I didn't get much of a fruit crop this year. Just about every time something else came into bloom last Spring, we'd get another freeze. That happens more often than not, but about every three to four years we squeak by and end up with bumper crops of everything. Just not this year for my trees. However, I do know of a big old apple tree, over in the part of town built in the 1860's, on the lawn of a lawyer's office. It had a beautiful bunch of apples this year, and no one ever seems to want them. So, just before the hard freeze, Aries and I took the ladder over and picked a bushel box full (free is good - and I did take a bucketful into the office to share too).
I went through and separated out any that had blemishes - to eat now and to make a batch of applesauce (and a pie too - Aries does love apple pie). I don't know what kind of apples they are (no one else does, either), so I don't know if they'll keep very well, but I put the really nice ones down in the cellar and will keep an eye on them. If they do store well, I might try rooting a cutting (oh, I'll probably try it anyway - I don't know if it's the micro-climate where it's growing or if it is just perfectly adapted to the area, but it did set a nice crop when my trees didn't). The apples look a bit like Jonathans.
Applesauce is probably the easiest thing there is to make and can. All you need is a paring knife, a pot to cook them in, and a potato masher (apple juice, jars, and boiling water bath optional). I sat down in front of the TV to watch a movie, cut the apples into quarters, cored and peeled them and put the chunks into a pot of water with some lemon juice added. When I was ready to cook them, I drained out the water and added apple juice to cover the bottom of the pot maybe an inch. I think cooking them with juice instead of water makes for a better end product. I use a flame-tamer under the pot, and cook them with the lid on until soft. It's more steaming than boiling them. In the meantime, I get my boiling water bath heating up, sterilizing jars and rings (half-pints fit our needs best). When the apples are soft, I just mash them up with the potato masher, fill the jars to ¼", seal, and process 10 minutes after the water starts to boil again.