Friday, December 04, 2009

So. Many. Apples.

We've got a sweet little apple tree out behind the garage, planted by the previous owners of our house. Each autumn, it starts pumping out the most amazingly delicious supply of apples. I don't know what kind of apples they are, which just makes the whole thing even more fun and exciting.

This year's crop has truly been Above & Beyond. We have soooooooo many apples. What you see here is well shy of half of what I harvested this week! I've made apple cake, apple pie, and have been eating about 3 apples a day for a few weeks now. The apple situation was getting overwhelming. Of course, I am also completely terrified by the idea of such delicious fruity-fruits going to waste... so I got to work.

First I set up two big batches of applesauce. 6 jars of a lighter, 100% apple recipe... and 5 jars of a slightly more cooked batch with a little touch of maple sugar and fresh cinnamon.

Then, I set up four batches of canned apple pie filling. Mmmm... it's nice to have these future pies all ready to go.

Finally, right when I was reaching my darkest hour of "how much applesauce can I really expect myself to eat this year?" and "how many apple pies will I really bake this year?"... my friend Jane saved the day with a suggestion to dry the apples! Bonus! What a great idea. So, I did a little research, and these came out great. We have a convection oven, which helped. For the first batch, I cut the apples about 1/4 inch thick, and convected them overnight (about 8 hours) at our oven's lowest setting: 170 F. They turned out crispy, which isn't what I expected, but was a welcome surprise - totally FREAKY GOOD. They are so sweet, they taste like apple-flavored candies. It's pretty crazy how sweet they are. Next, I did another batch sliced 1/2 inch thick and only convected them for about 5 hours, which resulted in a chewier dried apple. We got two big baggies per batch, and I love 'em!

Here's most of the bounty... You wouldn't believe how many hours I've spent washing, peeling, and chopping apples in the last week. But I don't want to be a complainer - I love our magical apple tree! I've got another 40-50 apples left - some good ones that I set aside for eating, and a box of uglies which I'll probably convert to dried apples sometime this weekend. The doctor shall be far, far away!

20 comments:

  1. I would be the happiest person ever to have an apple tree behind my house - how awesome! Everything looks really yummy, and I'm a huge fan of crispy dried apples (if you have to make more, you could try tossing them in a little cinnamon and/or other spices too, maybe a little lemon juice too?). Raw applesauce is also tasty (just food process a few chopped apples with or without dates or spices) topped with goji berries and a drizzle of almond milk!

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  2. Hurrah for canning! Everything looks amazing, especially the dried apple candy!

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  3. Oh my goodness! Feel free to send me some! ;)

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  4. You have enough apples to fill a month of sundays! What do you do about the bug situation? Do you guys just leave the trees as they are and whatever is good you use? I've been thinking about fruit trees myself. Great ideas though. Just open a jar and a pie is a few mins of prep away. NICE

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  5. You look like you hade alot of work on your hands with the jarring and dehydrating off all of those apples. Yum... you can continue to enjoy through the season.
    Thanks for the info. on the tamales that helps alot. I have VCON so I think I'll try it since my husband isn't going to order any this season.

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  6. Anonymous2:26 PM

    What a bountiful harvest. Maybe share some with your local food bank?

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  7. You are so amazing! I can't believe you did all that. I love dried apples; I never thought of making them at home. How well do you think they'd come out in a regular gas oven?

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  8. You are so amazing and so is that crazy productive tree! I can't believe all of those apples came from one tree, I'm super impressed.

    And what yummy treats you have now, I think I would be baking pumpkin pies like crazy.

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  9. Wow, that's quite a haul! Awesome job on using up all those apples. They would also make a great holiday gift. :-)

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  10. What an awesome harvest!

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  11. you are so damn productive! that is an astounding amount of apples. maybe your example will inspire me to deal with the fifty pounds of persimmons sitting in bags on my back porch.

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  12. Emilia Miller1:58 PM

    If you've got too many apples, you can always give some to me! I wish my apple tree was still producing! Your whole made apple sauce and dried apples look UHmazing!

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  13. You are so lucky to have all those fresh apples! And you are amazing for working so long and hard at storing them. I love dried apples too and have recently discovered the best cookies ever full of them.

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  14. Don't forget apple butter! Yum. It uses a TON of apples and cooks down quite a bit, so that you don't get nearly as much as with apple sauce, and is perfect for someone with so many apples, lol! Besides just being down right delicious, that is :-)

    Courtney

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  15. Love apples. When I put them to dehydrate I sprinkle them with colored jello. It is a great snack and one year I sprinkled them with red & green jello and I then canned them in preserve jars, I adorned the lid with a nice fabric and gave them away for Christmas. Everyone loved it.

    http://nuestracena-vegancuisine.blogspot.com

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  16. you won the zine giveaway on my blog! I think I already have your address...

    xo

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  17. Anonymous11:18 AM

    Ok, those crispy apples were incredibly good. It is insane how sweet they are! Highly recommended.

    jen e.

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  18. Holy fruit overload! You must have had the perfect weather for apples this year...that bounty is just incredible. Then I scrolled down and saw all that amazing fruit from Hawaii! *drool*

    Congrats on your 1oth anniversary! Looks like you celebrated in style. :-)

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  19. As you know, I am crazy jealous of your apple tree!

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