Red Wicket Market Farm is a small farm 25 minutes from downtown Columbus, Ohio, near Slate Run Metropark. Breeding Black Copper and Blue Copper Marans to the Standard of Perfection.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Apple Time

For me, the end of October if apple time. My family LOVES all things appley--apples as snacks, apple pie, applesauce, apple fritters, apple cider--and I want to preserve those perfect Ohio apples for as long as possible.

I get my apples from Rower and Son Farm Market, just north of Lancaster, Ohio. It's right down US 23, for you central Ohioans. Their prices are more than fair and they have absolutely amazing customer service. They grow all their apples right on site. Here's their website, where you can find out about their apples and other products. My favorite apples that they grow are Stayman Winesaps, but I buy Golden Delicious for pie filling and sauce. We ended up with five bushels this year, or 10 of these:

To make pie filling, I peel and slice the apples, and soak them in lemon juice water to keep them from browning. Then I blanch them and fold them into a sauce that contains apple cider, starch for thickness, sugar, lemon juice, and a blend of spices. I process them in a water bath canner, and they will keep until the pie craving hits this winter and the stores only have over-priced, mealy, bad-flavored apples. Sorry I don't have any photos of the process-- it takes a lot of high speed coordination towards the end and I was working by myself this year.

Making applesauce is easier. First, I cut the apples in half and put them on the stove in my giant pot, skins, seeds, stems and all.

Then I add some apple cider to keep them from sticking to the pan and to create a little steam. I cook the apples until they are very soft and the skins are falling off.

After they've softened, I run them through a food mill, which separates the skins and seeds from the applesauce.

The green bowl in the upper left corner is where all the skins and seeds end up. I love my strainer--there's so little waste. Out of an entire half bushel of apples, I'm only left with 3/4 of that green bowl full of waste, which goes straight out to the compost pile.

At this point, the applesauce is done. Depending on how thick it is, I might add some more cider to get it to the right consistency, but it doesn't need any sugar. Ripe, local, Golden Delicious are so sweet on their own that it's already sweeter than many corn syrup-sweetened store brands. All that's left is to pack it into canning jars and process them.

Voila! Delicious apple treats, far more wholesome than anything found in the grocery store. Do you want to share in our apple harvest? The applesauce is amazing on its own, or served over potato pancakes with a bit of sour cream. As for the pie filling, you don't even have to bake a pie. Imagine that apple pie filling, warmed up and served over good vanilla or cinnamon ice cream and drizzled with caramel syrup.... you know you want some. $8/quart jar for pie filling, $6/quart for applesauce. Your taste buds will thank you. Order by emailing us or giving us a call at 614-321-9321, and we will even deliver to downtown Columbus.