As it turns out, a half bushel of apples is quite heavy. As in, 26 pounds heavy.
There were four of us apple picking, which meant that I got six and a half pounds worth. six and a half pounds! For those of you keeping track, that’s quite a lot of fruit.
And, while normally I would have been thrilled with this quantity, I was leaving the country two days later. So, while I should have been packing, I was making a variation of this, flavored this time with roasted garlic because I had four heads of garlic in my refrigerator that I had to find something to do with before I left so that they wouldn’t go to waste. There was apple butter, too and cookies, lots and lots of cookies.
There are no sweeping themes that follow. There’s all of the last minute packing still to be done and a need on my part to make sure that every last food item in my apartment has been cooked and stored before I depart (what? you don’t do that?). There are recipes. They’re worth making even if you’re not trying to use all of the perishable items in your house before you go away for almost two weeks(!).
8-10 apples, peeled and cored (I used a mix)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 cups water
Place all of the ingredients into a dutch oven and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until the apples have softened. Take off the heat and blend with an immersion blender, until the apple sauce is completely smooth. Return to a low heat and simmer until the sauce is reduced by half of its volume and has turned a caramel color. Taste, adding sugar to achieve your desired sweetness.
Apple Spice Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Gale Gand
If you’re making the apple sauce yourself, be sure to cool it before adding it to the creamed butter and sugar so that the mixture doesn’t melt.
Your resulting cookies will be light and cake like and would be delicious as the base of whoopie pies, if you’re into that sort of thing.
2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup applesauce, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups raisins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cream the butter and brown sugar. Then add the eggs and applesauce mixing well. Gradually add the dry ingredients and raisins to make dough.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheets, then bake until light golden brown, about ten minutes.
Allow to cool before serving.
Makes 60-75 cookies
This recipe makes more apple sauce then you need for the cookiesif you want less, simply halve the proportions
6 apples, peeled and cored
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
Place the apples in a saucepan with the water, sugar, and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Then, turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the apple pieces start to break down. Add in the cinnamon and then blend the sauce with an immersion blender until it is smooth.
Makes approximately two cups