I hope you never forget the sound of the leaves breaking beneath your feet. The thrill of seeing a tree lit with ruby red bulbs. The piercing crunch of the first bite. The sticky, sweet juice at the crease of your lips. And the hum of the flies feasting on the leftovers. I hope you never forget the magic of sideways sun beating through the columns. The weight of too many to hold. The dreams of what they might become. Apple pie. Applesauce. Apple Muffins. Or maybe just a snack on the way home.
I hope you never forget the magic of the ordinary, everyday things. The things you’ll never be able to find or buy online.
But here’s the thing. You’ll promise yourself that you wont forget—the magic of it all. But time, self-doubt, and good intentioned elders will try to shatter your optimism.
Look to the apple tree, tiny one. She’s sturdy and resilient. Fall will take away her leaves. And winter will bury her in snow. But spring will bring the rain to melt the snow. And summer will bring the warmth to make her grow. Soon enough, she’ll be coated in ruby red lights again.
When you forget, because you will, look up. There are little reminders of magic everywhere. Right now, they’re hanging from the apple tree.
In the past week, we’ve eaten fist fulls of apples, made the apple galette from The Minimalist Kitchen, and revamped our applesauce recipe. The dent in our stash is nearly unrecognizable. I’m going to try my hand at pickling apples this week. I’ll report back. About that applesauce. I’ve pulled out the brown sugar and added in a touch of maple syrup for sweetness. Start with apples of the sweeter variety. The cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg will help to naturally enhance the sweetness levels. Add a little vinegar to bring the flavors together and preserve the life of the sauce. If ordinary magic had a flavor, it’d taste a whole lot like Homemade Applesauce.
A simple homemade applesauce sweetened with a touch of maple syrup. To heighten the sweetness naturally, add cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Note: this recipe cooks down to less than half (8 cups of diced apples = 3 cups applesauce), so go big here!
8 c. roughly diced apples, peeled and cored
3/4 c. water
3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
a couple grates of nutmeg
Peel and core the apples. Roughly chop the apples, measuring 8 cups worth. This is a perfect time for tiny humans to practice their chopping. We use these safe, serrated knives (pictured above).
Add the diced apples and all the remaining ingredients into a large saucepan or dutch oven. Stir to combine. Bring apples to a rolling simmer. Then turn down to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Applesauce is ready when it easily smashes from the backside of a spoon. Taste, and add more maple syrup, if desired.
Smash into small chunks and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container. If you’re after a smooth applesauce, place in a Vitamix and pulse until desired consistency is reached. Applesauce will last a couple weeks in the fridge or a couple months in the freezer.
• Apple Cider Vinegar can be equally substituted with fresh lemon juice, if desired. The vinegar will act as a preservative, slightly prolonging its fridge life, while also adding nice flavor.
• For more information on apple varieties, check out this resource.