Monday, 6 August 2012

Preserving apples- beyond boiling part 1

Everyone who does preserving has probably at some point bottled some apples. It's such an easy way to quickly use up surplus fruit. But a recent post from over the way at Inner pickle reminded me of the other wonderful things you can do with apples. And as it happened i had a bag that needed using up.

Wanting to make the most of these apples i came up with 4 recipes from one batch of stewed apples - jelly, syrup, sauce and cheese.

First up cut all the apples seeds, skins, cores and all and chuck them into a pot with some water. I had 3kg of apples and added 8 cups of water. Boil away until the apples are soft and well cooked. Allow to cool a little, then get set up to strain the juice from the apples.

Tip 1 - use a bigger pot than you think you need as the apples swell a bit and rise to the surface - as you can see.....

This is how i drain my apples but there are many ways to manage this. Get a large bowl and put a sieve in it. Line the sieve with clean muslin cloth and pile in the apples and juice. The juice will drain through the muslin and collect in the bowl below. If this is all you have you can leave your apples to drain overnight wrapped in the muslin or you can string it up on something and let the liquid drip through (as above).

Because i had such a large batch of apples i used both methods. Apples wrapped for the night.

Tip 2 - Make sure your bowl for collecting juice is big enough to not touch the muslin wrapped apples as the juice level rises.

Leave to drain overnight.

In the morning measure out your juice - i had 10 cups. I used 8 cups of the juice to make the same jelly recipe from inner pickle - seen here. This recipe was pretty good but i found it needed a long boiling time to reach a gelling point - about 1.5-2hrs. It made about 6 cups of jelly.

I always boil my jars to sterilise them and then fill them while the jars and liquid are both very hot and seal them immediately. Preserving guidelines recommend a waterbath method to be safe but i don't do this with my jams and jellies which are made with low risk ingredients and are eaten in well under a year.

From there it is a quick hop, step and jump over to making syrup - whatever liquid you have left measure into a pot with 2/3C sugar for every 1 cup of liquid. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 20mins, stirring frequently. The liquid will become thick and syrupy. Then turn off the heat, cool and pour into clean bottles and store in the fridge for up to a month.

It looks like liquid gold doesn't it? Just beautiful and delicious on pikelets, scones or toast. You can use it anywhere you use honey. It has a light fruity sweetness that is just delectable. hmmm icecream, put it on icecream too!

I'll be back over the next few days to show you the finished jelly, applesauce and apple cheese recipes all from the same batch of apples.

Till then, sweet appley dreams. xx


  1. Ooo, that apple syrup sounds delicious.

    We noticed today that our apples are getting close... maybe next weekend. :-)

    1. It is very yummy, and the apple cheese has been a big hit, so good with brie!