Autumn brings trees laden with apples, and high winds bring lots of windfall apples on the ground that need to be used before they start to go off. The brown, bruised spots from landing on the ground will ferment quickly and turn to alcohol. These are still safe to eat or use in coooking. An enterprising moose in Sweden got stuck in an apple tree after eating fermented apples and getting drunk. We do not need to go that primitive to use all the bounty that the wind brings us. 

If there are any undamaged apples, they can be stored for several months into the autumn or winter. Select perfect apples that are not bruised or cut. Wrap individually in a sheet of newspaper, place in a  plastic bag and put someplace out of the way that animals cannot get at them. Hanging from the rafters in the garage or cellar is ideal, as long as it doesn't get below freezing.

Apples with minor blemishes can be eaten raw, lacto-fermented  or cooked. Bruised or damaged, even with a small amount of mold on them, can be made into a syrup to use as a sugar substitute. You can even use the damaged apples that are starting to ferment to start an apple wine or ale.

Raw apples can be added to sauerkraut or other pickles by putting sliced pieces into a pickle brine. Apples added to any jam or jelly will add flavor and make it easier to set.

 Pickling apples 

Apples can be added to sauerkraut to double the bulk of the kraut. Take the bruised or damaged apples that can't be stored, peel and slice and add to the cabbage and proceed to make sauerkraut as usual. Store-bought sauerkraut can be "re-rawed" by replacing liquid with a salt water brine in a ratio of 1 teaspoon of salt for every pint of water and slices of apple peeled thin with a potato peeler, and let set for 3 days.

 Apple Syrup (Sugar Substitute) 

Fill a slow cooker up with windfall or damaged apples. Small amounts of white mold is okay. Other soft, sweet fruit such as plums or apricots that are starting to go "off" can be included. Cover with water and slow cook for a day. Crush fruit with wooden spoon. Top up water and slow cook another day. Allow to cool and then sieve through a cotton flannel jelly bag. Use the syrup to substitute for sugar in any recipe, reducing liquids in the recipe as appropriate.

Return syrup to slow cooker and simmer uncovered until it has been reduced to half its volume to make a thick syrup  [optional].

  Spiced apple coffee 

Weak coffee works very well with this recipe, so, if you're trying to cut down on coffee, use a half a cup of leftover coffee added to a quart of water.  If you don't drink coffee at all, then plain water will do, or any tea you like. Experiment. (See coffee). Put your coffee, or designated liquid, into a baked enamel, ceramic or pyrex pot and heat it on the stove. Add heavy cream (double cream) and honey. If you're trying to increase the amount of healthy fats that you eat, a spoonful of butter or coconut oil would not go amiss here, either. Take soft, windfall apples. Peel and dice the white flesh into small pieces. (Save the peel and core for apple syrup, see below.) Put in a stick blender cup. Add some of the tepid coffee or liquid and blend until pureed. Strain if desired or leave the unliquefied pieces in. (This could be a treat for anyone who has trouble either digesting or chewing their food.) Add it to the hot liquid simmering on the stove. If you keep the hot liquid below 106 degrees (the point at which it feels hot but not too hot to touch without feeling pain)the apples stay raw and you can have the pleasure of your morning coffee along with the healthiness of your apple a day.

 Apple Relish 

Peel and chop up apples, add a brine with one teaspoon of sea salt to each pint of water. Push the chopped apples down under the brine and cover the jar. Let sit at room temperature for a week. To make into a sweet and sour apple pickle, chop up another apple, mix with sugar or the sugar syrup below and cinnamon to taste. Add to pickled apples. This will not stay sweet, so eat right away or don't mix the pickled apples with the sweet, chopped apples until you are ready to eat it.

 Apple Ale 

Put apples in slow cooker and cover with water. Slow cook until soft. Smush up with wooden spoon or hand and strain through a sieve. Add a cup of sugar for each quart of apple juice. Find a bruised apple that is a little frothy around the bruise and drop it into the apple juice and sugar mixture. Cover with an airlock. When signs of fermentation appear, you can remove the apple and replace airlock. Let it ferment from 1 - 6 days, depending on how strong you want it.

 Apple Wine 

Apple wine is easy to make and it is the quickest wine that can be ready to drink, often in only three months, where most wines need to be aged a year. Apples can be either chopped and blended with water in the blender or put in the crockpot with water and slow cooked. Sieve through a cotton flannel jelly bag, add 1 cup of sugar per quart of liquid and a yeast starter. Cover with an airlock and let sit until sediment falls to the bottom and wine has cleared. See Wine.

 Cultured Apple Butter  

2-3 apples
3-6 tablespoons of butter
sea salt
Wash, core and sliced apples fairly fine, but don't peel
Put butter in cast iron pan
Sautee apples with cinnamon and vanilla (to taste) until soft.
Put in a blender (a stick blender works well for this) and puree
Place in glass jar
Add 3-4 tbsp whey and 1/4 tsp of sea salt and a few tablespoons of water
Cover and leave at room temperature for 2 days, then refrigerate.

Serve or toast or biscuits.

