Wednesday, August 12, 2015

best applesauce (from foraged fruit)!

Apple season is upon us, the early apples at any rate.  Our old tree out back is FULL, just absolutely full this year with lovely little apples.  They are not pretty by store standards, but they are our free apples, a generous harvest that we gratefully accept each year from this old tree!  The apples taste tart with a slightly sweet tinge if you pick one that is perfectly ripe, but the squirrels seem to know and knock the apples down a day or two before they really are ready to be picked by us humans.  So, I've been gathering the apples from the ground, which really is so much easier than trying to climb up into that huge old tree.  These are just right for applesauce, a ritual we have around here starting every August and continuing on well into October, with any apples we can get our hands onto.  I love to imagine the members of the  who first planted this apple tree, also picking and making applesauce to keep their household well-stocked over the winter.  We love this applesauce on our pancakes, with yogurt and granola in the morning, or simply as a healthy snack.

How we make our applesauce with our gathered/foraged fruit - the simple method:

You need:
large pot and lid
chopping knife
cutting board
dash of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pinch of nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla (optional, or try each one)

1) Core and chop apples, and cut away any parts that you think are overly ripe or blemished.
2) Place apple chunks (with peel on -this adds texture and colour to the sauce) into pot with a bit of water to cover the bottom.
3) Heat on medium with lid on to help steam the apples to soften them.  Stir occasionally.  Add more water so there is enough liquid that apples don't stick to bottom of the pot.
4) Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, or vanilla - optional, based on your taste.
5) When apples are softened you can leave the sauce chunky, or puree it in a food mill or food processor.
6) Ladle into glass mason jars leaving 1/2 inch space at top (minimum) and store in fridge or freezer.  This sauce can also be canned in hot water bath according to proper canning procedures.

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