Inspired by my Fat Pig Farm visit and having been given a bagful of apples from a friend, I was keen to try out the cinnamon apple recipe I learnt in the cooking class a couple of weeks back.
It’s a very simple recipe and didn’t take very long at all, besides all the peeling of the apples but its all part of the charm of bottling and preserving the harvest.
The first step is to peel, de-core and chop up the apples into pieces that are generally of the same size to ensure consistency when cooking them. Whilst you are preparing the apples, they just need to sit in a bowl of acidulated water which is just water and 1/4 of a cup of lemon juice to stop them from going brown.
Once they are done you need to boil a pot of water. You will need to cook them in batches for around 2-3 minutes and then scoop them out and drain them.
In a separate saucepan place 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 +1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a pot with 1 litre of water. Bring this to the boil whilst stirring occasionally for around 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid begins to bubble. Add 1/2 a cup of lemon juice and then boil for a further minute. Take off the heat and pour into a jug.
Once the apples have cooled a little bit so you don’t scold your fingers, pack them into preserving jars. I used a random selection of jars here including 2 fowlers vacola jars, 1 old jam jar and a old salad jar. As long as you have the lids and they seal and have been cleaned and sterilised you should be right.
Then pour the cinnamon liquid into the jars up to the rim leaving a 1cm gap at the top.
Screw the lids on tight or place the lids and clips on for the proper jars.
You then need to place the jars in a pot, preferably a preserving kettle. Its best to put a tea towel in the bottom of the pot to stop them from jingling and potentially breaking and add in warm water not cold so they also don’t break due to the change of temperature. Fill the water up to the rim of the jars and raise the water temperature to 92 degrees Celsius for half an hour.
Once half an hour has passed you can either use bottle tongs to remove the jars or wait until the water has cooled down enough for you to pick them out.
The result, 4 jars of apple pie or crumble filling ready to crack open when it’s cold in winter and we are needing a homely meal or dessert. Other options also include a topping for porridge or pancakes. They will keep for up to a year, although I cant see them lasting this long.
We had a few more apples and syrup that I had jars for, so I whipped up a apple crumble which we enjoyed as a late afternoon tea with a scoop of ice-cream. Just delicious!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you have a gluttony of apples you give this preserving a try.