Thursday, August 21, 2008


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.


Veronica said...

Oh man, I'm sorry about your blackberry incident. And here some of us yearn for a nearby source of fresh organic fruit ripe for the picking. I'm glad you were able to pick so many apples though.

Apple pie sounds heavenly. So delicious warm with vanilla ice cream. Tarts, gallettes, pudding, applesauce... yum.

I need to go to the farmer's market.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, or better yet, applesauce!!

Jennifer said...

That blackberry story is so sad! However, the apples (and your photos) look beautiful!

Unknown said...

My neighbor's tree is loaded with apples - if they weren't meth addicts I'd totally be over there bugging them for apples (and the fact that they never made good on their half of a plum-apple trade from four years ago).

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Aww, poor blackberries! Homemade apple sauce though, YUM!

The Veggie Queen said...

I also go crazy over picking fruit. This week it was lots of Bartlett pears and a few grapes. The Asian pears are showing up, too.

I always use my pressure cooker to make applesauce because it's so easy to do. I make it even easier because I cook the apples in chunks with the skin and then put it through the food mill -- no peeling.

But if you are going to do that, have you tried using an apple peeler, corer for the fruit? Works wonders.

Thanks for posting.

Unknown said...

hells yes. and what kind of crazy people do you live next door to? what.


Anonymous said...

What a sad story :( I love blackberries so much, I would have probably cried right then and there.

But "I quickly grabbed my husband and some buckets" made me LOL

Bobbi said...

A happy apple ending to the tragic blackberry loss! The applesauce looks so tasty (and this is another reason I want a pressure cooker.)

Nicole said...

You can always use a vegetable peeler to peel the apples instead of a knife! I make tons of swedish apple pies every fall and i prefer the plain ol veg peeler to the peeler/corer contraption.

Carolyn said...

You are so lucky to have trees next door, be nice to this neighbor even if he cut down your blackberry vines! Applesauce absolutely rules- I just made some with local Summer Rambos from the fruit stand (maybe 4 pounds). Peeled (with a vegetable peeler, as Nicole does), cored, sliced with the apple slicer, dumped in the crockpot with 4 Tbs. brown sugar and a teaspoon of apple pie spice. They were falling apart and fabulous in just a couple of hours. And they are all gone now, time to get more apples!

Amey said...

where have I been? I have been missing out on some seriously great posts. I just made applesauce today with the first round of apples from my tree. I'm jealous of your apples though... mine are FULL of bugs and such, so it's a real project to clean them up first.

Last year I also made canned apple pie filling, which was fun (and an easy way to bust out a pie later on in the year)


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