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Monday, September 26, 2011

Eat it the way you found it: Apples

Harvest Pink Lemonade
Making applesauce is no extraordinary feat of cooking.  But figuring out what to do with all the peels and cores can be.  You could just chuck them into the compost, OR you could turn them in a delicious, refreshing pink apple lemonade. 

I like using store-bought lemonade to make life easy on myself and for the fact that I usually find store-bought lemonade to be too sweet and too lemony...when cut with the pink apple juice rendered from the "leftovers" of your applesauce endeavor, it is just right.

I prefer Jonagold apples for making applesauce.  The flavor is so spot-on that I don't add anything except apple cider while cooking.  Good produce ultimately means less work for a better final product, so it's worth finding a local orchard and finding out what good sauce apples they grow.

I don't sieve my applesauce, as I think it's wasteful and I happen to like chunky applesauce.  Most recipes give a yield of about 2 pints per 3 lbs of apples, but that's if you sieve.  Unsieved, I got 11 pints from 10 lbs, or about 3 pints per 3 lbs of apples.  I give the following recipe per 3 lbs. of apples, scale up as desired.  I needed a 12 quart pot for 10 lbs of apples, and it took about 25 minutes for them to cook fully.  The peels and cores from 10 lbs made 3 quarts of pink apple juice, or 6 quarts of pink lemonade.  I froze the apple juice in quart-sized amounts.

And today's I Screw Up So You Don't Have To...if you make loads of applesauce and plan to can it in a water bath process, keep waiting jars in a pot of warm water.  That way, when you put 2nd or 3rd batches of jars into the already-boiling water bath, nothing explodes.  Just a friendly tip.

Lastly...bonus cocktail recipe!  If you get cidered out, try a Chimayo...a surprisingly un-tequila-like mix of tequila, apple cider, lemon juice and cassis (and if you don't know what else to do with the cassis, try a kir or kir royale).

Apple-y Applesauce
Makes 2 pints

3 lbs. Jonagold apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup apple cider

Combine apple slices and cider in large pot and bring to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes (or longer), until apples are very soft.  Mash to desired consistency with a potato masher.  Fridge, freeze or process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes for pint jars and 20 minutes for quart jars.

Harvest Pink Lemonade
Makes 2 quarts

Peels and cores from 3 lbs. apples
1 quart pre-made lemonade
Apple slices, raspberries or mint leaves to garnish

Add water to cover peels and cores (about 4 cups of water).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Simmer 25 minutes.  Strain peels, pressing on the solids and then discarding them.  Mix juice with an equal part lemonade.  Serve over ice with desired garnish.
Chimayo cocktail
Makes 4 servings

1 cup gold tequila
1 cup apple cider
2 tbsp creme de cassis
2 tbsp lemon juice Pin It

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