the apple festivities continue! and nothing says “festive” like rounding up a small group of committed bootleggers and making five gallons of cider.
ladies and gentleman, it is now time for the zenith of all the apple-related content lately. the crux. the pièce de résistance. it was the idea of making homemade cider that began the whole downward spiral. it was the impetus behind the huge deluge of apples that were harvested and kept in my kitchen, under counters, spilling out of bags, everywhere. And (when space indoor ran out) in huge tupperware containers that we kept outside the back porch….
using a home-constructed pressing contraption (lovingly made by my good friend john) and a jack that could provide us with 2-tons of pressure for squeezing, we (finally) made an impressive dent in our apple supply.
doesn’t it look like a medieval torture device? scary! but effective! until it started to buckle under the pressure in hour four….
our kitchen became a mad-house, and on one weekday night we managed to make pulp out of the equivalent of about three bushels of apples. that’s dedication, friends. and a touch of madness. our collective efforts amounted to one very full six gallon carboy.
the proof is in the pudding, and so i won’t comment on how the cider turned out until i can actually try it. we pitched ale yeast at about 11 p.m. at night, and in the morning there were definite signs that the yeast was happily thriving. anyone who has said that cider doesn’t make much of a krausen is a dirty liar. note to future kat: leave more room in the carboy.
since this day, apparently the team has made significantly more! seventeen gallons in total! that’s probably lethal. especially given that the fermentation process lasted for close to three weeks… that’s going to be some spicy cider.
the great apple harvest of 2012 was spirited, to say the least.
though most of these are bound to become cider, i couldn’t help but steal a few to make apple butter. 1- apple butter is pricey, 2- apple butter blows apple sauce out of the water on all counts.
imho, of course.
besides, there’s nothing that says “fall” like making your house smell like apples and cinnamon for days…
without a food mill, i had to rely on labour intensive method involving an old metal sieve, a wooden spoon and a lot of patience. but for apple butter, this is a must. though, i’ve heard that some people throw the applesauce – skins and all – into the blender which i wish i had learned before i spent an hour squishing apples through a sieve.
do you see what i’m saying here?
at any rate, the process of making apple butter is essentially the same as making applesauce, with an extra step: put the smooth (and skin-free) applesauce into a crockpot and set it on high for three hours with the lid off. this allows the moisture to escape, and the sugars to caramalize just a little bit.