Apple Craziness!

Posted on September 1, 2011

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This is our tree--planted before we bought our home. We think it is a Gala apple.

It’s that time of year again.  The nights are crisper, the colors a bit brighter, and the kids are back in school.

By October I am cooking stews, soups, and gingerbread.  Lots of gingerbread.  Fall simply demands it!

Fall for us also means harvest time!

Well, soon it will get into the low 30s and then our apples will be ready to be picked.  As you can see, this tree is loaded!  Our trees this year are equally loaded.  Two years ago, we canned 21 quarts of applesauce and 28 quarts of sliced apples.  Last year, we didn’t get any apples; it is an every other year kind of thing.  What on earth does one do with so many apples????  We discovered canned apple slices a few years back and ever since then they have become one of those items I go digging around for in my pantry on a regular basis.

Just in case anyone gets free apples or has a tree of their own, I thought I would include instructions for how to can apple slices.

Canned Sliced Apples

The indispensable item you need for this project is an apple peeler/corer/slicer.  You attach this to your table or countertop and just have at it!  For each apple you get a peeled, sliced apple ribbon.

My kids love to eat them this way.  Of course, you can peel, core, and thinly slice on your own, but it is a lot more work.

Place sliced apples in a large bowl filled with water that has been treated with fruit preservative, like Fruit Fresh or, alternatively, you can use pineapple juice to replace the water and preservative.  Once you have enough apples in the bowl, start packing into jars as full and tight as you can.  Once they are full, pour over them a hot light syrup (5 cups water to 1 cup sugar) and then place the sterile lids on and tighten them down with rings.  Steam can or water bath them for 30 minutes.

 

All right, so now that you have them, what do you do with them???

**If you don’t want to can apples, you can sub sliced, sautéed apples in any of these recipes.  Slice them thin and cook thoroughly! ***

 Gingerbread Pancakes with cinnamon apples

Thanks so dear friend DB for the original recipe!

2 c. flour (I use whole wheat)

1 T. sugar

2 tsp. Baking powder

2 tsp. Ginger

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1  tsp. baking soda

1  tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. cloves

2 c. buttermilk

2 eggs

2 T. oil

1/4 c.  molasses

Mix wet, dry, then together.  Cook at a lower temp as they tend to brown quickly.  You can use honey instead of sugar.   We love these with bananas, whipped cream, and real maple syrup.

Now, open one of those jars of apples and pour into a bowl.  Drain most, but not all of the liquid.  Sprinkle with as much cinnamon as you like and then microwave until warmed through.  Serve as a pancake topping.  Layer pancake, apples, whipped cream–almost like a shortcake.  Really delicious!

Apple Oatmeal Cake with Caramel Sauce

This very yummy cake recipe came from my Mother-in-Law, who passed away shortly after we were married.  I have modified it a bit and always now include a jar of apples.

1 cup oatmeal—raw rolled oats

1 1/2 cups boiling water

Mix and set aside. Let cool slightly.  

Meanwhile, cream together:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

Add:

2 eggs & oatmeal/water mixture & 1 tsp vanilla

Sift and add to the wet ingredients:

1 1/3 cup flour (can use 1/2 whole wheat)

1 tsp soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Stir in:

One quart jar of canned apples that have been drained well.

Bake in a greased 9 x 13 pan at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until middle springs back when touched.  Serve warm with this sauce and whipped cream (a sprinkle of nutmeg never hurts anything!)

Caramel Sauce

This is a versatile sauce that goes well with many desserts.  Especially good on gingerbread, apple cake, or carrot pudding.

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup evaporated milk

Melt the butter, brown sugar and salt.  Bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk.  Once it is boiling, remove from heat and whisk in the milk and vanilla.  Serve warm.

Believe me, you will have people asking for the recipe!  This cake is especially popular with those who don’t care for most cakes as they can be dry.  This is not dry–almost “bread pudding” like and the caramel sauce adds so much!

I also use jarred apples in my Oven Pancakes. 

Are you up for one more recipe?  How about a simple, fast breakfast you don’t have to keep an eye on all the time.

Breakfast Apple Risotto

This is where a rice cooker comes in handy.  Just dump everything into your rice cooker, press “cook,” and go read a book for a while.  The rice cooker will do all the work for you.

2 c. Arborio Rice

5 1/2 c. water

1/2 c. cream or evaporated milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinammon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 quart of canned apples, loosely drained

This recipe results in a creamy, flavorful breakfast rice pudding that everyone will love.

 

Well, hopefully that gives you some ideas about what to do if you have an over-abundance of apples.  I don’t know about you, but it makes my life easier to have some things in storage.  I don’t always have to run to the store.  And I can guarantee the quality because we have raised, picked, and preserved our own food.  It does give one a sense of satisfaction to eat food you have produced from beginning to end.

Happy Harvesting! 

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