Tag Archives: apples

Enjoying the Apple Harvest

As apple season nears its end in our area, I spent some time going back through my recipes to make sure I’ve gotten a chance to enjoy them all with fresh apples.  Since I grew up with an apple orchard right next to my house, apples have always been a big part of my life.  Snipping blossoms and arranging them in a big vase in spring time, watching the little apples grow throughout the summer, picking that first Macoun in early fall and polishing it on my jeans before taking a crispy bite, sampling all the different varieties, helping press the apples into cider, and of course baking apples into a pie.  Now that I no longer live on the farm, I’ve planted my own little mini-orchard of six apple trees, but it will be a few years before I get any apples. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to eat apples.  As you prepare any of these recipes, I highly recommend eating the skin that you peel off of the apples.  The skin smells and tastes wonderful, so don’t waste it!

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Apple Tart

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Apple Walnut Bread

Apple Raspberry Crisp


Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie or traditional Apple Pie

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Cinnamon Cider Jelly (Reduced-sugar version, too!)

Applesauce and Caramel Apple Butter 

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What’s your favorite way to eat apples?



Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living

Apple Pie

Can you believe I don’t have a recipe for apple pie posted already, after 2.5 years of blogging? I grew up on an apple orchard, for goodness sake! This one has a flakey crust and nice, soft apples. (My two pie pet peeves are a raw bottom crust and crunchy, uncooked apples!)

  • dough for 2-crusted pie
  • 5-6 large apples (I like a mixture. This time it was Ida Red and Macoun.)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Roll out the bottom crust and line the pie pan. Peel and slice the apples thinly and place them in a large bowl, then add the sugar, flour and spices.  Stir to combine and pile the apples high in the crust.  Dot with butter, then roll out the remaining crust and place it on top of the apples.  Crimp the edges and cut some vents.  Bake in a preheated 425° oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and bake for another 50 minutes.  Serve warm with slices of sharp cheddar cheese.

I had planned to take a picture, but we ate it too quickly. Next time, I promise!

Please link up in the comments with your best apple pie recipe!


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Picking Apples

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Autumn Relish

I have yet to find an apple pie filling recipe that I really like, so I’m sharing this recipe instead.  I tried a recipe from Hobby Farms, but it was too much glop and not enough apple for my taste.  I’m busy formulating a different recipe in my mind, and may try it next weekend.  For now, enjoy this apple-pear-cranberry-walnut relish instead.

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  • 2 cups peeled and chopped apples
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped pears
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Combine fruit, sugar and water in a large pot.  Simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.  Stir in the nutmeg and walnuts, then cook for 5 more minutes.  Place a whole cinnamon stick in each sterilized jar, then ladle the hot relish into jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.


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Looking for suggestions!

I’ve got a bunch of apples that I’d like to can. Of course I’m going to make a ton of unsweetened applesauce, but I’d also like to can apple pie filling or apple slices.  Anybody have a good recipe?


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Reduced-Sugar Cinnamon Cider Jelly

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This is the reduced-sugar version of my Cinnamon Cider Jelly.  The only real difference I see is that the no-sugar-needed pectin makes a cloudy jelly and the regular pectin makes a crystal clear jelly.  You can use regular sugar, as I have, or splenda or honey.  Just follow the directions on the no-sugar-needed pectin to decide how much of the alternative sweetener to add.  In a fancy canning jar like the one above, these make great holiday gifts.

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 package no-sugar-needed pectin
  • 1 tsp butter (optional, reduces foaming)
  • 0-3 cups sugar (I used 2 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Sterilize jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.  Ladle some of the boiling water over the lids in a bowl.  Let them sit in the hot water until ready to use.
  2. Pour the cider into a large pot and slowly stir in the no-sugar-needed pectin.  Add the butter.  Bring the mixture to a rapid boil that cannot be stirred down. 
  3. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and skim the foam.
  4. Fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Process for 10 minutes.  Makes 3-5 half-pints, depending on how much sugar you add.


Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living

Apple Tart

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This tart was inspired by a cooking show, but I made up my own recipe as I went along.  It’s easier than apple pie, but I think it’s also more impressive.

  • 1 recipe pie dough
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • sprinkles of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cider jelly (or apple jelly)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Roll out the pie dough into a rough square, then trim the edges.  Arrange the apple slices diagonally, then sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top, dot with butter, and sprinkle on the cinnamon.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the apples are soft.  Melt the cider jelly in a small pan, then brush it over the apples to make them shiny.


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