'Tis apple season and we are lucky enough to have such a great selection in Ithaca. Over the past few weeks we've had so much fun with apples. We've had two cider pressing parties. We started having these parties when the kids were young and we'd invite families of their friends.
I'd make 4 or 5 different soups and serve them with bread and everyone would bring an appetizer or dessert. This year was a scaled down version since the kids are grown up and I can't get them all home at the same time. Here is my son Jeffrey with his friend Seth enjoying themselves.
We usually rent a press from the Cayuga Nature Center. We go to King Town Orchards to buy bulk second hand apples. Everyone takes a hand at cranking the apples and everyone leaves with a half gallon of freshly pressed cider. We get a variety of apples and sometimes throw in some pears and this is guaranteed to be the best cider around.
Other great things to do with apples: Dried apples. I invested in a $20 apple corer, peeler and slicer and we already had a dehydrator. Making a batch of apples using the Back To Basics apple corer/slicer takes only a few minutes, once you get the hang of it. It's an amazingly simple and efficient design and it works.
Don't add anything to the apples. They get incredibly sweet once they're dry and it takes about 12 hours. If you don't want to waste the scraps (peels and ends of the apples) you can make applesauce with them. I just throw everything (minus the cores) into my crock pot and let them cook down. After putting them through a food mill I taste for seasoning and may add sugar,honey or cinnamon.
This last batch of applesauce I used to make my spiced applesauce muffins.
APPLES READY FOR DRYING IN THE DEHYDRATOR
APPLE GARLIC CHUTNEY
Yesterday I made the apple garlic chutney recipe I posted a while back and we started eating it right away even though it's better after a couple of weeks. I used dried mango, golden raisins, dried apricots and apples.
- 1 ¼ cups applesauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground clove
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup raisins or chopped dried apricots
- ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Prepare muffin pans (16-18 muffins) with cupcake foils
- In a large bowl, Beat eggs first and then add the applesauce, sugar, oil, and milk; beat well.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and mix in cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and salt. Add to the applesauce mixture but don't overstir.
- Add vanilla and fold in the pecans and raisins.
- Pour batter into prepared muffin tins.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.