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Friday, October 22, 2010

Call for Recipes: Preserving Apples and Tomatoes

I know I put you to work only a week ago withΒ sharing your best bean recipes, but I have to do another Call for Recipes today. It’s a necessity. Because I suddenly find myself with 12 pounds of pippen apples and 20 pounds of roma “mariana” tomatoes.

My friend Gudrun sent an email earlier this week saying that her CSA would be selling tomatoes and apples in bulk and anyone could buy them. I decided to take the plunge. And now I need to do something with my beautiful produce!

Gudrun conveniently wrote a post today about preserving tomatoes, which is super helpful. And she said she’s going to make a few pies to freeze before baking…making Thanksgiving that much easier! Can you see why I love Gudrun? She’s so resourceful and full of delicious ideas!

I would also love to get some ideas from you! Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Tomato Sauce Recipes. I make homemade tomato sauce frequently, but it’s only ever been for one meal at a time. I’ve never done it in bulk this way, so an honest-to-goodness recipe would be very helpful.
  • Apple Sauce Recipes. I’ve never made apple sauce, so I need recipes AND advice on how to store it.
  • Apple Pie Recipes. I know there must be apple recipes out there that you’re willing to bet the house on. Please share!
  • ANY ideas for preserving my loads of roma tomatoes and pippen apples!

For purely selfish reasons I’m grateful for this blog…I can just put something out there and get a deluge of great advice. Love it! Thank you in advance!!


  1. 1

    Crockpot applesauce is so easy! This is an old post, so don’t laugh, but the recipe is a winner:

    I store it in the fridge in tupperware containers. You can bottle it or freeze it too. I freeze it sometimes so I have it on hand for baking.

  2. Oh those look so beautiful!

    I don’t know about applesauce but my blogging partner just made the most beautiful batch of slow cooker apple butter.

  3. Oh, what I would do to be in your shoes!

    If it were me, I’d make a GIANT batch of pesto spaghetti sauce and can it all up for the winter with those beautiful tomatoes.

    As for the apples, I would make a batch of spiced apple sauce (extra chunky) and can that up. And then I would make a batch of canned apples for either eating or to convert into pie filling during the winter.

    I’m sitting here GREEN with envy!

  4. 4

    When we’re overflowing with tomatoes, we like to make and can salsa that we enjoy for months – and I posted about it just a couple of weeks ago, even! πŸ™‚

    I also like to slow-roast and then freeze romas to toss in pasta or on top of pizzas over the course of the winter. Smitten Kitchen has great instructions for slow-roasting.

    I’m heading over the mountains this weekend and plan to come back with some fresh-picked Washington apples. I’m thinking of making and canning vast quantities of applesauce, but this’ll be a first for me. I’ll have to check back and see if you went that route, and see if you have any suggestions!

    Enjoy. πŸ™‚

  5. I LOVE these: Cut tomatoes in fourths, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper – oven roast on 250 for 12-24 hours til almost like sundried tomatoes, but a little plumper. Use in egg dishes, pasta dishes, chopped for bread baking, sauces, etc.. and you can freeze them and pull out little at a time during the off seasons. Hope this helps or inspires your own. πŸ˜€

  6. I just used up a big batch of tomatoes by making pasta sauce. Here is my fool proof “recipe.” People always rave about it because it’s light and fresh, not like some of the thicker pastier sauces.
    saute a lot of crushed garlic with a lot of sweet onions and 2 hot peppers, thinly sliced in extra virgin olive oil. Add quartered roma tomatoes and simmer until soft. Crush with a wooden spoon. Add sea salt to taste and plenty of fresh basil leaves. Scoop out what you want and freeze the rest. It’s more of a pomodoro sauce with a little kick. So fresh, toss it with fresh pasta, garnish with more basil leaves and shredded romano!

  7. I make applesauce in the crockpot. I just core and peel the apples, and leave them in big chunks or slices, add brown sugar, cinnamon, dash of salt, a little vanilla if you want, and a little butter if you want (I don’t usually add this, just adds a little more richness). I just cook on low all day and the apples break down until you can smush them into applesauce. My family loves this.
    I would process the tomatoes, cook them in a big pot and spice them the way you like, then freeze the sauce. I don’t ever use exact amounts, sorry πŸ™‚

  8. 8
    Jane Maynard

    I don’t use exact amounts when I make sauce either…but you all are giving me confidence that I can just wing it, even if I’m making more than usual! πŸ™‚

  9. 9
    Jane Maynard

    oh, and am LOVING all these ideas, recipes, etc….seriously! keep it coming!

