I love most apples. My current favorite is Pink Lady. This is a great tart-sweet CRISP eating apple. But they don't come in until October. And they don't sauce well at all. Strictly an eating apple, IMHO.
And I LOVE applesauce.
So whats an apple lover to do? Buy MacIntosh. Why Mac's? It's a childhood thing I guess. I grew up in Ohio and my Dad and I would drive over to a local orchard and buy cider and apple butter and fresh apples of course. My favorites were the Mac's. Hands down.
It wasn't until I became an adult "cook" that I learned the best way to eat a Mac. You sauce it. There is something about the flavor of MacIntosh Applesauce. I'll often add Granny Smith's to the mix as I like a chunky applesause and the Granny's hold up a bit better.
So the past few weeks I've been watching the websites of a few orchards up and around Hendersonville. (*We went to the Hendersonville Apple festival last year. What a dud. Not what I was hoping for at all...but I digress.) The websites have a listing of what they're picking now and what's coming up soon, so I knew that the Macs were in. The question was did I want to drive 3 hours and use up all that gas just to pick apples?
"Lets try the Farmers Market first." I suggested. So when we went the other day, I had my eyes peeled for apples. Only 4 vendor's had any. Just a few varities available. And the prices!?! Early bird gets screwed! Last year I paid $15 for a case of apples. This year? $22 dollars.
"Why so much?" I asked.
"It's early in the season and there's just not a lot out right now." was the reply.
So I took what I could get and paid $12 for the only Mac's in town. (Mine. Go away, you can't have my Mac's.) When I got home I weighed them on the scale. $18 pounds for $12 dollars equals $0.66 cents a pound. Again, buying in bulk saves. (All the apples we saw were priced at 0.99 cents a pound.) So I saved $6 dollars. (It's the little things that make me happy..&;)
Do you have a favorite saucing apple? Eating apple? Last year was my introduction to Pink Ladies, so I just know there has to be more tasty apples out there that I've not discovered.