The apples are coming, the apples are coming. And that means that the bounty of fall can’t be far behind.

 During a girls’ getaway to the Mendocino Coast this past weekend, we meandered up through the Anderson Valley, stopping at  Mosswood Market in Boonville for lunch, Navarro Vineyards & Winery for a little pinot tasting and  The Madrones in Philo for a  shopping stop at  Sun & Cricket,  a delicious home and  lifestyle store  with a great cheese counter  and lots of cookbooks for canning aficionados.

At the rustic Apple Farm, located on the spur road to Hendy Woods in Philo , we picked up a few early apples and this recipe for Savory Applesauce, to serve with pork, gamebirds or sausages.

 The Apple Farm,  first launched  by French Laundry founders  Don and Sally  Schmidt, operates as a working farm as well as a weekend retreat and cooking school.  And the farmstand operates on the honor system.  You can also find fresh squeezed apple juice, apple vinegars and all kinds of artisan preserves at the do-it-yourself farmstand.

Savory Applesauce

Peel and slice enough apples to almost fill a good sized heavy saucepan with a lid. Add apple juice to about halfway. Cover and cook until tender.

Add sugar to taste, salt and a generous chunk of butter, plus chopped fresh thyme. Cook for a few minutes longer.