I've been noticing a lot of posts popping up on the blogosphere lately about apples and what to do with them after picking a bushel or so of them.
There's no apple tree on the cabin property and honestly, I'm not sure if there is an apple tree on the Gunflint Trail; I suppose they constitute bear bait.
Growing up in my great-grandparents' house, we had three apple trees in the backyard, all in the "winter" of their life. For years we gathered loads of apples from the yellow transparent apple tree and turned out pies, applesauce, apple butter, and crisps. But after sustaining considerable bear damage, the trees finally kicked it and my parents planted two new apple trees the spring I graduated from high school. This year, eight years after the seedlings went in the ground, my parents' apple trees produced enough apples for a single apple crisp.
I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite uses for apples in this post, besides apple pie.
What with my new water bath canner and all, I knew I wanted to make a big batch of applesauce with the apples I scored this year. While some people (ahem, Andy) may say I eat like a kindergartener, to me applesauce is the ultimate comfort food.
Our family recipe for applesauce is pretty specific:
Fill a soup pot with apple slices. (At best guess, I'd say this is approximately 2 gallons of apple slices)
Add just enough water to keep the slices from sticking - start out with about a cup and add more water as necessary
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar.
Cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Puree if you like, but I prefer it chunky. Place hot applesauce into hot, sterilized canning jars. Process in water bath for 20 minutes. Makes approximate 3.5 quarts.
When I made applesauce earlier this fall, I rushed it along a little bit, which resulted in me using a high heat when cooking it and adding a lot of water. It still tastes homey, mildly sweet and delicious, but it's got some big chunks in it. If I were to do it, I'd probably simmer it for much longer over lower heat.
Apple Pecan Quick Bread.
May your baskets overflowth with apples this fall and may your home smell of cinnamon.