Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple Season

Autumn is here and that means apples. Lots of apples. Dan and I headed out the weekend before last to the Hood River Valley area known as the Fruit Loop. It's a gorgeous part of the state that is filled with farms and farm stands, plus wineries (that's a whole other post). The Saturday that we visited was part of the annual Pear Celebration weekend. And, we did indulge in pears. But, I was focused on apples. Why? Because I wanted to make more apple preserves. It's not a fancy recipe, just one from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. However, it is a really tasty recipe that Dan and I discovered a couple of years ago when some friends gifted us about 10 lbs. of Gravenstein apples. We needed to do something with all of them and there are only so many crisps and pies that you can make and eat before they go bad. Plus, we did not have enough room to properly store them for any length of time. So, since we had just started learning to can, we decided to make preserves. Much to our delight, this recipe turned out to be a keeper. It is not a preserve that is great on toast. But, it is fantastic with pork and even better with cheese. Wonderful to add to a cheese board when you have guests over. Needless to say, we picked up a few pounds of Gravenstein apples and I made a batch of preserves earlier this week. Last year, we made a batch of this preserve with some Tokyo Rose apples. It was good but not as good as with the Gravensteins. We might give another variety of apples a try for second batch just see which we like better. It is fun to experiment with the different varieties of apples. 

Our next project involving apples is making hard cider. More on that to come...

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