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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Make the best from your Fall Apple Harvest

Original Article

 by Paul Stevens

With the start of a new school year and cooler days the fall season is beginning to emerge. Soon the long awaited apple harvest will be here. As we explore all the different ways to preserve and use this marvelous health packed fruit just the images and aromas are already well on many minds reflecting back on our childhood memories of those crisp mornings going to the apple orchard to sample apple cider and caramel apples.

Apples Are Great For Eating…And a Whole Lot More!


Apples and apple products have many more uses than you'd think. Sure, they taste great and are great for us, but that is just the beginning. Read our clever "out-of-the-box" tips for using apples, and learn how to care for apples!

• Keep potatoes from sprouting - An apple in your bag of potatoes will help.
• Keep brown sugar moist - Place an apple in your brown sugar container.
• Keep cookies moist - Place an apple in your cookie jar.
• When you can't get to a toothbrush - If you cannot brush your teeth after a meal, eat an apple. Eating a raw apple will cleanse your mouth of more than 95% of bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Handle With Care - Picking the Best Apples

• Buy apples that are bruise-free and firm to the touch. Bruised apples can decay quickly.
• Handle apples gently to prevent bruising.
• Store apples in the refrigerator - refrigerated apples will last up to 10 times longer than those left at room temperature.
• Unbruised apples, handled and stored well, can have a storage life of 90 days from when picked, and often more!
• Add lemon juice to an apple recipe if the apples you are using lack tartness or flavor.
• Apples emit ethylene, a naturally occurring gas that encourages ripening, store apples in a plastic bag to prevent them from speeding the ripening of other produce items.
• Apples absorb odors easily, so store them away from foods with strong odors.
• Coat apple slices and diced apples in a mixture of one part lemon juice to three parts water to retard browning.
• Generally, tart-tasting apples are best for cooking, while sweeter apples are preferred for snacking and for salads.

Crock Pot Apple Butter Recipe


Here is a very simple recipe to make old fashioned Apple Butter.
Cook 5 lbs of apples quartered and peeled in water until they can be mashed into a pulp
Add 1-1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar, then if needed add water until you achieve 7 cups of pulp.
Add 3 cups of sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of Allspice, and 1 teaspoon of Cloves.
Pour into a Crock Pot and cook over night. Place a large pizza pan under the Crock Pot to catch any overflow while cooking.
Pour into jelly jars while it is still hot and seal per recommended safe canning procedures.

Baked Apples on the Grill

4 med. Tart apples, cored
1/3 c. raisins
¼ c. coconut
¼ c. walnuts, optional
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ c. packed brown sugar

Place each apple on a 12” square piece of heavy-duty foil. Combine all of the remaining ingredients; spoon into the center of the apples. Fold the foil over the apples and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until the apples are tender. Yield: 4 servings.

Dutch Oven Cinnamon Apples


10 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
4 Tbs. minute tapioca
2 c. sugar
¾ c. cinnamon hearts (candy)

Arrange the apples in the bottom of a Dutch Oven. Mix the sugar, tapioca and cinnamon candy together and pour over apples. Bake in 350 degree oven or campfire coals for 30 minutes, or until apples are tender

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The two recipes above are from the Outdoor Cooking Cookbook, all cookbooks are available at http://www.cottagecarftworks.com

Having the right equipment makes processing apples easier and more enjoyable

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The Apple, Nut and Orchard Broom Apple Broom- A very easy to use product to quickly pickup apples, fruits and nuts off the ground in and around trees without having to bend over. Easily holding 10-20 apples and emptying in under a second without ever having to bend over. The Orchard Broom rolls along and catches the fruit and nuts in between the flexible wire cage without damaging the fruit skin. When the basket is full, just simply place over the bucket mounted wire rack frame and the cage separates allowing the fruit and nuts to drop into a bucket.

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Apple Peeler
-A great product for quickly slicing apples for apple pies and making apple slices. The old time apple peel, core and slice tool Grandma used. Place the apple on the spiked end turn and the apple screw peels the apple, slices the apple and cores the apple all in one process. This is the tool you need to make great apple pies and other recipes requiring chopped apples. There have been many cheap imported copies of this product that do not work well at all. If you go to buy one make sure it has a heavy screw clamp, just like the original. Cottage Craft Works carries the original type.

