Apples with small defects, such as bruises, with the bad parts cut off
1 pint brown sugar
Tartaric acid (optional)
Let your stock of apples be picked over several times in the course of the winter, and all the defective ones taken out. Let the good parts of these be pared, and if not used for pies, be made into apple-sauce. Boil it in a preserving kettle. After it is tender, add a pint bowl of brown sugar, and boil it gently fifteen minutes longer. Towards spring, when apples become tasteless, a teaspoonful of tartaric acid, dissolved in a little water, should be added to a gallon of apple
From The Young Housekeeper’s Friend by Mrs. [M. H.] Cornelius, 1863
Comment: Apples were a popular and valued fruit in part because they are sturdy enough to keep without expensive, time-consuming processing such as canning. They will wither from loss of moisture but remain otherwise sound. Unless of course you get “one bad apple” with rot in it. To avoid this disaster we follow Mrs. Cornelius’ directions. Even those bad apples can be salvaged if caught in time and the rotted parts cut off. The tartaric acid called for can be found at shops stocking winemaking supplies. This is not the same product as cream of tartar so get the real thing or skip this step altogether.