I’m sitting here, writing this blog post with a pot of apple cores and peels on the boil on the stove , deliciously wafting an apple scent into the room, and a bowl of vanilla ice cream and warm apple compote sat beside me just begging to be eaten. So, excuse me just a minute….
As someone who grew up in New England (États Unis), autumn has always conjured up apples for me, more than the leaves turning their lovely shades of colour. There would be lovely, shiny apples in paper bags with little handles and large gallon bottles of apple cider (the non-alcoholic kind – but if you left it in your fridge long enough it became alcoholic) sat on fruit stands ready for purchase as one drove through the countryside. Okay, and the picturesque autumn foliage didn’t hurt the picture.
We’re truly lucky enough where we live, here in France, to have a small orchard. A couple cherry trees, a plum tree, pear, medlar (yup, I am not sure what these are either) and, 3 types of apples. The apples have steadily been ripening and making their way to the ground. Windfalls are wonderful on many fronts, eating, of course, but I especially like to make apple compote from them, a true treat with plain yoghurt. I have just made a batch, canned and cooling (more on this soon).
With so many apples crossing my kitchen counter, being peeled and cut into pieces, I also have a lot of peels and cores for composting. But wait!!!
I found this recipe for making apple juice from your peels and cores, and it couldn’t be easier. You simply put these bits in a large pot, just cover with water and bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer. This Apple Juice Recipe recommends simmering for 30 minutes, but I found it depends how much flavour is in the apples and how much water you put in. As I had put in rather a lot of water, about an inch above the peels and cores, I have had it boiling away, without a lid, for about an hour to reduce the water and intensify the flavour.
Once you are happy with the flavour of the water, now juice, you strain the peels etc – and now you compost the left overs. Well, I will be giving them to our chickens and ducks once cooled. If you like sweeter juice, add sugar to taste, let cool and store in a bottle or three in the fridge.
Now this apple juice is not preserved like what you buy in a store, so it won’t keep as long. No fear of this in my household as it will disappear almost as quickly as I make it. Bon appétit.