Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apples Apples Galore!

We've been mighty busy this past weekend.
Here's what we were up to:

This time, instead of using Macintosh apples, we used a kind called Downing Tart. (Ok, but a bit too tart. It worked, though.) We went back to our local orchard and purchased 1 whole bushel!!! After trying to peel some of the apples by hand, we finally broke down and borrowed an apple peeler from our neighbor. (Thanks, Vickie!) SO MUCH FASTER! RD found an apple peeler online at Target for a really good price. Guess what I'm getting for Christmas!!!

So anyway, here's RD peeling apples. It was something "mechanical" so he thoroughly enjoyed playing, er, I mean, working with it. Vickie also let us borrow a slab of countertop to use as well. Very convenient. (If anyone is looking to buy one of these, may I suggest purchasing a kind that clamps rather than suctions to the countertop. I've heard the latter do not work so well.)

1/2 bushel done in like 10 minutes, if that!

Then... we were left with THIS:
Did I ever tell you that I simply HATE wasting?
There had to be something we could do with apple peels!
Then I remembered a fellow mommy blogger friend who made JELLY from peels. Intrigued, we tried it.

Here's our adventure: Apple Peel Jelly

Cook the peels down. (We threw everything in: peels, cores, seeds, stems...) We also added a cinnamon stick.
Looks yucky but smelled blissful!

Strain it.

Our's was a beautiful pink color!

Finished product.
We canned 14 pints!
Amazingly simple recipe. SO good... and you'd never believe it was made from apple peels!
*If you prefer a really clear jelly, use a jelly bag instead of a strainer.

We discarded what was left of the peels after straining. But apparently you can even use THOSE remains to make cider vinegar:
Take strained peels and cores, put in bucket. Cover slightly with water and allow to ferment. Strain once more. Use for cooking and/or cleaning.


Emily L said...

OK, very ignorant non-jelly maker here, but what is that cone-shaped thing? I'm just very curious since I don't think I've ever seen something like that before.
Hope the jelly tastes delicious - and great job on not being wasteful!

MelissaD said...

The cone shaped wooden thing is part of the sieve. You push the peels down into the sieve and squish it with the wooden cone to extract as much juice as possible.

It IS yummy!

Emily L said...

well there you go - learn something new every day! :) Thanks Mel!

Cyndi said...

Mel - I had both your apple butter and apple peel jelly at Mom's this weekend - they were both soooo good!! I've never had apple butter before - but you can bet I'm going to make some now! Thanks!!

MelissaD said...

It's sooo not good for you... but delectable. Moderation is key!