Have you ever experienced being given apples or buying too much of them when they are in season? Don’t worry, it’s a dilemma a lot of people face especially when they see really succulent apples. Now what do you do with so many apples? It would be a shame to let it rot.
What you can do is to preserve them so you can still enjoy the apples months after you’ve bought them. Preserving apples when they are in season means you get the best qualities of the apples into the jar.
To start, get eight apples. Look for the firm an crisp ones with no blemishes on the skin. Try to use the following kind of apples — cameo, empire golden delicious, honey crisp, granny smith, Cortland, braeburn, idared, jonagold, rome beauty and jonathan. These types of apples are the best for preserving because they are crispy and stands well to freezing.
Put the zest of one lemon in a pan and include its juices. Now put in eight peeled apples that have been cored, quartered and then cut into thin slices. Put these immediately in the pan so that the lemon juice and zest will prevent the apples from browning.
Now, it’s time to add some sugar. For every three cups of apples, put in two-thirds cup of sugar. Gently fold in the sugar into the apples, making sure that all of the slices get coated with the mixture of lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar. These three ingredients will make sure that the apples don’t oxidize and turn a very unappealing brown color.
Put the coated apple slices in freezer bags, remembering to label the bags with the date the apples were processed. Use a one-quart freezer bag and fill it with the equivalent of three cups of apples. Don’t overstuff the bags. Remove all of the air from the bag and seal it. Jiggle the bag so that all of the apples are evenly distributed and it becomes more or less flat. Reopen one side of the bag to let more air out and then seal it again. You can now put the preserved apples in the freezer. You can keep the preserved apples for up to a year.
Another way of preserving apples is by using syrup, and it’s quite simple. Just dissolve two and a half cups of sugar into four cups of slightly warm water. Add in a half teaspoon of ascorbic acid power. You can substitute ascorbic acid tablets for this. Just crush some 1500mg tablets enough to get a half teaspoon. Chill the syrup in the ref. Now put apple slices in a container and pour in the syrup – enough to cover the apples but leaving room at the top (About a fourth of an inch in space). Crumple some wax paper and stuff it in the container before sealing it to make sure the apples won’t float to the top. You can now put the jars of preserved apples in the freezer.
For tips on safely preserving apples, read this article from the University of California’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Photo from planetgreen.discovery.com