Remember my previous article about usufruct (Usufruct” Forgotten Apples)? These were apples from abandoned apple trees, forgotten by the public.
Well, I took one last walk few weeks after my big haul, and found these last two beauties off the ground. (Yes, don’t be afraid to check the ones on the ground. Odds are, they fell and they’re likely not too bruised.)
Meanwhile, what about the remaining apples from my haul?
Well, I’ll admit that I had been slacking a bit. After a few rounds of apple crisps, the remainder of the apples that I had from the aforementioned two articles kind of just sat around.
And turned soft.
Even a few turned moldy.
These were truly ignored apples. Left to soften by their own enzymes… the ugly product of my procrastination and neglect.
Should soft, overripe apples go to waste? Certainly not. Just make applesauce with them. Heck, it’s a surefire way to have an extra little something at Thanksgiving…a nice alternative to traditional cranberry sauce.
It really isn’t rocket science, people. Don’t even worry about a recipe. Guess what? You don’t even have to skin or core the apples. Just cut them into quarters, throw them into a pot, add some water to nearly cover them, and just let them simmer for a while.
Ever boiled potatoes for mashed potatoes? We’re in similar territory here. It’s super-simple, people.
In fact, that’s exactly what I have cooking in the background here, as I write this. Did you add too much water? No worries. Just let it cook off. If you’re cranking up the heat, make sure you stir it. Season with a bit of lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar…all to your taste. Just remember…you can always add more, but you can’t take it out.
Heck, I also added a dash of allspice, nutmeg, and sea salt. As soon as the apples started falling apart, I went in and started using a potato masher…mashing and stirring until it reduced to a thick applesauce consistency.
Finally, once all the apples have totally fallen apart, and the consistency is to your liking, you just run it through a food mill to strain out the cores, stems, seeds, and skin…and poof – you’ve got magic applesauce. What’s a food mill? See the picture here. This is a vintage one, well before the age of blenders and food processors. Want the best mashed potatoes? Go grab one. Yes, we use really large ones in professional kitchens. I’m not kidding.
Whatever you do, though, do NOT run it through the food processor, blender, or even use a stick blender. Why? The seeds contain small amounts of cyanide. Just like peach pits. You don’t want to eat crushed apple seeds, people. Strain them out.
Finally, you’ll be left with something delicious to accompany your dinner leftovers. Plus, your humble abode should smell pretty wonderful right around now, without the aid of cloying scented candles or air fresheners.
It’s the real deal, baby. All from some ignored apples, having gone soft from neglect.