Apple season

Fall is here, which means it’s apple season! We went pick-your-owning last weekend and brought home a half bushel… though I have to admit we didn’t pick them ourselves as the orchards were closed for a few days, darn it! Still, I wasn’t about to make the trip all the way out there and come home empty-handed, so these are from a different local farm.)

I decided not to cider this year. Prices were higher than I remembered, for one thing; but mostly because slicing, grinding, and pressing 90 lbs of apples entirely by myself (and remember my home-rigged press requires me to jump up and down atop each 2-gallon batch) is just too much work with a toddler about. And I don’t even like the finished product.

So just half a bushel would do; we chose Jonathans. I haven’t used them before, but I planted one to pollinate my Honeycrisp, so I figured I’d better familiarize myself with them. And I’m glad I did. They’re not very good for fresh eating – kinda mealy – but they cooked and peeled beautifully (way better than the Gala I mixed in!), and gave everything such a delicious classic Apple! flavor that I may never go back to Stayman again.

Once prepped, just over 1/3 (12 lbs) of the apples nearly filled my 2-gallon pot. That cooked down to barely 1 gallon of applesauce.

This year I remembered to make some changes in the flavors of the pie filling: I substituted about 1/3 of the water for boiled cider, added salt (all sweet dishes should have some salt, always!) and added different flavors of cinnamon, some cardamom, cloves, and mace too. The results were so delicious that during cleanup I was wiping up countertop spills with my fingers and licking them clean (gross, I know, sorry).

We have enough Jonathans left over for one fresh-apple pie. Or maybe another jar of applesauce – this one for the fridge so we can eat it without opening a just-canned jar. (The applesauce was really that good that I can’t decide). But I can’t let apple season go by without at least one “real” apple pie, can I?

4 Responses to “Apple season”

  1. Ayse Says:

    Jonathan is hands-down my favourite apple for cooking with. And I grew up right next to Cornell’s apple orchards, so I have tried a lot of apple varieties. They don’t grow it out here, and my tree is not quite big enough for a pie yet. Next year.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    We went picking on Sat. I too get disappointed by how little applesauce comes from so much work:( How much is a bushel? We picked a 65lbs. I shouldn’t have traded so many jars, lol, I think I will need to buy another case if we go picking again!

  3. diana Says:

    A bushel is a volume measure, so weights can differ (I think). We got about 3 times about 12 pounds (VERY roughly based on how much canning I did) out of our pre-bagged apples, so I’m guessing you picked a bushel. Though now that I think on it, I wonder if we ended up getting a full bushel after all? I thought I remembered getting a half-bushel, but I could be wrong… Hm.

  4. Heidi Says:

    here’s a site for how much a bushel makes…

    also they have other good information, such as locations of “pick-your-own” farms, etc.
    where do you get your energy???

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