Nothing more American than apples on this uber-American day. I got 10 pounds of them from freshpicks.com last week, so I've spent the last few days making stuff.
I started with a simple applesauce--peel and core, and boil the hell out of a gallon of diced apples. Dump in honey for sweetener, and lemon juice for preserving. Hot water bath, and I've got a quart and half of apple sauce.
I used Early Golds; these seem mostly to be recommended by the "Early" part of the variety name. I actually happen to like mealy apples, but these are a little mealy, even for me. They make a nice tart sauce, but if you like your sauce sweet, this is not the apple for you.
Last year I discovered that apple peels make a great stock, so I froze some of them to use for that in a future risotto or soup. About 4 quarts of peels, however, I used for my latest torture of trying to make jelly. I boiled the peels and cores until I had, essentially, apple stock (about 15 minutes), ran them through a food mill, and then strained out the liquid. Followed an apple jelly recipe to the *#* -%&$#&^ letter and I still appear to have apple syrup instead of apple jelly. It can't be that hard, right? I mean illiterate pioneers and immigrants can make a jelly set up, why can't I?
Still having a lot of apples, I started hunting through my favorite recipe sites: Orangette, and Chocolate and Zucchini, and Southern Food.com and finally found a fantastic list of apple recipes at the ever wonderful Coconut and Lime. I made this apple bread, and I'll be making meat loaf for dinner.
And that's all about as American as Apple Pie, if you ask me.
2 days ago