  10. 10

    I make applesauce in the pressure cooker, mostly. Cut the apples up, toss in pressure cooker with 1 cup water (or so), bring up to pressure and then turn off the heat. Let pressure come down naturally, open lid, put the entire apple mess through a food mill to remove seeds, then back into a pot on the stove to simmer until it is desired thickness.

    Crockpot is my other favorite way, but today it is busy making yogurt πŸ™‚

  11. Kare – We do vast quantities of applesauce every couple of years (4-5 cases of pints and quarts). My suggestions, decide in advance the kind of apple sauce you like – fine or chunky. It makes a difference in how you prepare your apples. We like a mixture, so what I’ll do is about 50/50 fine and extra chunky. So, we’ll just quarter about half the apples and toss them into a pot (cores skins and all) and cook them down. Those go through the food mill which separates out the skins, seeds, etc., and end up being our more “fine” texture. We core and peel the other “half” (that’s where the peeler/corer/slicer comes in handy) and we’ll toss these into another pot to cook down. Those I end up mashing. Then we combine the two and voila a perfectly balanced “sauce” for our likes.

    We also do some batches “spiced” and some “plain.” Sometimes I’ll do the applesauce substitute for oil in baked goods, and I want a plain sauce for that purpose. Other times for eating, I want a spiced sauce to serve with pork chops.

    Anyway, those are some things we’ve learned over the years of canning up applesauce in our house.

  12. 12

    Applesauce is easy — just halve or quarter the apples, peels and all — put them in a large pot with an inch or so of water in the bottom — cover and simmer until they’re soft and falling apart. Put them through a food mill and then add sugar and cinnamon to taste. Delicious and simple. You can also then use the applesauce to make slow cooker apple butter; for every quart of (unsweetened) applesauce, add 1/3-1/2 cup of sugar, plus 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. each cloves and allspice, then cook on low for 8-12 hours. Puree for creaminess if you’d like. THEN you can use the apple butter to make apple butter muffins with cinnamon glaze. The recipe’s on my blog.
    For the tomatoes, you can make oven dried tomato chips — just slice thinly, toss with olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, black pepper, and sugar, and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets in a 250 degree oven for anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on the water content of the tomato, your particular oven, etc. Once they’re dry and crisp, they’re a delicious snack and great for lunchboxes. You can also make tomato muffins or veggie bread (with tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and red bell pepper) for sandwiches, then freeze them. Those recipes are on my blog, too!

  13. I won’t post a link, but if you go on and look for “Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie”, you will not be disappointed.

  14. Hi Jane,
    Lucky you! This was me a few weeks ago..with the excess of tomatoes and apples. Not necessarily a bad thing!

    Then I threw a week-long preserving series on Simple Bites focusing on those two ingredients, so you’re in luck.

    Here’s my Classic Applesauce – I added vanilla bean. It’s a tutorial with canning directions, but can be frozen as well:

    A marvelous tomato sauce for freezing:

    Apple Butter – oh yes!

    And an absolute MUST: homemade pizza sauce. Here’s three simple recipes, my favorite being the Roasted Tomato and Garlic:

    Hope that helps! Happy preserving.

  15. 15
    Jennifer Toone

    This is the apple pie my family has ALWAYS made and it’s the only one I’ll ever make:

    We have made a few improvements… First of all, substitute minute tapioca for the flour in the filling… it thickens better. Secondly, decrease your nutmeg and cinnamon to 1/4 teasp. each and add 1/2 teasp cardamom (it really makes your apples taste for apple-y). Then mix your apples and spices, etc BEFORE you make the pie crust so that the apples do their shrinking before you stick them in the oven and you don’t have the dome problem. (But make sure you include their yummy juices in the pie.)

  16. 16

    This Sour Cream Apple Pie is So. Yummy. The sour cream and egg make the filling almost custard like:

    Also, I made this Apple Slab Pie a few weeks ago, and may, or may not, have eaten almost the entire thing myself. In two days. I tell myself I need the calories for nursing…

  17. I also vote for the crock pot! I even left the peels on mine. Just add a bit of sugar (if you want) and a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg…Cook it up for a good 24 hours or so to get the right consistency…blend…and can. Ten minutes in a boiling water bath is all you need.

