Friday, September 6, 2013

Wild Foraged Applesauce Made The Old Fashion Way

Northeastern Maine—Wild foraged heirloom applesauce is easy to make but hard work. It takes about half a day to make this style of sauce. First find wild apple trees on land you have permission to harvest. Then taste the fruit of each tree because not all apples are suitable for applesauce. Many wild apples are a mix of crab apple and domesticated apple varieties and are better for making cider.

Young wild Heirloom variety yellow apples on tree, Northeastern Maine
Once you find edible apples, gather twice as much as you think you need because once you peel, core, and slice them the volume will reduce by half. Then boil them, in just enough water to cover the fruit, until they are soft and mushy. If the apples are sweet enough they will not need any sugar. 
Small wild heirloom apples in bag, Northeastern Maine
But if they are as tart as the wild apples I picked in Maine last month then add sugar to taste. I added just enough sugar to take the pucker effect out of my sauce.

Applesauce made from foraged wild heirloom apples,
Northeastern Maine
Continue cooking for a few minutes longer, as you add the sugar so it has time to dissolve. The sauce will be quite runny when it is hot. Rest the pot on a counter for an hour before putting it in the fridge to cool for another hour before serving.

Wild foraged heirloom applesauce over pancakes, Northeastern
You can eat it straight or pour it over pancakes as I did during my New England vacation. I picked 100, half-dollar coin sized, wild heirloom variety apples and got just over one quart of applesauce.

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