Homemade applesauce is something we were always fond of during my growing up years. Now as a mother, I enjoy putting it on the table for my family alongside any hot dish or giving little bites of this pure goodness to the baby boys. This year, however, I wasn’t sure when I would find the time to can applesauce. What I had made a year ago was basically all used up. “It’s up to you.” I had told Daniel, “If you’d like to have more applesauce I’m fine if you pick up some apples at Hill Crest Orchard, while we’re in Ohio.”
My mother’s cousin owns this large orchard right in the middle of Amish country. They have the most high-quality apples and tastiest cider out there. It’s not just a common orchard, their most unique store is loaded with all kinds of antique decorations, they sell all sorts of fresh fruits, candies, canned goods, and the works. If you happen to be in the area, it would definitely be worth your time to stop in.
Matter of fact it’s the same street that my grandparents live and where my mother grew up.
Daniel purchased four bushels of apples at the orchard, some for fresh eating and some for applesauce and cider. I knew there’s no way the apples will just turn into applesauce by themselves and sit in nice long rows on my shelves with the other canned goods and since I’m blessed with my five little darlings, I also knew there is no way of efficiently doing it on my own.
That’s where Daniel’s brainstorm came in. “Why don’t we get an early start and tackle it before I go to work?” he proposed. I was delighted with the idea. If Daniel gets his hands on something, it never lasts long. It was a plan. Owen joined us. As soon as breakfast and devotions were over, we all headed for the backyard where Daniel had suggested that we turn the apples into sauce. I was impressed with the idea. There’s no easier clean-up afterward than outside in the grass.
The children all slept soundly as we launched into our morning. My heart overflowed with gratitude as I stepped outside in the fresh morning air carrying bowls, paring knives, and the likes. I’ve always loved the fresh quietness of early morning. Now the singing birds in the woods right next to where we were working, the dew on my bare feet, and the sun shining its first rays for the day, and fresh applesauce in the making, it almost seemed too good to be true.
“This is so fun we should have gotten some more apples!” I joked to Daniel who was swiftly cutting apples into wedges. He had set up burners with a propane tank, and soon the first batch was ready to be cranked through the strainer. As fresh applesauce “rivers” flowed into the tote that had been set onto a chair right next to the table where the food processor was attached, I knew it was worth it for sure. I couldn’t help but think how convenient it’ll be just to open a jar and set it on the table, knowing that it really is a healthy practical food for everyone, down to the little boys. We prefer making ours without sugar, the only two things we added was a bit of Stevia for some natural sweetener and Vitamin C to keep the color nice and yellow.
By 8:30 Julia was off to school, so was Owen, who was taking his turn having devotions with the teachers and children at school. By then the dishes were washed, and all 50 quarts of applesauce was in jars and containers, ready for the winter months. I simply felt so incredibly blessed by the goodness of God as He once more provided so wonderfully through hubby and his motivating plan.
I still have lots of apples in the fridge for fresh eating, cooking or baking. Yesterday Daniel and Austin turned half a bushel apples into cider. Mmmm, now that was absolutely amazing on a warm summer day. Fresh, ice cold cider in this hot weather is hard to beat.
How about enjoying a slice of grandmas famous apple pie? She is the one who lives next to the orchard in Walnut Creek, Ohio and has made many pies just like this for her family and many friends.
GLAZED DUTCH APPLE PIE
1 9 inch unbaked pie crust with a top pastry
4 apples, peeled and sliced
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1 egg white, beaten
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Mix sugar and cinnamon into apples.
Spoon into unbaked crust.
Cut butter into slivers and place on top.
Transfer top pastry to top of pie.
Trim off excess dough.
Lightly press outer edges together and flute rim.
Cut decorative slits on top to allow team to escape.
Spread desired amount of beaten egg white onto top crust, forming little peaks.
Bake on bottom rack at 425 for 15 minutes.
Turn oven to 350 for 30 minutes.
Spread glaze onto cooled pie and enjoy.
Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories can write Gloria directly at Gloria Yoder, 10568 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427-2019. To see more on the Amish go to www.amish365.com.