Sunday, September 09, 2007


I have some friends who we always referred to as "the gay guys down the street" - Peter's an architect, and David is a librarian. They decided to sell their nicely fixed up house in town, the one that's down the street, and move to the country. I guess we'll have to call them "the gay guys out in the country", now.

Anyways, they have some un-attended apple trees, and David brought me two sacks of apples the other day. They were half little green spotty ones, that were kind of like a yellow delicious, and half Macintosh-like, white, soft and wet. Both kinds looked like only good for applesauce apples - they were a lot of work, trimming off all the bad parts.

I made one batch yesterday, 3 quarts, that I packed into plastic peanut butter jars, and chilled over night before freezing. This morning I was sure that I should sieve it, and cook it some more with a cinnamon stick, but then I tasted it, and it was OK. So I just stuck those jars in the freezer, and made batch 2. And somehow the 2nd sack of apples were a little better, and I think I had a better process too - peeled them all, quartered them, threw them into water in the sink, and finally cored and sliced them right into the cooking pot. Yesterday I couldn't seem to get the assembly line down, I was putting slices into a colander and rinsing them, and started cooking in two different pots and blended after the apples cooked down. I made batch 2 cranberry applesauce, with cinnamon sticks. And I put it through a China cap - a pointy steel strainer that supposed to look like a Chinaman's hat, that you push food through with a wooden pestle; the PC re-naming committee hasn't got to it yet. Although I admit that for a long time during my years of restaurant work, I thought the thing was called a China cat - that's a Grateful Dead song. Batch 2's lovely and smooth, although I did get splashed twice, once on the arm while stirring; a molten bubble of hot applesauce popped right by my arm, and once in the face, when I too vigorously ladled applesauce into the China cap - good thing it wasn't quite so hot by then.

And I think these little hard tart apples must have more pectin than their bigger cousins - probably a higher ratio of core to flesh - both batches of applesauce are quite thick.

No comments: