A Few Words on Apples
I did a little story on the Apple Challenge from the Grown in Frederick blog last week for the Frederick News-Post. Read it here:
Then, I talked to a few apple farmers in the area to get an idea of what varieties are available, how to store and use them, and of course where to get the really good ones. The resulting feature ran today:
I personally had my own apple challenge recently: a friend gave me about 3.5 cases of apple seconds (not bags, pecks, bushels–CASES) right in the middle of a really busy catering season. I managed to turn them all into applesauce–about 10 gallons of applesauce, no joke–before they turned beyond the point of use. I gave some to my neighbor, some more to a friend, and stowed the remainder in my freezer for the winter. We love applesauce in this family, and I’m looking forward to eating it warm on a blustery day.
Here’s how I made it:
Peel and cut out the bad spots from your apples. I like to use a Y-shaped peeler. I usually peel a circle from the stem and another circle from the flower end of the apple, and then I peel down in straight lines from top to bottom until the apple is peeled. Then I core and dice them and pitch them into my giant 5gal pot for cooking. Add some apple cider, or apple juice–I used some sparkling apple cider that was leftover from toasts at a catering gig. It doesn’t take much; a cup or so to wet the bottom of the pot should be enough to get the sauce going. Put the lid on and set the pot on high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When all the apples are nearly covered by the liquid released by heating, turn the heat down to a simmer and uncover the pot. Let simmer for about an hour, stirring often. Most of the apples will break down, but enough will remain in chunks to give the finished sauce a great texture. When you like the texture, turn the heat off and stir in sugar or honey to taste if desired. (These apples were mostly honeycrisps and didn’t require much if any sugar. A blend of apples is always best.)
The sauce is great on its own as a dessert, folded into crepes, piled on waffles or pancakes, puddled under some roasted pork loin, etc etc.
Here’s an iPhone photo of the finished product: