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We've all heard the saying an apple day keeps the doctor away, but my apples don't grow all year round. Our goal is to put up as much food as possible when it's in season to keep our food bill down and increase our food storage. It's apple season ya'll. (When I get excited a little bit of southern kicks in, it's just how I roll)
I happen to have almost 75 pounds of apples sitting in my kitchen and while most folks think of making applesauce, a fine thing applesauce, there are many ways to preserve those apples for use all year long. In fact, there are 9 ways to preserve apples at home to my way of thinking.
Apples are at their cheapest this time of year, as most things are when in season, so if you don't have an orchard, you'll want to preserve as many as possible while the getting is good.
1. Apple Pie Filling.Is there anything better than lovely jars of home canned apple pie filling? Yes, there is, diving head first into said jar with a spoon… or no spoon. Ever notice how apple prices go up during the holidays? Plus, when I'm busy with Thanksgiving and Christmas, I can bake a homemade pie with just popping open a jar of this filling… and it also has both water bath and pressure canning instructions, here's how to pressure can apple pie filling.
2. Applesauce My tip for applesauce, don't bother cutting or peeling before hand. I steam my apples whole and then put them through the sieve to catch the seeds and peelings. Easy peasy and a lot less work. Here's a tutorial on making and canning applesauce. Need a video, my good peeps over at food storage made easy made you a video on how to can applesauce.
3. Dehydrated cinnamon apples. Cinnamon and apples just go together like fall and pumpkin, right? Apples lend themselves well to dehydrating and they're a great addition to hiking and back packs, or to take on the go for a quick snack. Here's how to dehydrate cinnamon apples.
4. Apple cider vinegar… at home. Yep, make your own lovely fermented apple cider vinegar. You won't believe how incredible easy it is. Check out this tutorial w/ photos and a video on How to Make Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. Because I use apple cider vinegar all the time, from cooking, to catching fruit flies, and in salad dressings.
5. Apple pectin. Did you know apples were high in pectin? In fact my grandmother never used store bought pectin, she just grated a green apple into her jam or jelly. But you can make and can or freeze apple pectin for use in all your jam and jelly recipes.
6. Apple butter Fruit butters, how I love you. Your thick and spread so nicely on biscuits and pancakes. This one uses a special ingredient for a delightful flavor… get your apple butter recipe right here with canning instructions.
7. Apple pie jam (low sugar options). Oh yes, apple pie all poured in a mason jar and ready to smear on your favorite biscuit, sandwich, cornbread, in between cakes… or let's be honest, just by the spoonful. Here's the recipe–> Easy Apple Pie Jam Recipe
8. Apple jelly This just looks pretty in the jars and best part, it only uses 2 ingredients! I'm a fan of simplicity and the less ingredients the better. Check out this great recipe and tutorial from my girl Laurie over at Common Sense Homesteading on her apple jelly recipe.
9. Fruit leather Checked out the ingredients in store bought fruit leather? Yea, not happening in my house. This one has only 3 ingredients (are you noticing a theme?) and looks scrumptious. Here's how to make apple and cinnamon fruit leather.
10. Root cellar or cold storage. Apples are one of the cool fruits that can be stored for a long time with very little effort. Ever heard the saying one bad apple spoiled the barrel? It's true, and it dates back to when people used root cellars a lot more than they do today. Here's the low down on storing apples all year in cold storage.
Bonus! Don't you love a bonus? I do. Like when you put on a pair of pants you haven't worn in a long time and not only do the still fit but you find a $20 in the pocket.
11. Homemade Apple Cider! How could I have forgotten to add this one with the original 9, I blame it on the 12 jars of tomato sauce I made and canned today, but really, homemade apple cider is a must. Would someone please bring me a cup and we'll toast to the loveliness of fall and apples?
Want more food preservation goodies? Check out my Ultimate Home Food Preservation Guide with over 80+ resources for putting up food at home. Did I mention it's free?
How do you preserve apples at home?
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.