Thursday, March 7, 2013

Apple Juice, Apple Sauce, Apple Muffins and Pickled Oranges

I was given a bag of apples, and decided to turn them into juice and sauce.

I use apple juice in some of my bread recipes, and apple sauce in all kinds of things, especially my Apple Muffins. These also use a preserve I make with little oranges - I sense some recipes will be called for here, and I'm going to have to make a batch of these muffins JUST so that I can take a photo for you!  But probably not tonight!

So firstly, preserved oranges.  For the muffins that I'm not going to make tonight..... Maybe things are not quite in the right order, but there you go.  Some days are like that.

SWEET PICKLED ORANGES (Yummy with ice cream)
2 ½ kg oranges (can be windfalls) 1 litre white wine vinegar
1.3 kg sugar.           1 ½ sticks cinnamon​                    13g cloves
2 teaspns mace

Cut oranges into ½ cm slices, lay them in a pan and just cover with water.  Simmer, covered until the peel is tender, about 1 ½ hours.  Put the spices into a muslin bag.  Put the vinegar, sugar and spices into a pan and boil well for a few minutes.
Pickled Oranges
Drain the oranges carefully, reserving the liquor.  Lay half of them in the pan of syrup, making sure that they are covered.  Simmer with lid on for 40 minutes until the oranges are clear.  Lift out with a draining spoon, put the rest of the oranges into the pan and, if syrup does not cover them, add a little of the reserved orange liquor.  Cook as before.  Put all back, cover and leave overnight.
Remove the spice bag.  If syrup is not thick enough, pour it off and boil until thick.  Then add the orange slices and reboil.  If the syrup is already thick and well reduced, heat slowly to boiling point with the oranges.  Arrange carefully in warm jars and screw down.
If there is not enough syrup to cover the fruit in the jars, make fresh syrup – cup to cup of vinegar to sugar – boil till thick and fill up the jars.  The oranges must be covered by the syrup during storage, otherwise they will discolour.   Any remaining syrup can be bottled as an ice cream sauce.

Now, the apples - - - 
So I washed the apples, cut them up (without peeling or coring them - as I was going to strain the resulting mush) added a small amount of water (probably about 5 cm up the side of the boiling pot), brought to the boil, turned right down and simmered for about an hour.

Then I strained to get some juice - I didn't filter it, as it doesn't need to be clear for my recipes or for drinking.  This is the result:  

Then I pressed the rest of the mash through a sieve to get out the pips etc.  It's fairly hard work, and not my usual way of making apple sauce.  Usually I core the apples first, then stew them and whizz them in the blender.  But that way doesn't give you juice as a separate product.

Letting the juice drip through

 I have to admit I helped the juice dripping through by pressing it with a spoon, as I wasn't too worried about getting cloudy juice for this lot.

And that's enough for this evening.  I've got a lovely supply of juice and sauce in the fridge and freezer, which will be used in all manner of recipes yet to come!

Now it's dinner time.....  Hmmmm..... what do I feel like?
(StoneSoup's chickpea frittata was the answer to that!  With grated carrot as I grated too much for the loaf of bread I'm making, and served with beans fresh from the garden.)