A couple weeks ago when Mr. Handsome attempted to invent a new and improved way to make applesauce (it was new, but definitely not improved), he did try one new thing that I failed to mention: he used the bore end of our potato peeler to cut the stem and tail ends out of the apple.
This week when we made sauce together and I was stationed at the sink, faced with two bushels of Ginger Golds to cut up, I decided to give his new little technique a whirl. Or rather, a poke and a twist, with a flick of the wrist.
It worked. Like a charm.
Prior to this, I had always cut the apples in half, making little v-cuts at either end of the apple, for each half. If you’re counting, that’s four cuts. This new method, two little poke-twists and then chunk, chunk, chunk into the sauce pot, is much faster, with much less waste.
By the way, this year I’m buying two bushels of apples here and two bushels of apples there, making sauce a little at a time, aiming for a hundred or so quarts. I want to try a variety of kinds to see which I like best. I know I love sauce from Lodi apples, the kind I make every summer. I don’t put in loads of sugar, as is the custom, so it’s still quite tart, making it a wonderful accompaniment for main dishes.
Wednesday’s Ginger Gold sauce also turned out lovely—it’s thicker than the Lodi sauce, and a beautiful pale green-yellow. Ginger Golds are a sweeter apple, so the sauce didn’t have quite the apple-ly kick that I’m used to (read, a tad bit bland). I remedied that by adding sugar to bring out the flavor, and now it tastes quite delicious.
What’s your favorite sauce apple? What should I try next?
Update: Friday, August 22, 2008
Two nights ago we turned another two bushels of apples into sauce—Rambo apples this time, and the resulting sauce was quite delicious. I liked them better then the Ginger Golds, but not quite as well as the Lodi. However, they gave us the best yield yet—39 quarts this time. That means we now have put away 101 quarts, so I’m officially done for this year. Oh, except for drying apples…
Your Grandma Baer thought Golden Delicious was the best.
This morning I picked up two bushels of Rambos from the orchard (I’ve learned I can’t get Macs around here since they’re more a northern apple). I’ll do them up tonight. The old order woman there said that she never makes sauce from Rambos—she uses Golden Delicious. I talked to my mother-in-law and she said she never makes sauce from macs—too watery. My girlfriend Amber said she never uses Golden Delicious. It’s becoming clear to me that there is no perfect answer and it all depends on what I (we) like. So I’m proceeding as planned, two bushels of this, two bushels of that. I guess I gotta figure this out for myself (though I do love input/nudges).
The Rambos are beautiful, though. Tart and sweet and crisp.
Shelah, the lemon, parsely, salmon dish sounds so good. Salmon is such a treat—my kids love it.
Rambo. To me, it is more like a cross between Lodi and Stayman (another good one – but much later in the year) Lighter in color than the McIntosh – which is quite pink, and it has a more sprightly flavor too. the apples tend to be very large (at least from my tree) so it goes faster to do a basket. To me it has an all around true apple flavor, Macs can be just a hint too perfumey for me. Keeps its flavor well in the jar. Smooth. Stayman can be a bit easier to make chunky sauce with if you prefer that.
There now, are you sold? 🙂
And I must admit, close to one third my hundred quarts is MacIntosh because that is my first and most reliable tree to produce without spraying. So it does pass muster here too.
Hey and I got to tell you that your fried lemons and parsley from some time back really got me thinking and tonight it hit me that what was missing was salmon. So tonight I pan fried some slices of salmon in a bit of olive oil. When it was cooked I removed it to a bed of hot cooked brown rice than quick fried some parsley and halved green grapes with a splash of lemon juice (I had no lemons)and topped the salmon with that. It was good. A second time around, I would add a grind of black pepper and some chopped walnuts. Now that would make a nice meal!
S, What does Rambo sauce taste like? What do you like about it?
Just Rambo is really good too.
That one always makes my husband do a double take because he grew up never even hearing of homemade applesauce but took in the Rambo movies at the theater. 🙂
Okay, so I’m going to call the orchard tomorrow and find out when the Mac apples (reminds me of Packman) are in. Christy, you convinced me with the phrase “sweet but tart”. Thanks!
The most beautiful applesauce I have ever seen was some a friend of mine made with Arkansas Black apples. It makes a dark pink, almost purply colored sauce. It was quite delicious as well.
I’m a friend of Maria’s and found a link to your blog through her page. =) My favorite apple sauce is made with MacIntosh. Try it! It’s sweet but tart.
As in the best apple cider, a combination of apples is tops. I like “ripe but not over ripe” Summer Rambo / Mackintosh if I can get them at the same time. Throw in some other kinds and it’s even better. Doesn’t take the huge quantities of sugar.