum and brown sugar for an alcoholic beverage that tastes great.
3. Drizzle caramel into your apple cider for a decadent warm beverage.
4. Try various spices in your apple cider. Nutmeg, cloves, ginger and lemon peel all add tasty flavors to hot cider.
5. Pour apple cider over vanilla ice cream and top with caramel and whipped cream for a rich dessert. Add a slice of pound cake for added texture and taste.
6. Blend apple cider with orange juice, ice and honey for a refreshing summer beverage.
Recipes for Apple Tart:
1/2 cup sugar
1. MIX flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Blend in a mixer until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining butter; mix until biggest pieces look like large peas.
2. DRIBBLE in water, stir, then dribble in more, until dough just holds together. Toss with hands, letting it fall through fingers, until it’s ropy with some dry patches. If dry patches predominate, add another tablespoon water. Keep tossing until you can roll dough into a ball. Flatten into a 4-inch-thick disk; refrigerate. After at least 30 minutes, remove; let soften so it’s malleable but still cold. Smooth cracks at edges. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Dust excess flour from both sides with a dry pastry brush.
3. PLACE dough in a lightly greased 9-inch round tart pan, or simply on a parchment-lined baking sheet if you wish to go free-form, or galette-style with it. Heat oven to 400º F. (If you have a pizza stone, place it in the center of the rack.)
4. OVERLAP apples on dough in a ring 2 inches from edge if going galette-style, or up to the sides if using the tart pan. Continue inward until you reach the center. Fold any dough hanging over pan back onto itself; crimp edges at 1-inch intervals.
5. BRUSH melted butter over apples and onto dough edge. Sprinkle sugar over dough edge and over apples.
6. BAKE in center of oven until apples are soft, with browned edges, and crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown (about 45 minutes), making sure to rotate tart every 15 minutes.
7. MAKE glaze: Put reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with sugar. Pour in just enough water to cover; simmer for 25 minutes. Strain syrup through cheesecloth.
8. REMOVE tart from oven, and slide off parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 15 minutes.
9. BRUSH glaze over tart, slice, and serve.