Apple Dumplings

2 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup shortening
½ cup milk
6 apples, peeled and cut in halves

Sauce:
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups water
¼ cup butter
½ tsp. cinnamon

Make dough like pie dough. Roll out dough; cut in squares. Place half an apple on each square. Wet edges of dough and press into a ball around the apple. Combine Sauce ingredients and cook until melted. Put dumplings in a pan; pour sauce over all and bake at 350 degrees until brown and the apple is tender.

Apple Cobbler

Topping:
½ cup oleo spread, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
¾ cinnamon

Apple Filling:
8 lg. apples, peeled and sliced
¾ cup sugar
1-1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, cream oleo and sugar until creamy. Blend in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, oatmeal, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine apples, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon; mix well. Spread apple mixture into a shallow 3 qt. casserole dish. Spoon topping mixture evenly over apple filling. Bake 1 hour, or until golden brown. Serve warm. This is very good with ice cream.

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The above two recipes are from the Amish cookbook The Wooden Spoon.

Apple Fritters

1 c. flour
3 T. white sugar
1-1/2 t. salt
½ c. milk
1 egg
2 or 3 apples, sliced

Mix first four ingredients. Add milk and egg. Last add apples. Drop in hot oil by spoonful until browned. Dip in pancake syrup.

Apple Pie

2 c. raw apples
1 c. sugar
½ c. water
2 T. tapioca'

Crumbs:
1 c. rolled oats
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. nuts
1/3 c. butter
½ t. cinnamon

Put apples through a salad master or chop into small pieces. Mix apples, sugar, water and tapioca. Put in unbaked pie shell. Mix topping ingredients and put on top of apples. Bake at 425 degrees.

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The above two recipes are from the Amish cookbook Wooden Spoon Wedding Sampler

Carmel Candy Apples

12 medium red apples
12 wooden skewers
1 lb. light colored caramels
¼ C. light cream'

Wash and dry apples, stick skewers in stem end. Put caramels and cream in top of a double boiler, cook, stirring occasionally until caramels are melted. Dip apples into syrup, twirl once or twice to cover evenly. Place on tray and cover with wax paper or foil, put in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Fresh Apple Salad

8 C. unpeeled apples
1 can pineapple chunks, drained (reserve juice)
1-2 t. poppy seeds
1-1/2 C. toasted pecans
2 C. seedless grapes

Dressing:
Pineapple juice
¼ C. butter
¼ C. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
1 C. mayonnaise (may reduce to ½ C. + ½ C. yogurt)

Make dressing first by combining juice, sugar, and lemon juice in sauce pan. Heat to boiling. Combine cornstarch and water, add to hot mixture. Cook until thick and smooth. Chill completely before stirring in mayonnaise. Combine apples, pineapples and grapes in a large glass bowl. Add chilled dressing. Refrigerate. Stir in pecans just before serving for crunchiness.

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The above two recipes are from the Amish cookbook Walnut Creek Valley.

Apple Cider

There is nothing like a cold glass of apple cider. Cottage Craft works carries all the equipment that you will need to produce a small batch to gallons for the commercial producer.

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First select the book; The complete Cider How to book now in its 3rd addition. It is a detail book on all you need know in order to make and enjoy sweet and hard cider.

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Pioneer Junior Press

Then select the press and apple grinder you will need. Cottage Craft Works offers a small homestead model all the way up to the double barrel American Harvester. If you like building things, and have the time and hard maple lumber available. Cottage Craft Works also carries all the hardware kits to build your own apple grinder and cider presses, including a motorized kit.
Need pressing bags, food grade wood sealers, and thread lubricants? Cottage Craft Works has you covered.
Hope you enjoy this year’s apple harvest.

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The Complete Apple Cider Press

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The American Harvester Double Tub Press

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Hardware Kits to make apple grinders and apple cider presses


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Motorized Kits available

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Table Top Fruit Press (apples will need to be chopped)

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Nylon Pressing Bags

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Large Wine and Fruit Press (apples will need to be chopped)

We Hope you enjoy this year’s apple harvest.
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