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

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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.

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.

Overdose Cookies (GF Style)

Overdose Cookies

If you’re gluten-free, it’s probably been a very long time since you’ve gotten sick from eating too many cookies before you’ve gotten sick from the lawn mower aftertaste. After months of experimenting, I think I’ve finally created a gluten-free cookie so delish it’ll be easy to overdose on cookies, because there is no after-taste, baby. A little bit snickerdoodle, part sugar cookie and with a base created from the traditional Toll House cookie, you’ll love the soft, delicate texture. (You can double the recipe quite easily, too.)

Preheat oven to 350℉. In a large mixing bowl, blend with rubber spatula until creamy:

1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup GF vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp GF vanilla (recommended: the intense Mexican Vanilla)

Fold in:

1 1/2 GF Flour Mix (equal portions Pamelas Mix, Brown Rice Flour, and White Rice FLour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Drop by large spoonfuls onto a prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and sugar. Bake until lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen.

 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Bars

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Coconut Bars

These rich dessert bars are delightful served warm with a scoop of Haagen Daz Five Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. They’re not light on calories, so if you’re dieting these should definitely be saved for special occasions.

Mix together in a large mixing bowl:
1 cup Salt-Free Butter, melted
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
2 Eggs

Add:
2 cups shredded coconut
1/3 cup gluten-free raw oats
1/2 cup 60% Cocoa Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips

Add:
2/3 cup Bisquick Gluten-Free Baking Mix

Bake in a 9X13 prepared baking pan at 350℉ for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs instead of batter. ©Gluten-Free Culinarian 2011

Disclaimer: I am not paid by anyone for these posts, so any links you find to specific products are simply for convenience and so you will know exactly which product I am using. If anyone ever does pay me for these posts, I’ll always let you know up front. Right now, this is completely a labor of love.

Yogurt Parfait – Delightful treat

When we travel, we hit the McDonald’s drive-thru more than I’d like. Why? It’s easy, fast, and we can all get something that we’re willing to eat. The kiddo loves the Happy Meal, and who can argue about a new toy in the middle of a road trip? That’s worth at least another hour of no complaining or asking when we’ll get there. The kids go for the chicken selects (why don’t they call them fried chicken slices???) and the hubby for whatever is on the dollar menu. Me? I make up for his savings buying a salad and yogurt parfait.

Now you may think that’s a bit much for a fat lady on a diet, but you have to understand how the eating goes in our family. My better half orders less than he’ll eat, but then he starts eyeing mine because I eat slower than him. So, I order more than I’ll eat so that I can generously offer up part of my food.

He loves the yogurt parfaits and still doesn’t believe me when I tell him they have more calories than an ice cream cone. Funny how our mind works – the fat lady can have a yogurt parfait without looking like a pig, but let her order an ice cream, and indignation is thicker than campaign ads in October. "I thought you were on a diet!" "Can you eat an ice cream cone on a diet?" "Wow – is that on your diet?" Yeah, I’ve heard ’em all.

And, just to avoid the fifth degree, I order a fruit parfait and figure I’ll only be eating half anyway.

Well, today I made some for the family for an afternoon snack. It was a big hit, no one griped about diets, and I ate one all by myself.

If you’d like to enjoy one yourself, here’s the recipe:

Take a wine glass and fill the bottom with 1/4 cup low-fat or fat-free vanilla yogurt. My favorite by far is Mountain Dairy.

Add 1/4 cup frozen mixed berries. Layer again with yogurt and top with berries. Add 2 tbsp. low-fat granola just before eating.

It tasted better than McD’s and this time it really was less calories than an ice cream cone!