Wild apples....

Discussion in 'Food' started by x39, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    There are a great many wild apple trees where I live, in an almost endless variety. The majority of them are quite tart, but I've found a way to use them just the same. I came across this tree a few days ago which I guess is some variety of crab apple as the fruits were about 1 1/2- 2" in diameter. It had a very nice crop on its branches....

    IMG_7060.JPG

    Since this is a wild tree it's never been sprayed and there were some apples with worm damage. I cut the damaged parts way and sliced the rest into a baking dish...

    IMG_7065.JPG

    Then added a bit of water and baked at 350* for an hour...

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    After which I mashed them with a serving spoon.

    IMG_7067.JPG

    I added nothing (I don't have much of a sweet tooth). The baking took the edge off the tartness and now they can be used as apple sauce. Super tasty compared to store bought, and free!
     
  2. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    I do something similar but put them in a stock pot on the stove top to cook with a little water, then mash them as they cook. I add maple syrup though to sweeten it.
     
  3. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    Sounds like a good approach for a larger batch. I think I might go back for more and try your method with an eye towards freezing some for future use.
     
  4. Ragman

    Ragman Supporter Supporter

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    This post made my night.
     
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  5. Metaldog

    Metaldog Just chasing my tail... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    So jealous right now! :(

    When I was a kid, we lived on a heavily wooded property. A neighboring vacant property that I used to visit had a wild apple tree in the center of a meadow. I never knew what kind of apples they were, but they were so sweet and juicy. I loved visiting that tree just to pick an apple to eat. I would lay flat on my back in the meadow and listen to the sounds of nature as I munched on my apple.

    Fresh picked apples are the best! :)
     
  6. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor Supporter

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    Looks really GOOD!!
     
  7. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    I had some tonight , still warm with some roast pork. I'm here to tell you, life could be worse. :)
     
  8. central joe

    central joe Wait For Me!! Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Brings back lots of old fond memories young fellar. Thank you. joe
     
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  9. John from Alberta

    John from Alberta Supporter Supporter

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    Mmm...not too many wild fruits grow up here. Pretty nice to be able to harvest wild apples. I loves me some pork with apple sauce!
     
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  10. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    Yeah, one of our Creator's gifts to the common man!
     
  11. kronin323

    kronin323 the barbarian Supporter

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    "How do you like them apples?" :dblthumb:
     
  12. gdwigg

    gdwigg Old Guy Supporter

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    Over fifty years ago there was a small apple tree in the woods about half a mile from our house. I can still remember how much I loved the apples from it. About twenty years ago I tried to find that tree, but failed. It probably broke down due to ice storms, but I really don't know.

    Don't lose track of yours.
     
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  13. Lazarusaurus

    Lazarusaurus Idot Supporter

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    Finding a wild apple tree always makes me happy.
     
  14. Raymond Eisele

    Raymond Eisele Scout

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    Good job. They may be ugly, they may have damage, but they are superior to what you buy at the market. Commercial apples are sprayed with pesticides, more than any other crop. You can cut out the damage on your wild apples, you can't remove the poison from store bought, it is throughout the apple. We always use some crab apples when we make cider.
     
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  15. the_dude

    the_dude Supporter Supporter

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    Nice!

    Id wager that half of my calorie intake for the month of september is from foraged feral apples. Apple season is something I look forward to all year.
     
  16. snapper

    snapper Guide

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    Great find. We live on an old farm with a lot of apple trees that have gone "wild" over the years. I'm trying to bring them back a bit since I doubt any of them have been pruned in over 50 years. One tree I found had at least four different apples growing from it as it seems the original owners were into grafting. It was a great tree and my mother-in-law used to make applesauce from that tree every year while my wife would get into the act with her pies. Hmm, hmm, good!

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

    snapper
     
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  17. NattyBo

    NattyBo Guide

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    If you keep cooking the applesauce down and continually stirring, you'll get apple butter. It should be a dark brown color. The more you cook it down the more the natural sugars will concentrate.
    Great as peanut butter and apple butter sandwich or fresh bread, cream cheese and a.b. or scrapple and a.b. Better yet, try ham and swiss on toasted sourdough with apple butter slathered all over.
     
  18. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    @NattyBo , great suggestion, I'll definitely give that a go. Thanks.
     
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  19. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor Supporter

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    Yeah, you're definitely a PA native. I've never met ANYONE from another state that ate apple butter.
     
  20. JohnP

    JohnP Only the rocks live forever. Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Boy howdy, that sounds lip smacking good. I could go for some of that right now.

    JohnP
     
  21. bosque bob

    bosque bob Guide

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    Great topic and photos, thanks.

    I add a bit of ginger and cinnamon to the tart apples.
     
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  22. Ade

    Ade Supporter Supporter

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    Clearly, you haven’t met very many eastern Kentuckians. Love me some apple butter.
     
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  23. KFF

    KFF Lady of the mosquitoes Supporter

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    And if you don't want it to go brown add a little lemon or ascorbic acid to the mix. It's a natural preservative.
     
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  24. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    I went out and picked another charge of apples yesterday, maybe get more today. I want to make a bigger batch as well as try the apple butter. I mentioned the apple butter to some friends who have a small orchard and they gave me a jar of it, right tasty stuff!
     
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  25. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Add a little molasses, cinnamon and pure vanilla extract and I see the makings of a real Down East apple pie.
     
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  26. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    I made a much larger batch in my clay pot cooker. This will be the preferred method going forward...

    IMG_7099.JPG
     
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  27. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    Tonight's project entailed following through on @NattyBo 's suggestion, I made apple butter. It took a few hours for this pot to cook down to a nice thick consistency. The pot was about 3/4 full when I started! Awesome stuff, and the house smells like one of those touristy candle shops tries to smell like, LOL!

    IMG_7119.JPG
     
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  28. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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    The woods around these parts all have old wild apple trees .
    Back in the frontier days if you would convert acreage into an orchard it gave you the right to claim ownership .
    Johnny Appleseed , who is buried here , became owner of countless orchards this way .
    Not commonly known is that
    Almost all the apples were dedicated
    to making hard apple cider and applejack so were not necessarily great to eat off the tree .
    My brother and I use to gather up
    a pocketful while hunting and then build a small fire and roast them on a stick . This baking concentrated the sugars and made them delicious .
    My Grandson and I still gather a lot and throw them in the dehydrator .
    The resulting applechips are delicious .
    By the way some of the restaurants her in Northern Indiana have apple butter on the table as a condiment .
     
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  29. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    I've got an idea that's what a lot of these apples were used for as well. Straight off the tree most of them are a bit much.
     
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  30. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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    I’ve read that this was one of the best ways for them to easily move
    a valuable commodity to market .
     
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  31. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    That makes perfect sense. Things moved slow back in the day.
     
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  32. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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    I’d read this before but upon googleing I find you can get applejack up to 80 proof without distilling by freezing hard apple cider over and over .
    Throw Fifty
    gallon s on a raft and float downriver to a town with a tavern and get you a new plow .
     
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  33. HoustonB77

    HoustonB77 Supporter Supporter

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    Never seen a apple tree in these parts but that looks awesome! Congrats on a great find!
     
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