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Today I share with you a number of ways to preserve apples for the year! Fall is upon us and that means apple season is here. Now is the time to pick and preserve them to save money on groceries and get the best tasting food with the highest nutritional value.
HOW TO PRESERVE APPLES: PIN ME!
Apples don’t have to be boring. In fact they can be quite thrilling. The varieties of apples are endless, and the ways to eat and preserve them is limitless.
I love apples, so much so that I just recently planted 20 apple trees in our new orchard, 10 of best varieties of apples for our Pacific Northwest climate zone.
Preserving apples with my mom after picking my Nana’s Gravenstein tree, peeling and coring them, freezing them and making apple sauces and deserts was my experience of canning. And from there grew my love for mason jars.
From those memories I’ve now mastered processing my apple tree in a weekend. Yippee! I want to share with you how I preserve my apples for my family, to show you how easy and rewarding it truly is!
HOW TO PICK & STORE APPLES
It’s important to pick apples when they are ripe and you are prepared to store them properly until ready to preserve.
I like to pick the apples and store them in craft mate totes until I have a free weekend to dedicate to processing and preserving my apples. I love these colapsable totes!
It’s best to store apples in a cool basement, garage, shed, fruit cellar or refrigerator at a temperature of 30-32 F with 90% humidity. Check for signs of spoilage and quickly remove any rotten apples before they spoil the barrel.
In this post I share with you how I preserve apples for my family. I spend 1 whole weekend in the kitchen preserving my apples by using the following family recipes.
APPLE CANNING RECIPES
Crockpot apple butter is my favourite preserve to make and its super easy to do in the crockpot. It’s a spicy fall treat and healthier than jam. I decorate up my jars with these freebie labels to give as hostess gifts over the holidays.
Apple Sauce and mixed fruit varieties. Apple sauce is a great swap for oil or butter in baking recipes and the kids love it, so I make LOTS! Forget buying fruit pouches this winter.
Apple Pie Filling This is a great on hand ready to go dessert that can be used for apple pie (obviously) but is also good topped on cheese cake!
Apple Jelly– My nana’s favourite, A must if you have access to ruby red apples
Freeze Apples: Fill Large ziplock bags of cut and peeled apples.
BEST GO TO APPLE DESSERTS
Apple Crisp A Sunday night go to recipe my mother always used, she just dumped in whatever frozen fruit we had at the time and it’s always delicious with ice cream.
Apple Pie I use this easy butter pie pastry recipe to make my apple pie using the canned apple pie recipe above. I’ve also just used apple butter and a few fresh apples to make a tasty spin on the apple pie canned filling.
Other Apple Canning Recipes
Apples are a staple ingredient in a lot of other canning recipes as well. Opening up the jar and tasting the sweetness of the garden in Feb. is like no other!
If you are new to canning using the hot water bathing method, I totally encourage you to do so! Theres a great level of satisfaction when your able to preserve food for you and your family to enjoy for the cold winter months.
Learn more about the hot water bath method here
OTHER METHODS TO PRESERVE APPLES
Moonshine– Apple Pie flavoured
Vinegar – Apple Cider Vinegar
HOW TO PRESERVE YOUR APPLE IN 1 WEEKEND
Apples are a great fruit to preserve for the entire family. I like to use the apple recipes mentioned above all year long and I’ve figured out how to do it all in one weekend. Let me help you preserve your apples quickly and efficiently too.
Meal planning has been my number one tool to save money on groceries. We try to eat a seasonal, local diet that is rich in foods we produce on homestead. Apples are a healthy important part of that diet.
I highly suggest meal planning in 6 month intervals using the money saving worksheets. This has helped me determine the exact amounts of apple preserves we use in a year. From apple sauce for baking and snacks for the kids, to apple pie filling for Sunday deserts and apple butter for hostess gifts over the holidays and a tasty treat on our grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch.
Once you’ve determined what recipes you’d like to use and the final tally of mason jars and freezer bags you’ll need its time to get started.
Preparing for Apple Weekend!
Apples will be the main job of the weekend, It find it’s helpful to lessen the rest of the day to day tasks in order to get through it all without getting distracted.
Make a few freezer meals ahead of time to take out for the weekend and to forget about daily meal prep. I suggest these great frugal recipes.
I like to kick the family out of the kitchen or recruit them to help. Figure out what works best for you.
I always start by making a few batches of pie crust for the freezer and for the end of the weekend as a special reward for all the hard work.
1. Start out by setting up the apple processing station in the kitchen.
I bring in a crate of apples at a time, have my peeler/corer ready, sinks prepared, cutting board out and canning supplies ready to go.
2. Clean canning jars and screw lids
I organize and wash my mason jars in the dishwasher.
I’m a lefty, so I set up my apple peeler on the left. In the sink, I have one side for cores and skins on the other I have warm water and lemon juice or crushed vitamin c chewable vitamins to keep my apples from browning.
I have my cutting board ready and I then I get started.
3. Start the crockpot apple butter recipe.
Put the first 12 cut, cored and peeled apples in the crockpot following this 10 minute recipe. Set the crock pot timer for 10 hours and get started.
4. Fill a large pot with peeled and cored apples for chunky sugar free apple sauce.
When the apple sauce is cooking on low heat you can keep processing the apples.
5. Prepare desserts for freezer.
Cut apples into pieces and bag them then start putting them into trays for apple crisp and place into pre made pie crusts.
6. Prepare to can apple sauce.
Once the apple sauce has reached the desired consistency it’s time to start the hot water bath and begin filling your first mason jars! The fun is just beginning! You’re going to need to gather the following supplies for this step.
7. Gather supplies
8. Make fruit leather
Use left over apple sauce to make fruit leather. Whatever apple sauce doesn’t make it into the jars or into your mouths, mix with some cinnamon to put fruit leather into the dehydrator.
9. Start Apple Pie Filling.
Process the apple sauce in the hot water bath, and continue to peel and core apples and keep sink filled for the next recipe. Then when the apple sauce pot is empty, clean and start blanching slices for apple pie filling.
10. Process Apple Butter.
When the timer has gone off its time to process the apple butter using the hot water bath method. See the Apple Butter recipe for more details.
11. Apple Chips.
Once the fruit leather is done then start a batch of apple chips.
12. Recycle left over apples
-Feed peels and cores to chickens and over ripe apples to chickens and cows.
14. Send in Apples for Cider or Juice
Bring apples to our local apple press and have apple juice made
-Bring apples to our local you brew winery and have sparkling wine and or apple cider made for the holidays. Homemade wine is always a sweet hostess gifts over the holidays. We made wine one year and with the labels, it cost us $4.50 each for a frugal little gift. See I put ours together as a super simple frugal gift for friends and family.
CANNING SUPPLY LIST
Here are some of my favourite canning supplies!