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This year my trees are loaded with apples. It seems we are the only one in the area that got apples—some fluke of weather. We’ve given lots away, and with an uncertain economy, I am trying to preserve them as much as I can. I am not an ambitious canner, so I tried to think of ways I could do a little each day to put up these apples. They were not sprayed, so very few of them are perfect (and won’t store).

Here’s what I came up with, and it seems to be working great!

Too-Easy Applesauce
Wash apples and cut in fourths, removing the core. Do not peel. Fill a big cooking pot with apples and 1″ water. Put a lid on and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until apples are tender. Ladle into a blender and puree. Pour into recycled cottage cheese or yogurt containers, leaving 1″ space for expansion when freezing. Write “Applesauce ’08” on the lid, and freeze. This is really sweet and delicious on whole wheat pancakes, or stirred into plain yogurt!

Ready-to-Go Apple Slices
To prevent browning, pour 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, orange juice or lemon juice (diluted in water) into the bottom of a gallon sized ziplock bag. Wash apples and slice them thinly right into the bag, discarding the core. When the bag is full, ziplock shut and rotate back and forth to make sure the juice coats all the apple slices. Open bag and drain the juice into the next ziplock bag to use again. Close bag, inserting a straw in to suck out all the air before sealing completely. Freeze. These are great to use in apple desserts and makes the job a lot quicker!

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