It just wouldn’t be late August without the rolling in of harvest season. I think it makes the idea of crisp chilly mornings just a little more bearable knowing that the best produce of the year is also right around the corner.
Last summer I was lucky enough to get to pick some apples from my friends backyard tree and I was so hopeful she would offer the same again. She did! Last week I spent the morning with her and came home with about half a big diaper box full. Ooh the possibilities!
These apples aren’t sweet and are made for cooking so I knew I had a busy afternoon of apple prepping ahead of me. Last year I made some apple crisps but I didn’t have any of the ingredients on hand to whip those up. I decided on apple pie filling and apple sauce that I would stash in the freezer until needed. I make my apple pie filling the way my Mama does and it doesn’t seem to be the way any of my friends here do theirs. It must be a British method! I start by stewing my apples on the stovetop before getting them in to my pie crusts, as opposed to filling the crusts with raw apple slices. Is this odd? I’ve never met an apple pie I didn’t like.. but I must say my Mama’s pie is my very favourite.
First things first- I had to peel, core and chop the apples. The apples were small so this took me forever! To keep the apples from getting brown throughout the process I kept them in a big pot of water. When I had gotten through about half the apples I rinsed the apples in the pot and then filled the pot with water until it was about an inch below the top of the apples.
Adding sugar is an important part of this process. I can’t offer you a measurement, it’s all by judgement depending on the amount of apples. Start with a quarter cup and taste test once the stewing down has started. You can always add more if needed. If you like cinnamon with your apples go ahead and add some here, also. I chose not to as I wasn’t sure what my end result of these apples would be.
Stir the apples from time to time, keeping them over a low heat. The goal is to soften the apples, but you don’t want to turn them to mush. Once you’re happy with the tenderness you want to get them out of the hot water. I spooned them into a strainer with a slotted spoon and reused the flavourful water for the second batch of apples. Once cooled I divided the stewed apple chunks into 3 portions to use as pie filling at a later date.
The second batch of apples I stewed longer to a much more tender state, then drained and mashed them to make apple sauce. I divided this into 3 portions and got into freezer bags to use at a later time.
Label and date your freezer bags and get them into the freezer only when fully cooled.
And there you have it! My weekday apple adventure. By the end of the process the house smelt absolutely amazing. No essential oil or scentsy could come close to that smell!
What would you create with a box of apples?
Until next time, friends. ❤ Kochiemama