 Grain-Free Apple Pie 

Make the crust material and let it sit overnight. Mushing this together is slow and tedious, so I often put the ingredients into a bowl and leave in front of the TV to do during a show. It is not something that is easy to get done if you need to use it right away.
1 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of lard
1/4 cup of butter
pinch of salt
teaspoon of sucanat or unrefined sugar
a pinch to a teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.

Mix dry ingredients and fold into lard and butter until it forms a ball or at least all the fats are blended into the flour.
Roll the dough ball out flat to about 1/4" and cut into smaller pieces. (The dough will not hold its shape while baking like wheat flour dough will, so there's no point in making special shapes.)
(The flat pieces of dough can be frozen if desired, or used immediately.)
Put piece of dough in the bottom of serving-sized baking cups.
Add filling (apple pie or jam).
Put another layer of dough on top.
Bake in a medium oven for 20 minutes to a half hour, or as long as a similar sized wheat pastry would take to turn brown (helps if you are baking regular wheat pastry for someone along with the tapioca pastry)
Note: the dough will be liquid and bubbling when it comes out of the oven and will not become firm and crust-like until it has cooled.

Apple pie filling:
Peel, core and chop up apples to fill the baking cups. (Do not overfill the cup as the tapioca flour becomes liquid during baking and will overflow the cup if it is packed too high.)
Add a teaspoon of butter in small pieces.
Add a pinch of cinnamon
Add 1/4 teaspoon of arrowroot
Add a spoonful of raisins if desired
Add a teaspoon of sucanat or drizzle of honey
Mix together.

 Apple Jam  

Peel and core apples. Set in slow cooker with a little honey and cinnamon. Cover and cook at low temperature until apples are soft, then mash with a fork. If the mashed apples are too thin and watery, uncover and continue slow cooking until it has rendered down to a jam consistency. 

  Sort-of Raw Applesauce 

Peel and chop apples. Put in a covered ceramic dish and put into slow cooker.
Allow to slow cook for a couple hours or until apples become soft, but not so hot that they are painful to touch. They do not need to break down and be mushy, they can still retain their shape.
Add some cinnamon and mix in with a fork.
Taste and decide if you want to add some raw honey or other sweetener.
Serve warm with clabbered cream if desired.

  Cooked Applesauce 

Peel, core and quarter apples
(use a combination of types if you have them)
Put a small amount of water into a crockpot or slow cooker
Cover and cook on low heat overnight or until the apples are the conistency you want for your apples (chunky --> mushy)
Transfer to glass jars and put in fridge
Can be frozen in mason jars -- do not fill and do not close cover until  applesauce is frozen
Add sugar to taste when serving

  Apple Cake 


Grease a 10"x12"x3" baked enamel or pyrex glass pan


1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of milk or cream
6 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon of melted lard
1 tablespoon of melted butter
2-3 medium apples, peeled and grated (alternatives: grated carrots and/or zucchini/courgettes)
1 handful of raisins

Beat flour, milk, sugar and egg in mixer until smooth or 5 minutes by hand. Drizzle in melted butter and lard. Add apples and raisins and mix in by hand with a spoon. Pour/push batter into prepared baking pan. Bake at medium heat until cooked and lightly browned on the outside and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. If necessary, make a piece of aluminum foil the size of the baking pan and cut a rectangular hole in the middle and place over cake and return to oven so that cake can continue to cook in the middle without getting burnt around the edges.
  Baked apples 

Scoop out the core of an apple but leave some at the bottom to form a hole in the apple.
Pack the hole with butter, cinnamon and a bit of organic brown sugar or maple syrup
Place in a baked enamel or glass baking dish with a bit of water added.
Bake at medium heat until soft

Serve with something fermented, like sauerkraut

  Apple Cider Vinegar 

Make cider by pressing whole apples and collecting the juice. For smaller operations, it may be easier to peel, chop and core the apples. For large operations, you will need a cider press.

Add a few raisins to the apple juice, cover with an airlock and allow to ferment until it becomes an alcoholic hard cider.

Put a mother of vinegar or a mother of kombucha into the hard cider, or mix it with some raw vinegar or kombucha

.Apples and Sauerkraut 

Shred cabbage and pack into glass jar.
Peel apples and slice into cabbage.
Add brine made in a ratio of 1 teaspoon of sea salt to 1 pint of water.
Cover with an airlock and leave at cool room temperature for a month.
Apple sauerkraut can be used in place of carrots in a carrot cake recipe for an interesting taste.

 Dehydrating Apples 

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peel and core ripe apples (remove any bruised spots).
Cut apples into thin ring slices.
Dip each slice into lemon juice on both sides.
Place in a single layer on a baking rack placed on top of a cookie sheet.
Place the sheet of apple slices in the oven and bake for about 1 hour or until fairly dry and lightly browned. Time will vary based on thickness of apple slices.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and lift each apple slice up off the rack to prevent them from sticking as they cool.
After cooling completely, store the dried apple slices in an airtight container and keep in a cool, dry place or can be frozen.

Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Mike and Nancy Bubel. An excellent book on storage of fruits and vegetables.
The Forager's Harvest A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by Sam Thayer. The author tells about things he has experienced, not just cut and pasting or rephrasing what other people have written.

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