My dad and my brother, Berry, were apple afficionados. They especially enjoyed heritage apples. We always had lots of apple trees including Sheep Nose, Limber Twig, Green Pippin and Early June. These Early Transparents came from a tree planted by one of the two; they got it from Ralph Jenkins, a local farmer who had been grafting heritage twigs into semi-dwarf root stock. The tree is fairly compact and its boughs are bent to the ground with the weight of its fruit this year. My husband,also a great lover of apples, especially the heritage variety, planted a nice little orchard on our own property several years ago with the help of our daughter Amber. We also had a heavy crop this year,but we received a good bit of hail damage a few weeks ago that destroyed a great deal of the fruit.
When Mom gave these to me Sunday when we took her home for church I knew he would enjoy the applesauce they would make. Early apples tend not to be good keepers though. If you don't prepare them quickly the quality really deteriorates fast; usually they get rotten spots but these apples do something else altogether before the brown rotting occurs.
When I went into the kitchen yesterday afternoon after a long day working online on my grad school classes, many of the apples had cracked and broken skins. It is almost as if they continue to literally grow out of their skins after they have been picked! Those that were cracked had undergone a color change in the flesh as well so they went into the waste with the peelings and those that had already become mottled with rot. They really should have been prepared Sunday evening. I knew this from past experience but life just gets away with us sometimes.
The apples that were still good were peeled, sliced and cooked with some butter and lots of sugar. Early transparents are tasty but very tart (even more tangy than Granny Smith). The pieces begin to dissolve into very fine applesauce almost as soon as they get hot. Did it pass the taste test? Let's see...smooth, sweet, tart...Delicious! We are having hot applesauce and biscuits for supper tonight! I wonder if there are any apples left on the tree? Hmmm ;D