Friday, November 15, 2013

some late season apple pressing

we pressed apples last weekend. the weather was beautiful... it did not feel like november. grandma patti and papa chuck came to visit from the valley and brought around 18 boxes of apples with them. we all juiced them together with grammy and grampy's apple press and ended up with around 12-14 gallons of juice (even with all of the sampling).
i can't help but feel a little guilt in my neglect of our own apples this year. i only picked one little box. luckily grampy was pretty on top of things and picked most of the apples and pressed them with my children. we drank all of that juice fresh (and there was a lot of it), but of course four kids can put away a great deal of juice.
anyway, back to last weekend. we strained all of the juice through cheesecloth and poured a great deal into gallon jugs and the the rest into a large pan for pasteurizing. papa and grandma preserve their juice by pouring it into gallon jugs and freezing them... quite genius really.... they said it stays very fresh tasting that way, and it is quick. i plan to bottle ours (if we don't drink it all first).
one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh apple juice is in a wassailish cider way... simmered on the stove top with a cinnamon stick, a few cloves, a few allspice berries, a few cardamon pods, and a vanilla bean (broken into pieces). you should be able to find all of these ingredients at your local natural foods market.... and you don't have to have fresh apple juice to enjoy this. it is fabulous on a cold day to just leave it on the stove. you will know it is ready when you can smell the spices.

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