Seasonal Obsession – “Wild” Apples

 Apples on Tree

Fall is the absolute best season for eating (in my opinion).  The culinary bounty is endless.  From onions to squash and from nuts to fruits, Fall has something scrumptious to offer at every turn.  With all these delights it’s hard to narrow down one seasonal obsession.  Fortunately a little trip to Newton Hill helped me out.

I needed to get away from the overwhelming obligations of my job and the noise of my neighbors so I took a hike up Newton Hill.  At the top of the hill, I was bombarded with the full effects of Fall.  Fall always comes to the Hill quicker than the surrounding city below.  Butter-and-eggs had painted a patch of the hill yellow with their uniquely shaped blossoms.  Oak trees bombarded the ground with acorns and the maples sported brilliant red leaves.  What truly delighted me that day, however, was the discovery of three apple trees!

Most people I know won’t eat a “wild” apple, believing crab apples to be poisonous.  The truth is there is no such thing as a “wild” apple in America.  Apple trees are not native to the Americas so all apple trees you’ll find, rather domesticated or crabby, are edible.  Some crab apples are sour and you may not want to eat them, but they won’t do you any harm.  When picking “wild” apples just remember to only pick fruit that is ripe and worm free.  You don’t want to pick something that looks diseased.  Also, only eat the fruit picked from the tree.  Leave any fruit on the ground for the critters.

I filled my backpack with “wild” apples that day and hurried home to make one of my favorite Fall treats – applesauce.  The following recipe is exceedingly simple, as I created it for cooking with children.  Despite its simplicity (or maybe because of it) this recipe is one of my favorites and I will only use it in the fall when the apples are fresh and local.  Enjoy this Fall treat warm or chilled.  Happy Harvest!

Homemade Applesauce

Ingredients

  • 8 large apples
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples.
  2. Cut the apple slices into small chunks.
  3. Put the apples in the pan along with 1/2 cup of water.
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes, occasionally stirring with your spoon. Add more water if apples begin to dry out.
  5. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  6. Once the apples are fork tender, transfer to a blender.  Blend until smooth.
  7. Wait until the applesauce cools, and you can eat this warm. Or refrigerate and eat it when it’s cold.
  8. Enjoy!

Serves 12

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