November 2, 2009

Sassy Homemade Wine - Apple Wine from Fresh Apples Continued... And the Final Thanksgiving Feast Recipe - Apple Cranberry Pie

A few weeks ago I posted the recipe and starting process of making Apple Wine from fresh apples.  Today you get to seen the 'next steps' in that process, finally.

This is when the fermenting started:

This is the 'must' ready to be transferred into a carboy:

Doesn't look quite as 'appetizing', does it?  I used my auto-siphon to pull all the fermenting juices from the apples:

I siphoned it into a sanitized carboy first, because I wanted to see how close I was to 5 gallons.  Then I covered a bucket with a straining bag and poured the fermenting juice through it to strain out the stuff I didn't want to have to let 'settle' later:

I did that process three times to make sure it was thoroughly strained - the stuff you see in the straining bag had the consistency of fine applesauce.  Better to get it out now rather than wait for it to settle to the bottom to leave behind later.  That way I can be sure to be left with close to the four or five gallons I want to have in the end.

After the juice was siphoned off, this is what was left:

Since I needed a bit more liquid to fill a 5 gallon carboy completely, I attached a straining bag to the top of the bucket and started to ladle the apples and whatever liquid was left in the tub into one of my jelly straining cone thingys:

That way I could eek out as much liquid as possible for the secondary fermentation.  Then it was time to add it back into the freshly washed and sanitized carboy:

Topped the carboy off with an airlock and will let it do its thing for the secondary fermentation.  I'll rack it again in about 3 weeks - there will be a lot of sediment to leave behind based on the cloudy look it's currently sporting.  I grabbed a one-gallon carboy of last year's apple wine that is in its final clearing stages so you can see how much different this wine will look when it gets close to being completely finished:

Notice there's still a little bit of sediment at the bottom of the apple wine on the right - I'll be racking that batch this week to let it clear a little more before bottling.

In case you were wondering about the wine bottles in the left part of the first picture, it's my 'bottle tree'.  Specifically designed to allow you to 'drip dry' sanitized wine bottles prior to bottling.  I sanitized some wine bottles to bottle the fresh batch of kahlua I just made:

That bottle tree can hold something like 48 wine bottles at one time.  Sure has made life easier than trying to precariously perch wine bottles for drying on the dish rack.

The Spanish Tempranillo and Wild Blueberry Blush wines are getting close to completion - I'll probably be updating their status next week.

Meanwhile, last week I posted recipes that I make for our Thanksgiving Feast - Jan from Jan's Sushi Bar was a wild woman the week before posting a plethora of recipes to entertain the masses and spin circles around the Spin Cycle.  She encouraged me to post my Thanksgiving Feast recipes, so I did.  If you missed them, I have them conveniently linked via this list:

Champagne Turkey
Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Slow Cooker Apple Stuffing/Dressing
Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry Sauce with Port and Cinnamon
Pumpkin Cognac Crème Brûlée
Apple Cranberry Pie

The only recipe left to post is the Apple Cranberry Pie.  How appropriate we're sort of talking about apples today, so it fits in quite well.

After us kids moved out of my parents house, we would always converge on their house for Thanksgiving.  My mom would delegate what each of us should bring - pumpkin and apple pies were usually delegated to me.  My dad loves cranberries, so one year I decided to do a twist on the standard old apple pie  and make it with cranberries added - and it was a huge hit. So I've made Apple Cranberry Pie for Thanksgiving ever since.

Apple Cranberry Pie


1-1/2 cups
fresh or frozen cranberries (or 1 cup dried cranberries)
2/3 cup
white sugar
3 tablespoons
all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon
ground allspice
6 to 8
tart cooking apples - peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1-1/2 tablespoons
brandy (or apple cider)
1 teaspoon
vanilla extract
9 inch pie crusts


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Position oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.

In a medium bowl, toss together the sugar, flour and allspice.  Sometimes instead of just allspice, I'll use apple pie spices. Mix in the apples, cranberries, brandy (or apple cider) and vanilla. Place bottom crust into a 9 inch round pie pan so that it hangs 1 inch over the edge. Pour filling into the crust and cover with top crust. Seal and flute the edges. Cut slits in the top using a small knife or fork.

Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, or until apples are tender and crust is golden.

Before baking, cover the edges of the crust with strips of foil to prevent them from over-browning or burning.  Remove during the last 15 minutes of baking time to make sure the edges brown.  Some recipes say to add the strips of foil during the baking time, but have you ever tried to cover the edges of a pie while it's hot and steamy?  I gave up on that method after too many unfortunate incidents of burned fingers and now do it before baking - the pie crust turns out evenly browned every time.

You also want to put the pie on a cookie sheet while it bakes, in case it drips - I usually cover the rack below with foil...much faster/easier cleanup! 

24 Random Sassy Comments:

Shraddha@theselfloveproject said...

wow..hard work!!


Vodka Logic said...

Learn how to make vodka and I'm your girl...the pie looked great :)

Maggie said...

How great that you can cook up a storm!!

Looks delicious!

Hit 40 said...

Great wine making tips!! Your pie looks delicious and the crust on it perfect!!!

Christine Gram said...

I've got a few baskets of apples... the apple cranberry pie looks lovely, but apple wine seems like a lot of work!

Yaya said...

You are so talented!!!!

BK said...

There is certainly a lot of hard work involve in making of wine and you really take care of each step so carefully.

Toni said...

My mum just saw the photo of your pie - I think she wants you to adopt her! lol

blueviolet said...

Jelly straining cone

This is quite an undertaking. It's not a one time thing either because you do so many varieties. I gotta hand it to you!

Casey said...

Holy crap. Let's all meet up and chug that bottle.

buffalodick said...

Oh, for a glass of that wine, and a slice of that pie!

Sprite's Keeper said...

Oh, freakin' yum!

Just Breathe said...

I would love to be your neighbor so I can buy wine from you all the time. It all sounds so good. You really work hard, I envy your dedication. Thanks for the pie recipe, it sounds wonderful.

Brian Miller said...

to my knowledge i have never had apple wine...sounds good...almost as good as the pie! yum!

Jan said...

Good heavens - you make your own Kahlua too??

I bow in the face of your awesomeness. And the pie looks nummy, too! said...

Oh Love that pie :)

4 Lettre Words said...

You are sooooo talented! Yummmmm!!!

Justine said...

I'm still stunned by the amount of work that goes into making this wine. Wouldn't it be a good idea to get a store-front or some such to do this? Or are you not at that point yet?
And did you say blueberry blush? Now for some reason, that just sounds like a wine I would actually like! Yum!
Oh, and how do you sterilize the big carboys?
Justine :o )

tattytiara said...

Cool photo essay - I've never actually seen the wine making process.

Lady Mama said...

Wow! The wine and the pie both look delicious. Good job!

Captain Dumbass said...

Far too much work for me, but I'd be more than happy to come over and help you eat and drink it.

quality inspection china said...

hey this posting is looking yummy... thanks for sharing this with us.

Grand Pooba said...

Yay! Another wine post! I love seeing the progress of the wines you make. That is so crazy that by the time the wine is done it'll be that clear! Wine making rocks.

Business Cards Printing said...

The apple cranberry pie makes me want to grab it from the screen. How I wish! haha! Thanks again for sharing the last recipe.:)