No Pumpkins Here! October 17, 2012Posted by Toy Lady in canning, Cooking, random stuff.
Have you ever noticed that this time of year, right around October 1, practically every single food blog in the world, it seems, is all pumpkins, all the time.
I mean, pumpkin is okay and all – I like it all right. But to be honest, I prefer sweet potatoes or butternut squash, myself.
And what is UP with this pumpkin latte stuff that everyone’s so obsessed with, anyway?
So anyway. I’m more of an apple gal myself – and you should still be able to get some good late varieties, though locally, the apples, what there were of them, anyway, are pretty much done already. It’s been a really short season!
I am hoping to score some Granny Smiths at the public market, though, this weekend – those are Peeps’s favorite, and I do love a crisp, tart apple too.
So far, I’ve only gotten Honeycrisp and some Empires – the Honeycrisps are early and very, very sweet, and the Empires, well, they’re still on the counter. I’ve been taking them to work with my lunches, just like when I was a kid and lunch was a sandwich and an apple. (Only now it’s salad and an apple.)
What I did with the Honeycrisps was . . . make jelly!
Yes, I know it’s kind of a no-brainer – after all, where does pectin come from?
What do we add to other, low-pectin fruits to help them gel?
What’s going to be the safest jelly for a veteran jam-maker but a novice jelly-maker?
Guys, I made apple jelly!
Without a recipe!
Who knew it would be so easy?
This was basically the same deal, only a little different.
I macerated the washed fruit – skins, cores and all (I used about 3/4 cup of sugar to a pound of fruit – Honeycrisp apples are SWEET!), and then I strained them – I ended up with about 4 cups of apple liquid.
Then, I took the strained apples, added 3 cups of water, and brought them up to a boil.
I wanted to get the full effect of the pectin in the apple skins, you see.
I strained the apples yet again – this time, though, they’d been cooked, and I ran the remains through the food mill, with the pectin-y water/juice getting added to the syrupy sugar/juice from straining the fruit before.
And I actually made about a quart of respectable applesauce – I enjoyed that over the course of the week with my breakfast.
After all, an apple a day, and all that, right?
So I took what was, in all, 6 cups of sweetened apple juice and I used the same process as I’d used for the peaches, only I didn’t add any fruit.
So you know what I got? I got apple jelly – three and a half (half-pint) jars of apple jelly.
Apple mint jelly.
Or apple cranberry jelly.
Or maybe apple vanilla cinnamon jelly.
Endless possibilities, I’m telling you!