Move over pumpkin spiced lattes! Fall is for apples! Start creating homemade apple desserts to can, store, and enjoy later for a cost-effective, sweet-treat that the whole family will love!
Everyone knows there isn't anything better than a homemade apple pie topped with melting ice cream... except for an apple pie that you can make in half the time! Whether you have homegrown apples or you stock up when they're at their lowest price, canning is a great option to preserve and store this tasty fruit. So grab a friend and make your next fall preparation in the kitchen, making use of the abundance of apples that the fall season brings.
Warmer climates help fruit ripen faster, as well as the more sun your fruit trees get the sooner they will ripen. South-facing fruits tend to get more sunlight and will ripen a little faster than others.
Apples should start to feel slightly softer as they ripen. You don’t want them to get too soft or become mushy, but just slightly softer. Another sign of ripeness is a waxy outer coating.
If you’re close to harvest time and an abundance of apples start to fall your apples are most likely ready to be picked. Keep in mind that unhealthy apples can fall at any time, so this is not a one-size-fits-all approach to apple ripeness. This is just one of the many signs to watch for.
If you pick an apple and cut it open, the seeds of a ripe apple will be brown. White seeds indicate the apple is immature and not ready to be picked.
Pull upward on the apple and twist. If it easily comes off of the tree, it is most likely ripe. Apples that are ready to be picked should pull of easily with very little resistance.
If all else fails, simply pick an apple and taste it. Some varieties are naturally sweet or tart, so be sure you know what type of apples you have.
• In a large pan, mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add salt and water and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and food coloring.
• Sterilize canning jars, lids and rings by boiling them in a large pot of water.
• Peel, core, and slice apples. Pack the sliced apples into hot canning jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.
• Fill jars with hot syrup, and gently remove air bubbles with a knife.
• Put lids on and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.
Recipe from AllRecipes.com.
With a few simple ingredients, some canning equipment, and a bushel of apples, you'll be ready to create whatever apple dessert your family loves. The best part? You're doing all the work upfront, so you can make homemade desserts all year long with very little effort. Give your family all the flavor they expect without spending all day in the kitchen!
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