I counted nine different apple varieties at a nearby greengrocer today. Sunday it took me 30 minutes to travel three blocks because I got caught up in Apple Festival traffic! And, purely randomly, when I asked my friend Jim to send a photo of his daughter so I could see her all grown up, he sent one of her in front of the country’s biggest apple basket.
So it really is the time of the apple, and ripe for sharing is a time-tested strawberry applesauce recipe that was handed down to my friend Alix by her Aunt Evie 37 years ago. Easy beyond easy, the recipe originated with Alix’s grandmother, who made it with rhubarb. The problem was that people didn’t want to eat it, so Evie sweetened the pot, and this great side dish or dessert graces the table at every holiday get-together. Other selling features: Amounts can be randomly changed and the result will still leave you wanting more. And it does beautifully in the freezer.
Aunt Evie’s Strawberry Applesauce
2-3 pounds Macintosh apples
1 box frozen strawberries, thawed and drained*
¼ cup sugar to start, and then to taste
– Peel and core apples. Cut into small pieces
– Simmer in a large covered pan with water (not enough to fully cover)
– Cook until soft – about ½ hour
– Place soft apples into blender.
– Blend in a few strawberries at a time until all blended to the consistency you like.
– Add sugar to taste
*Use fresh strawberries if they can still be found, or a bag of frozen strawberries if you want to heavy up the berry-to-apple ratio
Apple Seeds – Things You Might Not Know About Apples
– Apples are grown in all 50 states, but only one – the crabapple – is native to North America
– 7,500 varieties are grown worldwide, 2,500 of them in the US, 100 of them commercially
– Apples have no fat, no sodium, no cholesterol
– A typical apple has five grams of fiber
– To peel or not to peel? Two thirds of the fiber are in the peel
– A medium-sized apple is a lot of filler-upper at only 80 calories
– The Pilgrims planted the first apples in the Massachusetts Bay Colony but the first apple nursery was opened in Flushing, NY in 1730
– It takes an apple tree four or five years to bear its first fruit
– Apples are a member of the rose family!
– Apples ripen six to 10 times faster at room temperature than refrigerated
– It takes about 36 apples to make a gallon of cider
– The US exports 25% of the apples grown here