Monday, September 24, 2012

apple picking and preserving


Well, this weekend we finally were able to get out apple picking.  I was really concerned that we would be late.  Typically, in Maine, you can pick right through the middle of October.  The past couple of years though, the season has started and ended earlier.  Luckily, we were not late, not by any means.  There were tons of low hanging apples for the kids to pick.  In fact, we were able to pick a bushel of apples in about 15 minutes :-)

I wasn't sure how many apples we would want to pick, but decided to pay $35 for two 1/2 bushel bags that we could then fill as much as we wanted.  I am pretty good at packing the apples into the bag so they are very over filled, but not falling out.  I think we ended up with around 50 pounds or so of apples, so I was happy with that price.

Now, this week will be all about figuring out what to do with these apples.  We will definitely be making some apple jelly and apple butter, and most likely apple sauce.  However, I am not sure what else we should do with the apples.  I am not big on apple pie, so I don't think I want to make apple pie filling...although the rest of my family would probably be happy!  I was thinking about attempting to dry some apple rings, but I don't have a dehydrator, and I don't know how that would work.  Does anyone have any experience using a regular electric oven to dry apple rings?

So, please, let me know what I should do with all of these apples?!  We will go and pick again towards the end of the season.  Those apples tend to store better for us than the earlier season ones.  We like to have fresh apples available all winter, and I find that doing the pick your own is so much more economical for the amount of fruit we eat.

Have you gone apple picking yet?

Linking up at the Barn Hop, Backyard Farming Connection, Rural Thursday and Your Green Resource

15 comments:

  1. Yea so glad you were able to go get some apples and that does sound like a pretty good deal! Plus fun! I have about 6 apples left in the fridge that I'm trying to decide if I want to slice up for pies maybe or just leave 'em for eating. But the apple sauce, butter, and dehydrated rings are all done. And my lil preserving book says you can bake them on cake rack for 3-4 hrs with the door slightly propped open....

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    1. Awesome! Thanks! The kids call them apple cookies...and anything with cookie in the name seems to be a big hit...so I want to have them available :-)

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  2. I make apple chips in the oven to preserve mine. If you want to keep them raw then leaving the door slightly ajar is necessary. However, I don't. I place mine in a baking dish lined with parchment paper, set at 170 degrees (the lowest my oven will go), and dehydrate until they are all the same desired level of crispness. I personally like mine crispy. :)

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    1. Good! I am definitely going to try this then. And I think it will probably make my house smell divine! Do you add any seasonings? Or just dry them as is?

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  3. You could do fruit leathers. You have to cook them 6-8 hours, but the oven is at a very low temp and you could do a triple batch at once. You can google how to make them - it's fairly simple!

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    1. Oh! Fruit leather sounds really good. I have never made it before, but I will definitely see if I can find a good recipe online :-)

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  4. Yeah, the apple rings are a hit here, just watch them to prevent burning.....but they are super good :)

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  5. I've been making fruit leathers for years. I don't cook the apples first though. Simply wash apples, then core, slice (don't peel) and put in blender. Blend til smooth. Dehydrate in food dryer or oven with the door ajar. I also dry apple slices and rings. My kids prefer cinnamon sprinkled on top of slices before drying.

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  6. We're heading apple picking today and are getting excited about all the baking possibilities. I am just starting a new homestead related link up, and would love you to join. If you get a moment, come by and check it out! http://www.simplejoyfulliving.com/2012/09/backyard-farming-connection-bees.html

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  7. I love anything apple...My Gran used to make the best apple butter!

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  8. Oh you are so very lucky this year in Ontario Canada there is a great shortage of apples.
    I have never dried apples I usually make applesauce to freeze and cold storage. B

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  9. Apple picking sounds fun! I'm glad you made it in time.

    http://theapels.blogspot.com/2012/09/old-micker-donald-had-farm.html

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  10. We've got a tree, and the picking is just beginning - although it is a race with the birds. Apple sauce and apple crisp were made this past weekend. Applesauce is a freezer item for us, as I see it is for someone above.

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  11. Apples did not do well in Nebraska either this year from what I hear (drought), but there will be plenty from Washington I imagine. The rings and fruit leather sound like good ideas. :)

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  12. we are going apple picking this coming weekend. so excited. i am planning on apple sauce and apple butter and apple crisp. lol

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