Even if you missed looking for those stunning white to white-pink flowers in your spring walks and travels, when if you wanted to wild harvest fruit, you should in fact have a local map marked with lots and lots of little dots of where that fruit is, with different letters and a list of what the numbers mean and a general time of when they ripen on a normal year.
But even if you missed out on your spring head-start in your wild fruit hunting, there is at least one fruit that just screams out to be picked, and that would be apples, not crabs, they can be crafty little things hiding if they want to but most apples turn red and say.. pick me, Pick me and help me spread my apple seeds far and wide
This is what happened yesterday, DH was driving and wanted to try and new road, and there in a field edge was apple tree’s covered in perfectly ready apples a bit bigger then the typical mac, and after checking with the closest farm, if they picked and or would mind if we did, (they don’t and we were welcome to do so, take them all, they produce heavy each year), we picked all within reach and when we came home, we had 54.6 pds worth of apples to put into the canning cycle. The average bushel of apples is 42 pds so about a bushel and quarter for 20 min worth of wild picking..
Now, I had made all the apple jelly from my last picking batch so this time, I wanted to make lots of apple sauce, the key to making huge batches of apple sauce is this hand cranked machine.. it cuts the work time in half.. the second key is to have two stoves running at the same time if you can manage it.. sorry for the wierd coloring, its a very overcast day that smell’s like storm coming, and the lights are messing with the color of the photos.
Simmer your apples till they are soft, about 20 to 25 min normally, and then you put the hot apples and water in the top, the pulp and juice goes into one bowl, all the skins, seeds and stems go into the other, this wonderful thing works for apple sauce, tomato sauce, has four different sizes to range from Grape juice, to salsa making.. is worth its value many times over!
At this point, you measure out your apple sauce, add your desired amount of sugar within the safe choices allowed and on how sweet you like it, add your lemon juice and any spices you want to add, bring it back up to a boil and jar and water bath for 20 min for pints and 30 min for quarts for my 1000 feet or under rating.. check your canning books to see if you need to adjust for where you live.
Frugal tip: do you or your children like those Mott’s mixed apple fruit cups that cost so much and give total of eight half cup measurements? Reduce the costs, reduce the packaging but keep the wild flavors.. Make lots and lots of homemade wild foraged apple or crab/apple basic sauces, and then measure out your half cup of sauce and add one tsp of any kind of fruit jam or jelly and mix them together.. suddenly the choices are endless, try peach-apple sauce or blue-berry apple sauce or cherry-apple sauce.. you get the idea.. Its a way to chance up the apple sauce and way to stre-t-ch the higher priced fruits with a very low cost one!
Well, this batch’s final count is in, 54 pds of apple, 40 Quarts of Apple Sauce…
This post is part of the Homestead Barn Hop, Click on the link and check out what everyone else has been doing in the past week..