Autumn has sort of taken me by surprise this year. We had a long and beautiful Indian summer here in Oregon. The shortening of the days was almost masked by all the warmth and sunshine. But after a week working on the east coast, I returned yesterday to fall in full swing—cooler temps, rain, fallen leaves, and darkness at dinner.
Today we went in search of apples to pick (already a bit late for our favorite varieties, we discovered) and as we filled our basket, I thought back to a day in late August when we picked blackberries on Sauvie Island (I talk about our favorite spot in both 3191 Quarterly Issue No. 5 and 3191Q Notebook).
Our freezer is still well-stocked with those blackberries, so we threw in a cup as our applesauce finished simmering. The result was tart and flavorful and a vibrant red color. Summer meets autumn.
Summer Meets Autumn Blackberry Applesauce
Stir this sauce into your oatmeal or yogurt or just spoon it on its own, warm or cold.
3 pounds apples
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
Maple syrup to taste
Chop and core apples (no need to peel them!) and place in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add about one inch apple juice, cider, or water to pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to low, and simmer until apples are soft and falling apart, adding liquid as needed to keep from sticking. Once apples are soft, add blackberries and stir to incorporate. Continue cooking and stirring until blackberries fall apart. Pass mixture through a food mill or fine sieve, discarding peels and seeds. Taste your sauce. If it is too tart, sweeten with a few tablespoons of maple syrup. Store in a glass jar in the fridge or freeze.