  18. just saw this recipe on a fellow runner/mommy blog and am spreadin’ the Healthy Twist to an Apple Crisp love your way:

  19. oh, and the applesauce in a crockpot sounds sooo ez breezy and yummy too!

  20. 20

    These are my two favorite recipes:
    Applesauce in crockpot:

    Five minute tomato sauce – love it with the lemon zest:

    Post what you end up making!!

  21. 21

    Recipe for Ketchup (can be used to supplement any tomato based sauce, keeps for months if not eaten in two flat)


    5kg tomatoes 25ml Salt
    1kg Sugar 25ml ground ginger
    25ml coriander 25ml ground cloves
    25ml black pepper 5 big onions
    1,5l vinegar 2 garlic cloves

    Pulp tomatoes and onions. Slowly boil everything except ginger and pepper until soft and mushy and reduced. Strain through sieve to remove seeds and skin (if not skinned beforehand). This takes some elbo grease.

    Simmer slowly and add ginger and pepper. It now has to be stirred continually to prevent burning, until it reached desired thickness (would be thinner than commercial ketchup). Taste and add other herbs if desired

    Bottle in sterilised bottles, seal and store in a cool place.

    The top few centimetres tends to go darker. This is not going bad, it is just because it is preservative free except for the vinegar. You can remove this before using, or simply shake the bottle.

    Alternatives: Capsicum or chilli can be added at first boiling stage before straining

  22. Here are a few recipes for you:

    Homemade Pearsauce (just sub apples)
    Overnight Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats
    Curried Chicken Salad with Watercress
    Flat Cranberry Apple Pie
    Spiced Butternut Squash Apple Soup

    You should get this book too:

    Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

    great info on canning/preserving and lots of yummy recipes!

    I would for sure make salsa and/or spaghetti sauce with the tomtatoes! Or you could make oven roasted tomatoes and probably store them in the freezer. Good luck!!

  23. 23
    Jane Maynard

    thank you everyone – I’m about to dive in and spend some quality time with these apples and tomatoes. I’ve read each of your comments in great detail – thank you!!! will report back later on what I end up with!

    and if you still have something share…please still do – this will be a great resource for years to come!

  24. just saw this and thought it would be perfect for you. great healthy snack for your girlies!

    Baked Apple Chips

  25. 25

    Just reading these and see a lot of good stuff. I cook down my apples and run them through a Foley Food Mill, season with cinnamon and sugar, then bottle in quarts. I do bushels of tomatoes every year as well. Because there are SO many fabulous things you can do with tomatoes I scald, peel, and coarsely chop them in my food processor (this takes out a step when I’m using them later on). I drain out some of the water then bottle in quarts. I get about 3-3 1/2 cups of tomatoes per quart and then can quickly use them in whatever I way choose the rest of the year. Have fun!! By the time I’m done with my fall canning my hands look flayed but my shelves are full!

  26. Two words: Apple Bars! I found the recipe on Kitchen Stewardship and fell in love because they freeze beautifully! Put that deep freeze to work! I individually wrap mine for quick snacks to grab on the go.

  27. 27

    My all time favorite apple sauce is from Ina Garten. I love the addition of an orange, and I love that it cooks in the oven and not the stove top. From there I either can it or freeze it and it is so delicious! Have fun!

  28. I like making stove dried tomatoes and preserving them in oil. The slicing would be theraputic! They are great in pasta, sauces, salads etc. A bright, sweet jewel to get you through the Autumn.
    You seem to have enough apple recipes!

  29. 29
    Jane Maynard

    nina moore kelly posted this recipe on the facebook page, and it looks divine!

  30. 30

    I often make applesauce in the microwave. Just peel and quarter a bunch of apples. Place them in a large microwavable dish and sprinkle with 1T of sugar and a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. Add about 1T of water and microwave on high for 15 minutes. Then smash the apples with a potato masher. If I make a lot, I store the extra in the freezer.

    This applesauce tastes a lot fresher than traditional stovetop applesauce. I like them both. Give it a try and see what you think.

  31. 31
    Jane Maynard

    how interesting, francie – I will definitely give that a try sometime!

