How To Turn 40 Apples Into Jelly, Pies, and Applesauce

When our neighbors told us they were heading to Taos for the weekend to pick apples at a family orchard, they asked if we might want a few apples. After a bit of chatting, we came upon a plan: they’d bring home a lot of apples, and I’d turn them all into jelly, applesauce and apple pies. A side bonus? Our house smells divine.

One batch of apples – three delights.

What can you make with around 40 medium apples? Depending on size, you can end up with about 18 jars of jelly, three quarts of applesauce, and three apple pies. Here’s how:

Making Piles of Apples: Pie and Jelly

Note: (If you use a gluten-free pie crust, all the recipes here are gluten-free.) Wash all apples, removing bad spots including severe bruises. For each apple, do the following in assembly-line fashion: over one large bowl, peel and core each apple, leaving a thick portion of apple attached to the peel. Over a second bowl, take the meat of each apple and slice into small slices.  The peeling and core will be boiled for the jelly and applesauce; the slices will become pies.

Apple Jelly

Apple Jelly

In a very large stock pot, add peeling and cores and 10 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. (While it is boiling, you can begin work on pies.) Once the stock pot is at a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and slightly loosen lid. Continue to cook about 20 minutes until apples are soft. Once soft, turn off heat and let sit for five minutes.

Almost Applesauce

Scoop cooked apples and peels into a colander balanced over a large bowl, letting the juice collect in the bowl. DO NOT press the peels; just let it drip. When most of the juice is gone, drop cooked apples into an empty bowl. Repeat until all cooked apples have been strained. Set aside cooked apples for applesauce.

Simmering Jelly

Measure collected apple juice and pour 8 cups into an empty stock pot. (If you have enough, you can double this.) Add 6 cups sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil and add 1 package of Sure Jell. Stir until it is dissolved and then add to apple juice. Bring apple juice to a boil, stirring occasionally. (To test whether the jelly will thicken, remove a small amount on a spoon and slowly pour it back into the boiling juice. If it slightly holds to the spoon, it is ready.

Pour into clean glass jars, cover with new Kerr lids and rings, and invert for 5-10 minutes. Turn upright and let sit for 24 hours. Test lids to verify they have sealed. Jelly will store for several weeks in the fridge and for up to a year on a cool, dark shelf.

Apple Pie

Depending on the quality and size of your apples, you should be able to make between one and three deep-dish pies. If you want to freeze the filling for a later date, here is a cool trick – line your pie pan with plastic wrap, pour in filling, fold in plastic wrap to completely cover apple filling. Freeze until shaped; remove pan and slide plastic covered apple filling into a freezer bag. When you are ready to bake, the apples will already perfectly fit your pan.

Add 1 cup of sugar and 2 Tbsp. cinnamon to sliced apples; toss well. Pour into prepared pie crust; top with second layer of pie crust. Bake in 350F oven for 35-45 minutes, until crust is browned and apples are soft and bubbling. Remove and let sit for fifteen minutes before serving.

Applesauce

Straining Applesauce

Since we boiled our apple cores with the peels, the applesauce will be a lovely red. Using colander balanced over a large bowl, scoop small amounts of cooked apple peeling and cores into the colander. Using a colander press, vigorously press peeling against the sides to squeeze all the cooked apple into the bowl below. Discard squeezed peels. Either serve immediate (adding sugar to taste) or cook until heated. Pour into clean jars, covering with new lids and rings. Can in a water bath according to directions or store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Red Applesauce

Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

Fresh blueberries are perfect for these delicious low fat muffins.

It’s fresh blueberry season, and the best part of using fresh blueberries in muffins is the wonderful juice released as the blueberries explode under the heat of the oven. Here is a recipe full of flavor but low in fat.

Fresh blueberries release their natural juices under the heat of baking, creating a delightful pattern on the tops of these muffins.

Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

Gently whisk together in a large bowl, adding in order from first to last:

1 cup orange juice
2/3 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola or other cooking oil
1 egg
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 heaping Tbsp. baking powder
pinch salt


Using a rubber spatula, gently fold into the batter in succession from first to last:

3 cups fresh blue berries (adjust for taste – 3 cups will create muffins chock full of berries; add less if you like more muffin and less berry)
2 cups whole wheat white flour (2 1/3 if using white flour)

Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Makes 17-18 muffins. To freeze for quick breakfasts, wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap, place in a freezer zip bag and freeze.

 

 

Gluten Free Poppyseed Pumpkin Loaf

This loaf is rich, moist and dense enough to serve for breakfast, an afternoon snack or even as a dessert topped with whipping cream spiked with a touch of ground ginger and cinnamon. It also easily doubles. If you’re baking for gluten and gluten-free, check the end of the recipe for tips on dividing the recipe to create one gluten-free loaf and one gluten loaf.

Gluten-free Poppyseed Pumpkin Loaf

Poppyseed Pumpkin Loaf
© Lisa Abeyta; reprint only with permission

In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt in the microwave for 25 seconds on high:

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Whisk into melted butter:

1 small can (2 cups) Pumpkin puree
1 Egg
1/2 cup canned Condensed Milk (may substitute whole milk)
1/4 cup Applesauce, unsweetened
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp. poppyseeds
1 tsp. ground Cinnamon

In a separate bowl, combine:

1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix, gluten-free
1/4 cup Pamela’s Baking Mix, gluten-free
1/4 cup Brown Rice flour
1 scant Tbsp. baking powder

Blend dry ingredients into batter just until blended; over mixing will cause your bread to be tough.

