We are heavily into Windfall Apple season here. My yard is normally some weeks behind the usual harvest of this region, and also I hae a Newton Pippin tree, which is a later apple. Ripeish apples drop from late August on, though they continue to get better and better into October.
Still, September is when I have to contend with a mess of windfall apples. This year the codling moth is finally a bit better, which is not to say that a majority of the windfalls don't have it, but the extent of each apple's involvement is less and the various infections that seem to follow the moth tunnels are almost nonexistant this year. Meaning most of the apples that fall and are of the normal size are usable. I've been attending more to cleanliness since I've apparently been coming out of mourning (I guess that's what's happening, anyway: though later when I have the will to do it I'll tell you about the qualification on that), and maybe the dry year is helping too, though the apple tree may have paradoxically been getting more water indirectly because of the expansion of the garden.
Anyway. What I've been doing this year with the apples:
Apple cobbler X2
Apple walnut cookies X2 (more on that later)
3 quarts of apple slices frozen for pies later in the year
Aplets (more on that later)
Apples in red cabbage
Dried apple slices (I'll probably do a bit more of this)
I'm planning on making apple butter at some point too, and I'll be cutting up apple into the rose hip jam when I make that. I'm going to freeze the rose hips first because all sources say freezing improves them.
More on the apple walnut cookies. I followed an old recipe for canned apples, just cooking mine beforehand. The first batch was kind of bland. The second batch is made from half and half whole wheat and white flour because apparently white flour tastes like paper to me now: also I added raisins. Now it is not quite unrecognizable, but it is a better cookie. Next time, spices, because it's still less flavorful than I want.
This is what I am calling "Cup and a Half Conglomerate Cookies"
1-1/2 c. tiny chopped apples in a minimum of water with lemon juice or ascorbic acid crystals* and 1 c raisins, cooked together till the apples are quite tender and the raisins have expanded to equal the apples. Set this aside
3/4 c. butter and 3/4 c. sugar, creamed
3 eggs, mixed in smoothly
1-1/2 c. mixed flour and 1-1/2 c. oatmeal, mixed in smoothly
The apples and raisins, and 1-1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts, mixed into the batter
Dropped as 1-1/2" balls onto buttered paper on cookie sheets, baked at 365 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. They don't spread, so you can get a couple dozen onto a sheet. Makes about eight dozen if you don't eat much of the batter.
Aplets, well, you might recall I wanted to make Turkish Delight (Loukoum) because it's difficult to get here and I love it. Well, that's too complex for me, I decided after much research. I saw recipes for aplets this year, though, which are pretty close to loukoum and I love them too. Some recipes were for juice which is more trouble than it's worth especially with my stupid little juicer. But others were for smooth applesauce which is a little trouble (because I have no blender and I have to put the apples through a sieve if I want them smooth).
The recipe I followed made me uncomfortable on too counts: one was that it called for four!! envelopes of gelatin and the other was that it called for four!!!! cups of sugar for two cups of applesauce. I decided to follow it as is. The gelatin was not too much but oh my the sugar is, especially considering you have to coat the little buggers in confectioner's sugar when they're done...next time, three cups. These are not inedible but they are miles too sweet.Here's the recipe I followed
, except I didn't grind the walnuts because that's dumb, normal aplets have walnut chunks in them. Also I didn't add lemon juice because I made the applesauce with ascorbic acid. Also, this recipe makes too much for an 8X8 pan and not enough for a 9X17 pan. I ended up putting it into a non-standard pan that was a wee bit bigger than the 8X8 pan (not bigger enough, in my oipinion: the stuff was still too deep). Eliminating that extra cup of sugar might make it fit better into my pan. Another problem was that the method of dissolving the gelatine was difficult.
So next time:
2 cups ultra smooth applesauce: heat this lightly. Sprinkle 4 envelopes of gelatine slowly onto the applesauce, stirring constantly until it is all uniform. Stir 3 cups of sugar in gradually the same way. Let it simmer 15 minutes or so. Add flavorings (I used almond extract and rose water: next time, even though there's ascorbic acid in there the way I make the applesauce, I will add lemon juice and possibly lemon rind: also, maybe, cinnamon and/or allspice or nutmeg), stir as you turn off the heat, pour into buttered pan (maybe 9X9 would be better?), chill overnight.
I wanted to turn the thing out onto a cloth coffered in cornstarch but it wouldn't come out whole even after having its bottom warmed in water, so I cut it in quarters and got it out that way. Consequently the pieces are uneven, but they probably would be anyway. I made them about 1 inch by 1 inch by 3/4 inch and got about seventy of them. I was trying for more like 3/4X3/4X1, because they are so sweet. Much sweeter than "real" applets.
I have a tremendous sweet tooth, and I like to eat sweets very often, but I prefer sweets that are mildly sweet to ones that are very sweet for their type. Also I tend to prefer rustic sweets with a lot of texture and recognizable fruits and nuts in them. And here lately I'm just not drawn to chocolate at all. I don't dislike it but I never really want