How to Make Pomanders With Apple Pulp

While you're preserving your orchard's produce this fall, recycle the apple-canning leftovers into lovely Christmas gifts.

| November/December 1981

  • 072 how to make pomanders
    After you learn how to make pomanders you can give them as gifts or sell them.

  • 072 how to make pomanders

This year, when you put up the winter's supply of apple products, why not get the jump on your Christmas gift gathering (or holiday profitmaking) at the same time? To do so, you can simply spice, shape, perfume, and dry any leftover pulp into creative, fragrant "pomander sachets" to give to your family and friends or to sell at fall bazaars, fairs, or gift shops that specialize in unique homemade items.

What Are They?

Most of us think of pomanders as clove-studded oranges or apples that have been rolled in spices and dried. In fact, the word itself is derived from the French pomme d'ambre, meaning "apple of amber," which—in turn—refers to ambergris (the original scent used in pomanders and still the base of many perfumes).

The current high price of whole cloves and fresh fruit—as well as the time required to completely cover one apple or orange with the tiny spices—can turn the creation of old-fashioned pomanders into a cash- and labor-intensive project. However, learn how to make pomanders using my method  and you can actually consume the tasty fruit, then fashion dozens of the long-lasting, aromatic, and useful gifts from the leftover waste! 

Make "Seconds" Into "Firsts"

If you don't have your own apple trees, perhaps you can buy "pick your own" (look for inexpensive windfalls) fruit from a nearby orchard, or locate a produce outlet that sells apple "seconds."

Last year, for example, I was able to buy half a bushel of very high-quality "culls" from a rural market for $1.75, and the varied flavors, when cooked and blended, made for exceptionally tasty and colorful applesauce and jelly. In fact—although your results may differ, depending upon the juiciness of the fruit you use and the amount of water added when cooking—four baskets (or $7.00 worth) provided me with 100 eating apples, 20 quarts of applesauce, 6 pints of apple butter, 35 half pints of jelly, 8 quarts of fresh juice, and 200 apple pulp sachets to market (wholesale) to my herbal outlets. Better yet, the sweet-smelling little globes sold out within a week or two, bringing in an average of 50¢ each for a total of $100!

Preserve the Reserve

Orrisroot, a "fixative," is a vital pomander ingredient because the substance absorbs the fruity, spicy blend and preserves it for many years. It's made from European iris roots, and—along with essential oils—can usually be obtained from your pharmacy. If not, most herbal mail order businesses carry such items, as well as ground spices that are less expensive and of higher quality than those the grocery usually offers.   

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