Ever had a project that kept getting bigger? I started out buying 12 pounds of apples to make a test run of homemade apple juice. My Ball canning book’s recipe called for 24 pounds. I thought it would be smarter to start off with a smaller batch in case I messed up. Then I decided to make the most of my purchase by also making a few other things out of the byproducts. I saw no reason to waste what I didn’t have to.
First, I washed all of the apples and set them draining. After unsuccessfully trying to get Caroline to stay asleep, I decided 12 pounds was too much to process while I was juggling her. So I cut the amount in half again.
I quartered the apples and sliced the core out. I saved these pieces in a clean bowl for later. The recipe called for leaving the skins on the pieces for cooking to make juice, but I made an adjustment. I thought I would be taking the skins out to make a purée from the leftover pulp.
Instead, I peeled the chunks and put both in the pot as you see above. I poured about 3/4 a quart of water in and turned the burner on low. I cooked it covered and stirred it once in a while to keep it from sticking. Once they were tender, I turned the pot off and got ready to drain it. I don’t have a strainer so to drain it, I used a colander lined with cheese cloth. Not the easiest or most effective but it worked.
I put the core scraps in a another half gallon jar to make fruit scrap vinegar using the suggestion from the blog How To Provide. I poured a quart of water with 1/4 cup of sugar dissolved in it over the scraps. Then I placed multiple layers of cheese cloth over the open top, fastening it in place with twine. (A rubber band is easier.) It will now set on my counter for two weeks to ferment.
I’m excited that I left no part unused. Hopefully, my experiments with the left over pulp pay off. We’ll at least be enjoying the homemade juice!