What to do when the neighbor's trees are overflowing with apples? Make applesauce! I am a fruit picking fiend, and go completely crazy when someone offers me fresh fruit off their trees.
After the blackberry upset last week (the owner of the property next door to us cut down all of our shared blackberry vines, just as thousands of gorgeous, wild organic blackberries were ready for picking). I begged and pleated, as he sat atop a rented backhoe, explaining that it was already done (why he waited until they were ripe for the picking, I'll never know). So the blackberry jam and scones and cakes and pies that I had been planning, were definitely not going to happen. I needed a new plan. A new fruit. Something else that was ripe and ready for picking.
The answer was actually much closer than I imagined. The man siting on top of the backhoe, feeling a little sorry for my berry loss, suggested that I come and pick apples from his yard which were ready for picking. I was so taken with the ripe, juicy blackberries that I hadn't even noticed all of his apple trees, hanging low with fruit. Perfect, tiny little apples.
I quickly grabbed my husband and some buckets and we went apple picking. I'm not sure how many pounds we picked, but let's just say that there were many. I couldn't stop picking. And so, that was how we spent our evening. Picking, peeling, chopping and cooking. And, let me just say, that it was some of the best applesauce I've ever had.
Although I don't have an exact recipe to share, it was easy-peasy to make. We filled the pressure cooker two thirds of the way full with chopped, peeled apples. I added a bit of apple cider and some ground cinnamon and allspice to the mix. I cooked it under high pressure for 5 minutes (yes, only 5 minutes!), and let the pressure release naturally. These happened to be very, very tart apples, so I also added a little brown sugar to taste, a little more spice and that was it! If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can cook it in a regular pot, although it will take quite a bit longer. You can also make it in a slow cooker, and let it go overnight until the apples are nice and soft.
Here's a few pics from our applesauce adventure:
I'd better pick more apples soon, because I think apple pies are on the menu next.