Batter should be sticky but not runny.

Bake in 350F oven for 30 minutes, or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

To create one gluten-free and one gluten loaf:
Double all of the liquid ingredients, divide equally into two mixing bowls and add 1 1/4 cups unbleached wheat flour, 1 tbsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt to the gluten batter. Baking directions are the same for both loaves.

This recipe is already adjusted for high altitude bakers.

Moist Gluten-free Banana Applesauce Muffins A Perfect Start To The Day

Applesauce not only replaces part of the usual fat needed in muffins, it also adds vital moisture to the gluten-free flour.

What better way to start off the week than a muffin chock full of potassium, vitamin C and a whole lot of yummy! These gluten-free banana muffins are light, moist and quite delicious.

Banana Applesauce Muffins

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 large over-ripe banana, lightly mashed
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup gluten-free flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Cinnamon Sugar for topping

Melt butter in microwave in a medium microwave-safe mixing bowl. Add sugar, applesauce, banana and egg. Gently mix together with fork until blended (but leaving chunks of banana). In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold dry ingredients into batter, stirring only until flour is absorbed. NOTE: These muffins need no adaptation for high altitude baking, but your specific measurement of flour can vary depending on humidity, oven type and other factors. It is far more effective to go by look and feel of the batter; this batter should be moist and gooey but not runny. If you think you need a bit more flour, add by the tablespoon since gluten-free flour absorbs moisture much more quickly than wheat flour.

Spoon into prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out with crumbs and not batter. Makes 12

Serve warm or wrap separately and freeze for individual servings.

Variations:

  • Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins or currants and 2 Tbsp. dried orange peel
  • To bake the batter as a bread loaf, decrease oven temp to 325F and bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out with crumbs

Nutritional Info Per Muffin:

Calories: 64
Total Fat: 2.2 g
Carbs: 9.9 g (fiber 1.0 g)
Protein: 1.5 g
Potassium: 61.5 mg
Sodium: 87.7 mg

Yogurt Pancakes for One

If you’re like me, the recipes on the back of gluten-free baking mixes make far too much for one meal. And, seriously, who likes leftover pancakes – especially gluten-free ones?

Here’s a quick idea for breakfast that only serves up two pancakes. The yogurt creates a wonderful sourdough flavor and replaces the need for an egg.

1/3 cup low fat vanilla yogurt (check ingredients for natural flavor)
1/4 cup GF Bisquick or other baking mix
1 tsp oil
Water

In a small mixing bowl, using a rubber spatula, fold yogurt, GF baking mix and oil. Add enough cold water to make a thick dough, about 2-3 Tbsp.

Spoon half of the mixture into a prepared, hot non-stick skillet, spread dough out with spatula and cover with a lid. Cook on med-low heat until dough looks mostly dry on top, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully turn and cook for 1-2 additional minutes. Repeat. Serve hot with peanut butter and pure maple syrup.

Nutty Baked Apples

Whether you’re looking for a special breakfast or a dessert, these baked apples will fit the bill. (For dessert, just add a dollop of whipped cream and a hint of sprinkled cinnamon.)

Nutty Baked Apples

4 Apples, cored, leaving bottom intact
1 egg
1/3 cup gluten-free vanilla yogurt (watch for natural flavor in the ingredients)
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins, currants, or dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup Pamela’s Baking Mix or Gluten-free Bisquick

Preheat oven to 325℉. Using a melon scoop or other small utensil, scoop as much of the apple away from the interior, leaving the skin and bottom intact. Chop removed apples into small pieces.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg, yogurt and maple syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add butter, nuts, raisins and chopped apple. Stir in baking mix.

Place apples on a prepared baking sheet, stuffing the centers with 1/4 of the dough. Sprinkle tops lightly with cinnamon. (Drop any leftover dough by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheet to crumble over apples after baking.)

Bake at 325℉ for approximately 40 minutes or until dough is baked and apples are soft. Remove and serve warm.

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Yogurt Mini Muffins

Mornings are chaotic in our house, and pulling duty as a short-order cook to make sure the family is fed and I still have something gluten-free to eat is often a challenge. Here are muffins so absolutely light and airy that your family will think you’re fudging on your gluten-free diet.

Gluten-free Cinnamon Yogurt Muffins

Gluten-free Cinnamon Yogurt Mini-Muffins

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt (make sure to check ingredients; avoid brands with natural flavor)
  • 1 generous tbsp. Mexican vanilla
  • 1 cup blended gluten-free flours or baking mix (I blend Pamela’s, generic gluten-free flour and brown rice flour in equal portions)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Blend butter, egg and yogurt with whisk until creamy. Add additional ingredients; stir with rubber spatula just until blended. Do not overmix muffins, as this makes them tough.

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared mini-muffin pan. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 25-30 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm or store up to three days at room temp. Can be frozen in single-servings.