Did you know that once an apple tree begins to bear fruit, it will do so for a century? Today, there are over 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States. Fall weather brings the best fresh apples in bushels.
While we are in a season of peak apple production in many states, you might consider preserving some specialties that will add variety to menus throughout the year. Apples can be dried, made into applesauce or apple butter, or even made into a delicious apple pear jam. Apples do not make the highest quality canned or frozen slices, but they can be preserved by those methods, also.
Whether you are buying apples by visiting the nearby orchard, the grocery store or market, or even picking apples from your own backyard, choose the preservation method that is best for your apple variety. Varieties that are good for freezing include: Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Stayman, Jonathan and Granny Smith. Varieties that are good for making applesauce and apple butter include: Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Stayman, Jonathan, Gravenstein and McIntosh. Red Delicious apples are best eaten fresh. They do not freeze or cook well.
When selecting your apples, remember that their flavor is best when they are at the peak of maturity.
Here are some options to prepare for and choose from in preserving your apples:
Making and canning a flavorful applesauce: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_02/applesauce.html
Making and canning a tasty, robust apple butter: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_02/apple_butter.html
For those who want a no-sugar added apple butter: (ours was developed for sucralose as a sweetener) http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/apple_butter_reduced.html
Drying apple slices or rings: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/uga/uga_dry_fruit.pdf
Combining the best of fall fruits in tasty pear-apple jam: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_07/pear_apple_jam.html
Making old-fashioned, pretty crabapple jelly: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_07/crabapple_jelly.html
Canning fun, cinnamon-flavored spiced apple rings: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_02/apple_rings_spiced.html
Canning a special, spicy gift quality apple chutney: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_06/apple_chutney.html
And, for all those extra apple slices to save for pies and desserts later in the year, freezing: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/freeze/apple.html
Additional ideas and preservation methods are available from the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia, www.homefoodpreservation.com.
For original article, go to the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.