With the apples harvested, lots of them, I find ways of using them. Some are always stored in the bottom of the fridge for eating all Winter long. Red Rome Beauties, one of two kinds I grow (MacIntosh - Macs - is the other type) are good storage apples. They taste great, are crisp and sweet-tart. They are wonderful for eating and great for pies. They are crisp, with that great juicy crunch that seems to be missing from supermarket apples these days.
In days gone by one could find Rome Beauties and Macs in supermarkets. Now, what one finds are apples that are simply sweet with minimal layering of flavors. And most are mealy. And waxed. The only old-time apple still found among the sweet, upstarts is Granny Smith.
Unexpected company dropping by? Sliced apples with sharp cheddar or a pungent blue cheese or Gorgonzola become a satisfying, quick, hospitable comestible. Nearly everyone loves apple pie. A sharp slice of cheddar or scoop of ice cream takes this dessert to "nearly Nirvana".
Baked apples, apple tarts and galettes, sauced, made into wine or cider, cooked and thickened into "butters", dehydrated, and made into fruit leather, the ways to use and enjoy apples are as plentiful and varied as they are! There are literally hundreds of varieties of apples and farmers' markets, roadside apple stands, and "U-Pick" orchards are the best way to get them. Or, if you live in a cold-winter area, grow them yourself. Fruit tree catalogs usually have a good selection of both old and new favorites.
Besides the many good uses for apples, I like to juice them for Gingered Apple Juice. This is a bright, refreshing juice good enough to accompany a meal, or to sip iced when something thirst quenching is needed. It's also good to serve to kids while parents are having an "adult" drink. Gingered Apple Juice can be enjoyed fresh, or canned for later use. It makes a nice gift, too. Around the Holidays I like to simmer the juice with some mulling spices for a tummy-warming treat.
The amount of apples you'll need to make a quart of juice will vary with the size and juice content of the apples you choose. Start with ten large ones. You may need more. Simply keep juicing apples until you get one quart of juice. The recipe below may be increased until you get as many quarts as you want.
Gingered Apple Juice (makes one quart)
Apples, washed and sliced to fit your juicer
Juice of one lemon
One 2- to 3-inch chunk of fresh ginger root, cut to fit your juicer
Juice the lemon into a measuring cup. Strain the lemon juice into the quart container that you plan to use to catch the apple juice. This will prevent the apple juice from oxidizing and add another layer of flavor. Run the ginger through the juicer. Next juice the apples until you have a quart of juice.
The fresh juice makes a great beverage and "heads" up like beer. However, if you want to can the juice for future consumption, place the juice into a large pot and begin to heat it until it's steaming. Don't let it boil, however. Simmer for five minutes after it starts to steam.
Meanwhile, wash as many quart jars as you need. Sterilize them in a boiling water- or steam canner. Heat the lids in a separate pan.
When the juice is steaming, ladle it into quart jars leaving 1/4-inch headroom, wipe the jar rim, apply the lid and band. Process the jars in your canner for 10 minutes (adding one minute for each 1,000 feet above sea level). Remove the jars from the canner and cool on a thick towel on the counter. Listen for the "ping" of the jar lids sealing. After the jars have cooled, use your finger to press on the center of each lid. If their is any "give" refrigerate the juice and use within a week. Store the sealed jars in a dark cupboard or pantry until needed.