Originally founded in 1904 National Apple Week, was expanded in 1996 to three months, from September through November. Apples are one of the few fruits you can find fresh any time of the year. However, to me the apple is the one fruit that I associate with fall more than any other. Apples are America’s favorite fruit. The state of Washington grows the most apples followed by New York, and then Michigan. This is a perfect time of the year to head on out to an apple orchard and pick your own apples for a pie, applesauce, or even baked apples. But to me the best way is to pick one off of the tree and try it. There is nothing like the crisp, cool, crunch you hear as you take a bite of this juicy, sweet piece of fruit. Today we have numerous varieties of apples to choose from. Some are best to eat while others are best for cooking and baking. You must have heard the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This saying comes from an old English adage, “To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg for his bread.”
|My son, Paul at Maskers Orchard|
Some A−peel−ing Facts on Apples:
Though some historians are in dispute over exactly who first cultivated the wild apple, many believe it was the Romans who discovered they could cultivate these wild apples into fleshy, sweet, and juicy fruits. Some historians report the apple's origins were rooted in Southwestern Asia, just south of the Caucasus Mountains between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.
Apples are grown in every state in the continental United States. Top-producing states include Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California and Virginia.
Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie. Apple blossom is the state flower of Michigan. 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States. 7500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world. 100 varieties of apples are grown commercially in the United States. Apples are grown commercially in 36 states. Apples are grown in all 50 states.
So, in honor of the “Apple,” I am sharing with you my “Caramelized Applesauce” recipe. This recipe is a favorite among my family and friends. After years of making this scrumptious applesauce, I have perfected its fruity richness and I’m sure it will be very pleasing to your taste buds. Enjoy and make memories!
Cooking apples in a brown sugar syrup gives the finished applesauce a wonderful caramelized flavor. Watch the apples carefully while cooking; they should be tender but still a little chunky. If you like a smooth consistency, (what I like) put in blender, food processor, use an old fashioned masher, or an immersion blender for a thinner texture after it is cooked.
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbs. plus 1/2 cup water
5 apples, (whatever you like, but Granny Smith is the best) peeled, cored & cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and the 2 Tbs. water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture resembles maple syrup, about 7 minutes. Add the apples, lemon zest, cinnamon and nutmeg. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and slightly broken down but are still chunky, 20 to 25 minutes. If the mixture starts to get dry, add the 1/2 cup water during the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. Serve the applesauce warm or at room temperature. Makes 2 cups. Double recipe if you want to make more.(Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen)
Till Next Time………..
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