Spring is Springing all around us here in North Carolina. Trees that until recently had been dormant are now leafing out. Flowers are popping up here and there. The children are bringing in a ton of mice (thanks, children). All signs of Spring.
Apples do not sing of Spring. They sing of crisp Autumn Days; of long cold evenings; of trees that blaze red, yellow and orange.
In North Carolina, we are fortunate to have four distinct seasons, although I’m pretty sure the summers are a bit longer and hotter than they used to be while the winters are a bit shorter and milder. Spring and Fall are my favorites though. Change is in the air. In the Autumn, nature gets itself ready for bed. In the Spring, it goes about its morning routine.
And even though gloriously perfect Autumn days inevitably lead to colder days and longer nights while gloriously perfect Spring days lead to the longer, hotter, humid days, I savor them both. Rather than anticipate the days that follow with just a bit of dread, I choose to live in the moments of those perfect Spring and Fall days.
- Apples, preferably organic, washed and cored, cut into pieces. Peeling is optional, especially if you have a food mill
- Apple juice or apple cider, enough to fill your pan by about ¾".
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- sugar (brown or white), to taste
- a sprinkle of your favorite baking spices (I used "Baking Spice" from Savory Spice Shop)
- Place the apples, salt and optional spices into a heavy-bottomed pan large enough to hold all the apples.
- Pour in the apple juice or apple cider.
- Bring up to a boil and then turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. You will have to stir occasionally to make sure all the fruit has a chance to cook in the juice in the bottom of the pan.
- When all the fruit is cooked and very soft, remove from heat and run through a food mill fit with the medium die.
- Taste the applesauce and add sugar to your taste if it is needed. If you use very sweet apples, you might not need any at all. I used 100% Granny Smiths, so I definitely had to add some.
- Taste again and adjust seasonings.
- Let cool then refrigerate.
- Use within a week to ten days.
There is no reason that you can’t add other fruits to your applesauce, so don’t feel bound by convention to just stick to apples. What kind of fruits would you put in yours?
Thank you for spending some time with me. Have a lovely day.