  32. 32

    Very informative stuff! thanks for sharing

  33. Jane – excited to hear what you did with the proceeds! Hubby finished harvesting our garden yesterday afternoon in the torrential rain/wind storm we were having (I figured he’d be better off building an ark). Anyway, we’ll be busy this week processing the 50 +/- pounds of tomotillos and full remaining peck of peppers. The potatoes are going to be wiped down and put down in the part of the basement we’re setting up as a root cellar.

  34. Jane,
    Great blog. Here is what I do with apples and they are pretty great. I am making them for a party for 100 this Thursday.

  35. 35

    Jane, if this isn’t the best apple pie you’ve ever had, I’ll eat my shorts (and be very sad, because I really am convinced it’s the best apple pie in the world and discovering otherwise might give me the blues… or might make me obsessed with finding a way to eat the pie that’s better…. hmmmm….)
    Anyway, it’s not my recipe-I WISH I were that good- but I do suggest an alteration or two. I find that almost doubling the amount of streusel is a must, and within that streusel, doubling the amount of toffee bits is a must. I prefer my bits without chocolate. It doesn’t need it and is a distraction from the other warm flavors. Though tasty, the pie crust is quite a challenge, and I’m not sure if it’s worth it. If you have a great crust recipe, go with that.
    ALSO, once you’ve topped your pie with the streusel, make a well in the center of the streusel AND in the top layer of pie crust for the extra ventilation this pie needs. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

  36. 36

    My kids just picked almost 30 pounds of apples, and no one told me until after the fact that I didn’t have to buy all the apples we picked. So I rounded up some apple recipes on my blog and fell in love with some of them. Here’s the link to the roundup:

  37. 37

    This is an Indian recipe. We use this “chutney” to eat with pretty much anything! And it lasts forever in the fridge! Hope you enjoy it…

    For every kilo of tomatoes, use 3 cloves of garlic. Pulverize this in a food processor.

    In a large pan/stockpot, use 4 tablespoons of oil (any light oil…I use sunflower). Splutter 1 tsp of mustard seeds and 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds. If possible try to get fenugreek seeds and use 1/2 tsp of that.

    Add the tomato mixture and heat it on a low flame, stirring continuously for about 1-2 hours till the liquid has mostly evaporated. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp chilli powder. That’s it!!

    Slatter this on toast, mix it with rice…do pretty much what you want with it πŸ™‚ Hope this helps.

    • Renu

      Oopsie…you don’t have to stir “continuously” for 1-2 hours…just make sure that the edges don’t get brown or stick…that’s all πŸ™‚

  38. 38
    Jane Maynard

    from stephanie at “together in food”:

    If you ever find yourself with bushels of apples again, apple butter is wonderful too. Here’s the recipe I use:

  39. 39

    Salsa and spaghetti sauce are always appreciated in my house. I would just buy those glass containers where i would be able to freeze in small portions, take one glass out when I need it and re-heat… Dinner is served!

  40. 40

    Tomatoes can also be pickled with vinegar, parsley, olive oil and a little sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in a resealable glass inside your refrigerator.

  41. Absolutley Fabulous Recipes. Wonderful Cooks on this site. If anyone cares to link to my little site at please do,and I will let you in on homemade stuff that I reseaech for. Thank You for an awesome site. Connie.

  42. apple and tomato is tow fruits i love special Tomato but now people using preservative so it is not good for health and i’m afraid when eating them

  43. 43

    Anyway, it’s not my recipe-I WISH I were that good- but I do suggest an alteration or two

  44. I like apple,, its my favorite

  45. Apple pie, is the best one for me πŸ˜€

  46. 46

    Tomatoes can also be pickled with vinegar, parsley, olive oil and a little sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in a resealable glass inside your refrigerator.

  47. 47

    cool this awesome food..

  48. 48

    My all time favorite apple sauce is from Ina Garten. I love the addition of an orange, and I love that it cooks in the oven and not the stove top. From there I either can it or freeze it and it is so delicious! Have fun!

  49. 49

    Anyway, it’s not my recipe-I WISH I were that good- but I do suggest an alteration or two

  50. Tomatoes can also be pickled with vinegar, parsley, olive oil and a little sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in a resealable glass inside your refrigerator.

  51. 51

    This applesauce tastes a lot fresher than traditional stovetop applesauce. I like them both. Give it a try and see what you think.

  52. I really like the apple sauce, very interesting article, thanks sob

  53. 53

    anu Tomatoes can also be pickled with vinegar, parsley, olive oil and a little sugar

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