Use All The Bits - Apple Edition!

After acquiring a bushel of semi-good apples (they had been stored for a while and were no longer the best for fresh eating), I set out to salvage as much as I could! My first task was cutting out the brown, spotty, or very soft parts - these went into a gallon jar with water, sugar, and a splash of starter to ferment into apple cider vinegar.

This jar will be covered with a cloth like the ones behind it (which are kombucha). If you’re looking for a guide for ACV, I recommend the post on Homestead and Chill.

Next, the good apple chunks were roasted for 1 hour in pans covered with foil (and a good glug of water). After cooling, I ran the apples through my food mill/strainer kitchen aid attachment and reserved the baking water.

The resulting sauce I heated to a good boil and water bath canned - first processing 3 quarts + 2 slim jars of basic sauce, and then adding frozen raspberries and grated fresh ginger to the rest. That got me 8 pints of pretty pink sauce.


I could have stopped here and felt fine about it… but the bits that came out of the food mill still looked like they had some good stuff to them, and I had saved that baking juice, so…

Into the pot they went, with a few more cups of water, a cinnamon stick, and a vanilla bean husk. Simmered for an hour (covered, didn’t want to lose any liquid yet) and run through the mill again. This time, the discards were much more dry and I was satisfied that I had worked them enough.

Now this secondary sauce I brought to a low boil and added 1 cup of maple syrup, a 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste, 1/4 tsp(ish) fresh grated nutmeg, 1/4 tsp fresh ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, a pinch of salt, and a dash of ground allspice.
Simmering for about 2 hours, with frequent stiring, the volume reduced by about half. After a final pass with a stick blender to get it as smooth as possible, I canned 5 pints of delicious spiced apple butter.

Now I can rest… except for that other half bushel I still have in the fridge… anyone have a favorite appley baked good they want to share? :thinking::sweat_smile:

Note: the apple butter recipe was adapted from The Patchy Lawn: pear butter using peels & cores!

20 Likes

Lots of apple-y goodness! I can just smell the yum!

2 Likes

These all look so good! I’ve never made applesauce before - you make it look so easy!

2 Likes

Way to go, making the most of that gift! Well done.

2 Likes

I am so impressed by your grab-the-apples-by-the-stems go gettin’! Well done!
In answer to your recipe request, I don’t know if this will fly for you, but these are a BIG hit around my house:
Apple Crisp Shortbread Bars

2 Likes

Dehydrated apple slices, perhaps?

3 Likes

Words! You sure did get a lot out of some almost bad apples! Very impressive and everything sounded yummy, well, except the vinegar. I don’t think I would describe vinegar as yummy. But I do like vinegar so maybe I would. Lol.

2 Likes

Oh man, that spiced apple butter sounds amazing!! Way to find (or make?) the goodness in every last bit!

2 Likes

I’m impressed! I especially like how you dealt with the food mill leavings. It always seems like a waste to chuck it all, so I love your clever idea to sauce them up a bit before turning them through the mill again. And, I’m glad you posted your apple cider vinegar in the works because I have had some farm share apples sitting in my fridge for a while, and I’ve been meaning to use them for vinegar- if I splash a dash of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar into the jar, does that work as a starter?

And @AntBee, thanks for that recipe- it combines 2 of my all-time favorite desserts!

2 Likes

Watch out, they are SUPER addictive!

3 Likes

I just looked at that link . . . those are two of my faves as well. . . now I’m going to have to make them too!

2 Likes

Wowee wow wow! Now I wish I had a mill! I’ve never done any proper canning, but man, I gave got to start. Also, as a fellow I-can’t-throw-that-it’s-still-got-some-lifer (:upside_down_face:), I appreciate you going back for the apple butter. Really. Good work.

Bookmarked! :yum:

I always just end up making apple crisp or pie. Or turnovers, if I feel like making puff (or rough puff) pastry.

2 Likes

Thank you everyone for your comments! I’ve been eating the apple butter on toast (or sliced poundcake) and it’s super tasty.

OK adding this to my to-do list next week, wow!

That would be the perfect starter!

2 Likes

Mouth watering yumminess!

1 Like

This is a plethora of appley goodness, wow! I have a similar mill, it’s a juice masticator with variable pressure. I could do this with the waste leftover from making crumbles. I usually get a half bushel of apples and fill the freezer with 20 or so small loaf pans of various apple based fruit crumbles. There are a lot of cores and skins that go into the compost. I love apple butter, the kids not so much but they can have the crumble and I’ll save the spread for me!

2 Likes

OK I made the shortbread bars today and they were very well received. YUM!

1 Like