Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cindy and Karen's Apples

In Cindy and Karen's yard there are two apple trees that bear many hundreds of seemingly unimpressive, fruit.  Waxy, hard, slightly acerbic, and often imperfect, this burgundy red fruit can hardly be called a "table apple" when freshly picked.  What is truly amazing about this heritage breed, however, is that, two months after the tree is cleared, the apples have ripened to an amazing sweetness.  It is these apples that are my preferred choice for my yearly apple sauce.

Not only are the apples free (thanks to the generosity of my sister, Cindy and her partner, Karen) but are also easy to handle.  The sweetness of the sauce needs no sugar, even by store-bought standards.  The apples that survive this long are often still firm enough to be easily peeled and cut.  Most have some pest damage, as would any home grown, organic apple, stored for two months, but many are clear enough to slice, peel and eat fresh without squeamishness.  The natural wax they exude makes the skin feel almost greasy, (I am not excited about eating the skin) but this wax also serves to protect the apples while they complete their ripening.  

So this is how I spent the greater part of my afternoon: peeling apples and boiling them down.  I added nothing to the sauce, and am so impressed with the result that I would gladly peel and boil another bushel.  But I will have to be satisfied with two gallons of sauce for there are, alas, no more.

This happened to us last year, too.  Then in March, when we began to run short, we savored the final pint, wishing we had taken the time to pick a few more when we had the chance.

Thank you Cindy and Karen!

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