There is a byproduct to hunting for bonasa umbellus: Because he likes the sweetness of apples, berries and most kinds of fruit, finding him will at times take you to an orchard – sometimes old and overgrown and sometimes managed. And if you’re lucky enough, a bushel of apples could be yours for the asking.
Now, what to do with all those apples. How about a few quarts of homemade applesauce?
I know everyone’s grandmother made the best applesauce there is, but this recipe is as simple as it gets and outside of the time involved in coring and peeling the apples, it’s actually a fairly quick process.
1. Peel, core and cut apples into manageable pieces (an apple divider works well.) To keep the apples from discoloring while waiting to get enough to cook. Put them in a solution of 1-1/2 tsp. of salt to every quart of water until you’re ready to proceed.
2. Rinse apples well from the solution and put them in a pot with two cups of water for 15 to 20 cut up apples and bring to a slow boil. (The amount of water is determined by how thick or thin you want the applesauce.)
3. Mash with a potato smasher to the consistency you like. (I like mine lumpy.)
4. Taste and determine if sugar is needed. Depending on the sweetness of the apples used, sugar might not be necessary. If you add sugar, do so to taste and allow it to re-boil. Add cinnamon if desired.
The applesauce is now ready. It can also be canned at this point by placing it in clean canning jars with new lids, and giving it a “hot bath” for 25 minutes in boiling water.