Apples!

I think fall is my favorite season. I do look forward to the newly blossoming spring flowers…and the summer warmth hanging at the beach. But fall is absolutely my favorite! Maybe growing up in Anoka – the Halloween Capital of the World – has instilled this love within! 

One of the best parts of fall are the apples. In my mind there is nothing like freshly picked apples to munch on. To make apple crisp with. To make apple pie with….you get the idea.

Last week I had the chance to visit Pine Tree Apple Orchard

Loaded with Harrelson Apples. These are dwarf trees making it possible to have more trees in one area and making picking a little easier.
Newer part of the orchard where a trellis system is used
I did purchase some apples (and cider oatmeal raisin cookies and wild rice pancake mix and….) to can. I decided to do apple butter and apple sauce. I tried a new recipe this year for the apple butter using my crockpot. What an easy way to do it and boy did the house smell LOVELY! I think its intend is to let them cook overnight but I started in the morning. Here is the recipe I used:
 
Ingredients:
  • Enough apples to fill your crock pot- use a variety of apples for a blended taste
  • 1 – 2 cups sugar (to your taste preference)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Peel, core and slice the apples and fill the crockpot to the brim. They will settle during cooking. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a small bowl and pour over the apples. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for a good 10 hours. Stir now and then. If you leave the cover slightly ajar the moisture will escape thickening up the mixture. After some time use a whisk instead of a spoon to stir up. If you want to thicken up the apple butter leave the lid off for the last hour or two. 
 
Once the apple butter is at the consistency you want its time to can. Pour the apple butter into your sterilized, hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rim clean and place the lid and ring on the jar. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. You can also put in containers and keep n the fridge for 2 weeks or freeze for 2 months or so. Canning keeps it so much longer.
 

This has been a productive canning season so far! The 3 jars in the front are the apple butter. 
 
My grandkids adore apple sauce. I decided to try making and canning some of my own. I think it turned out perfectly!

I used the apple sauce recipe from the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. It is delicious! 

Homemade Applesauce

Prep Time:
 

 Cook Time: 

Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 12

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Ingredients

  • 6 pounds Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices
  • 1 cup Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
  •  Juice Of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, More Or Less To Taste
  •  Optional Ingredients: Nutmeg, Maple Syrup, Allspice, Butter

Preparation Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.
Carefully puree in a food processor or blender (don’t fill too full; split into two portions if needed) until smooth.
Store in the fridge and serve by itself, over pork chops, over ice cream, over pancakes…or any place where applesauce is needed! If canning use the hot water bath method and process for 10 minutes.

Applesauce

Nummy! And the grandkids totally approve! 

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