Autumn here in the Northern states is kind of a big deal. Not only do we enjoy the foliage turning a menagerie of flaming colors, we are also blessed with an abundance of one of America’s favorite fruits… apples! Homemade applesauce is a no-brainer around here.
This simple recipe, provided by our employee Lorrie, is easy enough to make with your children as a great weekend activity, or just to do for yourself as a quick preserving method!
Select a good mixture of apples with different textures and flavor ranges. This recipe does not call for a certain amount of apples, so only pick as many as you’d like to cook!
Wash your apples well. For this recipe we’ll be keeping the skins on, so be sure to scrub them well. You can also make this recipe with the skins off, but you’ll still want to give the apples a good scrub.
Slice and core all your apples before cutting into large chunks, about 2″x 2″.
Place in a pot and add just a 1/4 of an inch of water.
Cover pot and place on the stove on a medium flame.
Let the apples cook down, testing them periodically with a fork for softness.
Once they are well broken down, they’ll resemble this:
Run the cooked apples through a Foley Food Mill or a food processor in small batches until they reach the desired consistency.
Ladle the applesauce into clean jars using a funnel.
Wipe the edges of the jars clean of any excess applesauce before covering with your lids. Using a canning rack, place the jars into a pot of boiling water.
Boil for 10 minutes before carefully removing the jars from the water. For more information on Water Bath Canning, please check out our blog post!
Next up on the menu is Ground Cherry Jam and Ground Cherry Chutney! This year we picked up a lovely variety of ground cherry called Aunt Molly’s. Sweet and juicy, the Aunt Molly’s has a flavor similar to that of pineapple upside down cake; pineapple with a hint of vanilla. The ground cherries pictured below were harvested at the end of the summer before being made into jam just last week (Middle of November). The husks look unappealing, but inside the ground cherries are perfectly preserved and ready to be used! The following recipes were found online and then modified to suit our own needs.
Peel away the husks of your ground cherries and rinse them well.
For our first recipe, we’ll start with the Ground Cherry Chutney.
1 cup washed ground cherries
1/2 Golden Delicious apple
1/2 cup minced onion
1 large clove of garlic
2 TBSP water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Mince 1/2 cup of onion and one large clove of garlic.
Combine 1 cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of water in a pot and caramelize over a medium high flame until sticky and golden.
Add diced onion and garlic to the caramelized sugar and stir constantly.
Dice half a Golden Delicious apple.
Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar to sugar mixture.
Add 1 cup prepared ground cherries along with diced apple to sugar vinegar mixture.
Cook until the ground cherries burst and their seeds are visible, add salt and pepper to taste. This sweet & tangy chutney would be wonderful served with pork or chicken.
Ground Cherry Jam
6 cups ground cherries, husk removed and washed
1/2 cup water
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup mild flavored honey
1 TSP vanilla
1 packet pectin, mixed with water according to package directions
(We halved this recipe in order to comply with the amount of ground cherries we had left and were able to produce 2 jars of jam.)
Place cleaned ground cherries in a pot with 1/2 cup of water. Cook over medium-high flame until the fruits break open and the seeds are visible. Use a potato masher to help along.
Slice lemon, squeeze 2 TBSP juice, strain seeds out, add to ground cherries and cook for 10 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup honey, 1 TSP vanilla and pectin to ground cherries.
Bring to a rolling boil and cook for length of time determined by pectin package directions.
Pour mixture into cleaned jars.
Wipe the edges of the jars free of any excess jam and seal them with clean lids and rings.
Using a jar lifter, place jars of jam into a pot of boiling water, boil for 15 minutes.
Remove jars from boiling water, let cool. We served this jam on top of homemade biscuits; recipe below.
This recipe was provided by Pinetree co-owner Jef!
For the biscuits:
1 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend.
Using fingertips, rub chilled butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal, some big pieces are good.
Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened.
Fold in cheddar.
Line baking pan with parchment paper.
Using 1/4 cup dough for each biscuit, drop biscuits onto baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart
Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm.