I emailed my mom asking about the apple tree and her pie- and applesauce-making routine (for the original post about the apple tree click here). Following is an excerpt from her response.
Note: Granny (1889-1989) was my grandmother on my dad’s side; we’ll get to know her later on, I’m sure.
The apple tree was just called the “transparent”. We picked the fruit in early July when it was still green and firm and at first the apples were a good size and tart. As the time went on the apples left would indeed turn yellow and quite soft and mushy. We didn’t care for them then, but Granny loved them because they were easy for her to eat.
If I planned to make pies I would peel and core the apples, cut them in fairly thin slices so that they would bake up nicely inside the crust. I usually used a full cup of sugar, cinnamon and three tablespoons of tapioca so that the whole mess would thicken, dotted it with three or four spots of butter. If I planned to make applesauce I would core them and then put them in a large pot with 1 to 2 cups of water depending on how full the pot was. They would slowly begin to cook and bubble and I would mash them down with my wooden spoon, watching to see that it didn’t scorch on the bottom of the pot. THEN I would do the cone shaped thing with the wooden pestle and mash the “meat” through the holes leaving the skin and seeds behind to be discarded…
…One last thing, we could nurse the pies at least until Christmas and the applesauce through most of the winter. I still miss those apples. No pie or applesauce tastes as good as those made with apples from that tree.
I hope this is helpful.”
The weather this weekend was the best we’ve had all year — it was actually hot today — and I planted the apple tree in the backyard. We’ll see what happens. It’ll probably go into shock for a while, but overall it will have a better chance at survival in the ground. I’ll fertilize it every six weeks or so and keep the weeds away, but otherwise I’ve done all I can do.