Now that the Nanking Cherries
and the pear trees are nearing
the end of their blooming time
let's look at the apple trees
which are in their full glory.
First, a Kerr Apple/Crab on the
backyard deck. This tree blooms and fruits every other year. These apples make a delicious juice, quite pink and slightly tart.
Also on the deck is a Dolgo Crab. This tree is a prolific bearer, year after year. The apples are small, oval and very dark red, almost a burgundy. I've made applesauce from these apples also, and it's good, but I have another apple tree that's become my favourite for applesauce.
I call this the "Old Apple Tree" because it was on the property when we bought it. This produces a large crabapple that turns quite sweet and edible after a frost has gone over it. I used to make applesauce from these apples, but, again, it's no longer a favourite. As long as my favourite bears lots of fruit we'll leave these fruits for the wildlife. Bird like to sample these and I've seen coyotes and deer eat the ones that fall to the ground.
And my favourite for applesauce. Jim forgot the name of this apple/crab so I just call it the Greenhouse Apple Tree. I harvest all the apples I can reach, including those reachable by stepladder. They make a wonderful applesauce, pink and tasty with absolutely nothing added.
I cut out the stem and blossom ends, cut the apples in half and boil them lightly with a little bit of water. Then they go through the food mill--a simple French appliance that crushes them through a sieve. I freeze them in quart containers. That's all there is to that.
We had some of this applesauce on pancakes (with some raisins sprinkled over top) for breakfast this morning.
They are also good for making apple butter. Here's my recipe:
12 cups of fresh applesauce
4 cups of brown sugar
6 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. allspice
3 tsp. ground cloves
3 tsp nutmeg
Put all ingredients in a large crockpot and cook on low/simmer. Cover and cook for many hours, stirring every now and then to prevent the top from becoming crusty. Remove cover and cook down for a while, until you like the consistency. We like it quite thick. Spoon into hot, sterile pint jars and seal. The heat of the sauce and jars with cause the lids to seal.
This Apple Butter is especially nice, warmed, on warmed cinnamon/raisin bagels.
Well, I apologize for the strange spacing and underlining in this post. Sometimes strange things happen along the way. I tried for a while to fix it, but didn't make much progress, in fact, made things worse. So here it is in this form, and better luck next time!