On Wednesday this week my kitchen was busy place; applesauce in one crockpot, apple butter in another crockpot and apple tea simmering on the stove.
One of my favorite fall traditions is usually going to the apple orchard and picking apples and bringing home pounds and pounds of apples for all kinds of delicious treats. This year, the unusually warm spring weather left many of the apple crops in our area of Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan damaged or destroyed. So, we didn’t take our usual apple picking trip this year, but I still wanted to enjoy some of the fall flavors of apples.
I was able to order 20 pounds of organic apples from Azure Standard, so I was excited to have a stock of apples to make some homemade apple goodies.
A few years ago my dad bought me one of these apple peeler, corer, slicer things and it really is great to use. It was even simple enough for my son to help me with, and he was so proud. We had the apples ready to go in no time.
I used this recipe for Crock Pot Applesauce from my friend Erin at The Humbled Homemaker. I did add some extra cinnamon and a few dashes of nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
This was my first attempt at making apple butter, and while it tastes super yummy, I think I let it cook down for too long because I only got one smaller jar of apple butter, plus a little bit more, from a whole crockpot full of apples and a few pears I threw in because they needed to be used up. Doesn’t seem like enough from all of that!
I used this recipe for apple butter, and I like that it calls for less sugar, and no white sugar. If I can get more apples from Azure, I may try making it again and not let it cook for so long to try to get more out of one batch!
Finally, I made apple tea with the peels from the apples. I would only make tea with peels from organic apples because since apples are on the dirty dozen, I just can’t imagine simmering peels with all those pesticides on them. (I don’t always buy organic apples, even thought I’d like to, so I’m not against eating conventional apples, I’m just not about drinking tea that’s been made with their peels.)
I used this recipe, and while the flavor was okay after simmering for about 15 minutes, I decided to put the peels back in the water and let it simmer down for about 15 more minutes. Then, the flavor was much richer, but I only got one mug for me and half mugs each for my kids. They enjoyed it though, it was a nice warm treat for a cold afternoon, and it was a good way to use up the peels, which otherwise were just headed for the compost pile.
Next I think I’m going to try this Healthy Apple Crisp recipe. Apple crisp for breakfast, yes please!
What’s your favorite homemade treat to make with apples in the fall?
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