Saturday, September 20, 2008

Abundance of Apples

Along with picking hazelnuts last Monday, I also picked myself about 15lbs of pretty much organic apples from C&R's trees. Because they are unsprayed, many were quite wormy, but I managed to get enough to see me through the winter.

I'm not the hugest fan of apple sauce, so I didn't make any, but I did slice and freeze apples that can be used in all kinds of other baking, so I am pretty stoked.

I think these are Macintosh apples, but am not entirely sure. I am sure that they are juicy, and simultaneously tart and sweet.

In order to freeze the apples, first I cored them and cut them in half. I then put them in a bowl of cold water with about 1/4 cup lemon juice. This is a trick I learned in culinary school, where we frequently needed to hand-slice large amounts of apples for whatever it was we were baking. As we sliced, we put the apples in a bowl of lemon water, and the citric acid in the lemon juice helps to slow down the browning that occurs when apple flesh meats air. It doesn't completely stop the browning, but it does reduce it.

After that, I sliced the apples and put them in freezer bags in four- and two-cup batches, making sure to label the bags and press out any air left in the bag. I got 26 cups of apples out of this little endeavour! Excellent haul, if I do say so myself. I am now set: I have hazelnuts, apples, and blueberries nicely packaged and frozen for my winter baking needs. And, the apples and hazelnuts were local and organic to boot. The blueberries are from BC, which is local enough for me.

Incidentally, the local overpriced grocery store is still out of lemon juice, so I borrowed some from my roommate who got a bottle before the shortage. I have no idea when we'll see lemon juice back on the shelves, but I do hope it's soon. They are selling lemons for 79 cents each and I think that's pretty much akin to highway robbery.


Meg said...

I love McIntosh. Those are my favorite brand of apples. Looks like you are stocked for the Winter!

Wandering Coyote said...

26 cups should make me a pie or two!

Cherie said...

Thanks for the lemon juice tip and details on how to freeze sliced apples. I usually just sauce them as I wasn't sure how they'd freeze otherwise. I'm going to do this. You're ahead of me, though. It's not quite apple time around here. Still getting corn. The hazelnuts are not quite ready either, for gleaning anyway.

Wandering Coyote said...

Cherie: expect some browning and breakdown during the freezing/thawing processes, but this can be hidden in the finished product with cinnamon and spices. It should work OK. Let me know how it goes, eh?


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