oodles of apples

The weekend before the storm, I went to a pick-your-own orchard with a friend.  There, I experienced the inexplicable urge to pick all of the apples.  Was it that I knew most of the remaining apples would go to waste due to the storm?  Was it my fruit-picking experiences as a child, where all you had to pay was effort?  Was it the hope of canning a year's supply of applesauce?  We'll never know.  What I do know, though, is that I came home with over 60 pounds of apples.  When N saw them, he just kind of stared.  Then when I told my brother, he said, "Have you ever considered being an agricultural laborer?  Given your interests..." Gimme an orchard one day, baby.

Since then, I've canned about 4 gallons of applesauce, with a great deal of help from my friends--5 quarts the day they were picked, 6 quarts the day after.  Then the final batch this past weekend.  There are "recipes" for applesauce, and I referenced my copy of Canning for a New Generation, but it's really absurdly simple, if time consuming.  I've listed what at did at the bottom of this post.

We picked three varieties of apple: Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Cameo.  I had never heard of Cameo before, but it became a favorite.  The fruit were huge, a boon for applesauce because it means less peeling and coring.  They are also very sweet and crisp, and so eating nibbles while you peel is delightful.  Or just eating the apple all by itself, which we did plenty of when without power.  Cameo also gets very mushy when baked, making it perfect for applesauce, though not ideal for other baking.  There were three crisps made in the course of using all the apples, and the Cameos didn't keep their form well.

The apples are all gone now, the majority turned into applesauce.  I savored the last one (a Cameo) two nights ago after finishing the final round of canning.  Then last night, I enjoyed applesauce with a dash of cinnamon for dessert.  The age of applesauce has begun.

1 cup water per 4 lbs of apples
Peel and core apples then cook with water until soft.  Use an immersion blender to give the concoction the right texture.  Clean and sterilize jars and lids.  Put applesauce in jars and boil filled jars for 20 min for quart jars.  Let jars cool until sealed.  Magic.

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