It’s apple season! There are so many beauties out there right now that every time I go near a farm stand, I pick a few more to add to my stash.
Have I mentioned how much I adore color and texture? It doesn’t matter if it’s in food, as in a bowl of apples
Or yarn, as in this painting of my yarn stash created by my friend Kim Barrick. It makes no difference to me. I love it all. They each bring me joy.
Unlike yarn, which can last beyond a lifetime as in the case of my adorable mother’s yarn stash,
when I get too many apples I’ve got to act. Pie or applesauce? If the skins have started to wrinkle and the bruises have started to show, I make applesauce. Otherwise, it’s Mom’s Apple Pie with Cheddar Streusel Topping. No contest.
Even the ingredients are photogenic!
The core of an apple is actually the apple’s ovary. It is usually divided into five chambers containing two ovules (where the female DNA is stored) each. If the ovules are pollinated with male DNA in the form of pollen grains, the apple will mature into a well-developed fruit. A fully pollinated apple will contain ten seeds. The number of seeds is directly related to how many grains of pollen have traveled from the stigma, down the style to the ovum in the ovary on the apple’s blossom. The apple needs a minimum of 6-7 seeds to set fruit, or it will not grow to maturity. The pollen is carried by pollinators from other nearby varieties of apples in the orchard.
Mother Nature ensures the survival of the apple tree species by making the flesh sweet and tasty so squirrels and deer will want to eat the fruit and disperse the seeds widely.
While in Hasting’s New Zealand, we had the pleasure of visiting our friends Annette and Rufus Carey’s Longland’s Fruit and Vegetable and Christmas Tree Farm.
I loved seeing their neat system for growing rows of apple trees.
Having an apple orchard is on my bucket list.
How to make Apple Sauce
The following kitchen tools might be helpful:
To make applesauce, peel three pounds of apples and remove brown spots. Three pounds of apples equal about 9 medium apples or 7-8 cups sliced.
Use an apple corer (ovary remover – ewww) to prep the slices.
Or, if you have a spiralizer, use it.
Add the apple slices to a saucepan with about 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove lid and simmer 10 more minutes. Use a potato masher to pulverize the chunks, if desired.
You could leave the peel on, but know that it will separate from the apple as it cooks and has a tendency to stick to the roof of your mouth. That’s one of the reasons I always peel apples for my grandson, the skin can be a choking hazard for babies.
You can add cinnamon and sugar if you’d like, but applesauce is plenty sweet and flavorful unadorned.
Consider putting aside ½ cup of applesauce to use in Marion’s Crazy Good Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Bread.
One More Seque!
How about a great book to read this Fall about an American pioneering family in the 1800s who struggle to plant an apple orchard in Ohio? At The Edge Of The Orchard, by Tracy Chevalier, is such a book. I love how John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) plays into the story as well as the science of bark-grafting apple limbs. I’m grateful to my dear friend, Gayl Squire, a teacher in Napier, NZ, for buying me a copy of this book to read while we were visiting them.
Always check the website for the most current version of a recipe.
© 2014-2017 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.