Miniature apples, big sauce

There are a few apple trees on our block that are very peculiar – they grow tiny little apples, about an 3/4″ in diameter. I picked one off a tree as we were walking by the other day, and I was surprised at the strong tart flavor. It got me thinking that maybe they would be good for something. I considered pressing them for cider, but that seemed like a lot of work to get enough for any volume. Apple jelly perhaps?

We had some free time this afternoon, so I dragged the kids out to the sidewalk to help me. Which meant that Hannah kept relocating the bucket and Robbie kept climbing up the mini ladder right behind me. I managed to fill their beach bucket about 2/3 full of the tiny apples, and then we came home and decided to make apple sauce.

I cut the blossom end off each apple (supposing it might help them cook more readily) and then added a little bit of water to the pot. They cooked up in about 15 minutes, and then we ran them through the food mill. It was a surprisingly efficient process – the food mill removed the skin and cores, but most of the volume went through with the sauce.

It was super tart, so I added about a cup of sugar. The best part about it was the pretty pink color it came out. There is so much skin on all those little apples, that the red pigment dyes the final product a nice bright hue. Some for the fridge, some for the freezer, and I’ve got my eyes on those other trees of tiny apples.


Apple Adventures

One again we found ourselves with a barrel of apples to process this year.  The blessing (and curse) of apples is that they can actually sit around for awhile.  This means that its easy to put off getting to them and begin to stress out and/or avoid them. Once we faced this procrastination we decided to do some canned apple pie filling, which we’ve done several times before.  We’ve always enjoyed it and used it fairly quick, but we also seem to be a little cursed by it.  Last time we did it we had problems ranging from broken jars to not enough head space.  This year that pattern continued.  We were using some very old canning jars and had two crack in the water, which of course leads to a huge mess of apple pie filing and broken glass in boiling water.  I don’t really know why this happened since generally in my canning experience its fairly rare.  Additionally our apple peeler/corer/slicer broke unrepairably.  After this we decided to switch to applesauce for the rest of the apples, which is easy enough.  Unfortunately, one of us (he shall remain nameless), forgot that you can’t really process the jars while the applesauce is cold (i.e. straight from the fridge) which led to even more jar breakage.  Overall we did manage to successfully can 6 quarts of pie filing and 4 pints of applesauce, but I have a feeling that next year I am going to procrastinate even more when it comes to processing any apples we acquire.

Written by alicia in: Food | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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