This is the time to ratchet up the baking. I love the smells produced during this time of year. Plus the produce seems designed to be heartier than blackberries and will last longer in the fruit and vegetable drawers before I have to say, "Well, that's nicely composted" and walk it out to the compost pile. I'm sure you all know that the reason those drawers are in the bottom of your fridge is to help you get a jump on compost.
I decided on applesauce to start. I dumped the bag out on the counter and started washing the apples. One of them had a stowaway.
He was gently removed and put outside on one of the milkweed plants.
Once that was done, I set about peeling, coring and chopping up the apples. They are nicely juicy and have a tangy aroma. I brought 15 back with me and decided, after seeing how much I had when cut into chucks, that I needed to turn some of them into something else. I have decided on Autumn Apple Cheesecake. I have to go to the grocery anyway on Saturday. I'm out of some staples. I'll pick up a couple packages of cream cheese and make myself a cheesecake. I can freeze the slices and have cheesecake for dessert for awhile. In theory, it's brilliant. I just have to find my springform pan.
The 11 apples I chose to chop reduced to this. It's about half of a Dutch Oven's worth. I set the heat to low, put a lid on the pot and just let them cook. There was enough water in the apples already that I didn't need to add extra water.
I cooked them for 45 minutes and then checked their consistency. They weren't quite reduced to sauce at that point. I got the potato masher and smashed some of the bigger pieces and cooked the apples another 30 minutes. The smell! Oh the smell of cooking apples! No added sugar or cinnamon at this point. Just apples simmering over a low heat.
One hour and 15 minutes later, I had applesauce. It's a bit chunky, but I like it that way.
I added some sugar and cinnamon to taste as the apples were a bit tangier than I like. I've made two nice freezer containers full of home made sauce. This tempts me to buy more and make more sauce. Come winter, there is nothing more comforting than warm applesauce on a cold day.
Now to cook the acorn squash!
Beverage: Dr Pepper