...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Apples to Apples (sauce or juice, either way)

My Grandpa sent us a bunch of apples to end off the growing season.  We had already made a lot of applesauce, not to mention his apples are a bit tart so they don't make the best applesauce on their own.

Lucky for us, our Sweet neighbor across the street also happened to share with us some apples that had been given to her so by combining the two varieties we managed a much sweeter mix.

But rather than just head straight to sauce, we opted to try our hand at making apple juice.  Never done that before, it's always fun to try something new.  It turned out really tasty and I think we just might tackle this project again next year.

If you are interested in giving this a shot, here is how we did it.

1. Procure a whole big bunch of apples.  Check.

2. Put 3-4 inches of water in the bottom of some pans and bring the water to a boil.

3. Chop your apples in quarters and ease them into the hot water bath.  Ahhhh, refreshing (plus this will make your house smell FaBuLoUs!).  Let the apples bathe for 1-2 hours (we did both 1 hour and 2 hours in different batches and they both worked).

4. Place a strainer or colander over a larger bowl.  Pour your apple/water into the colander.  Your apples will be ultra mooshy, but that's fine.  Let the apples drain into the bowl for a while stirring some to let all the liquid fall through.  That liquid is your juice.

5. We used the apple mash that was left to make more apple sauce.  We have a food strainer which separates peels and seeds from the pulp and mashes it up as well so that worked well for us.  

6. Our apple juice still had some pulp in it and my children will DIE if we try to present juice to them that way so we ran all the juice through a cloth to pull out the pulp.

And TA DA!!  Fabulous apple juice!  

We ended up with a gallon and a half from the apples we processed.  We did add just a smidgen of sugar for our children's taste, but it actually tasted really good on its own.  We learned that it is best to use a little less water at the start of the process because you can always add more water at the end if your apple flavor is too strong (it's a little harder to make more juice to even out a flavor that is too watery).

And eight more quarts of apple sauce.  We did have to add a fair amount of sugar and cinnamon to this because, like I said, my grandpa's apples are a little on the tart side.  

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