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!
Apple Walnut Bread
Apple Raspberry Crisp
Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie or traditional Apple Pie
Cinnamon Cider Jelly (Reduced-sugar version, too!)
Applesauce and Caramel Apple Butter
What’s your favorite way to eat apples?
I like this so much better than plain cranberry sauce with roasted chicken or turkey.
- 10 cups peeled, chopped apples
- 24 oz. cranberries (2 bags)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
Sterilize jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Ladle boiling water over the lids in a bowl. Leave jars and lids in the hot water until you’re ready to fill the jars.
Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Cook, stirring occasionally until the cranberries begin to burst. Continue cooking, stirring often, until apples are cooked through and the sauce is thick, about 30-40 minutes. Ladle into sterilized jars and screw on caps.
Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool.
This meal is extra special because it’s food that we’ve worked hard for. The pork comes from the pigs that Ed’s family raised. The maple syrup comes from either my family or Ed’s family, depending on which bottle I grab out of the fridge. I serve applesauce alongside the pork chops, homemade and canned last fall from apples that my mom and I picked on the farm.
- 2 bone-in pork chops (or 1 per person)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp grainy mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Season pork chops on each side with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix maple syrup and mustard, then spread on to the chops. Bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes until cooked through. Serve with applesauce.
This quick bread is best made with homemade unsweetened chunky applesauce and fresh cranberries. You can leave the cranberries out if you would like.
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup applesauce
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup cranberries
Preheat oven to 350°F and butter or spray a loaf pan. Cream shortening and sugar, then mix in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg, and blend well. Add applesauce. Stir in nuts and cranberries. Pour into pan and bake for 55-60 minutes.
Roasted Cornish Hens
- 2 cornish hens
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Coat the hens in olive oil and rub on salt and pepper. Roast at 425°F for 45 minutes-1 hour until juices run clear. Let rest for 5 minutes before carving.
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1/4-1/2 cup sugar, depending on your taste
Combine apples, cranberries, sugar, and a splash of water in a sauce pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries burst, apples are soft, and the sauce is a bright pink color.
My mom brought over a whole crate of apples that we picked last weekend for our fair display. Today, I used about half of them to make applesauce and decided to try something a little different as well. I remembered Laura’s post about Caramel Pear Butter, and I thought Caramel Apple Butter sounds really good! I made a few changes, like substituting cinnamon for the nutmeg, and it came out really great. I ended up with 9 pints of applesauce and 2 1/2 pints of caramel apple butter.
- 10 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 6 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
In a large pot, combine the apples, 4 Tbsp of the lemon juice and water. Cook over medium heat until soft, like with applesauce. This will take about 20 minutes. Push the apples through a seive or use a food mill. Combine the apples with the remaining ingredients and simmer over low for about an hour until thick. Ladel into sterilized pint jars and then process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Makes about 2 1/2 pints.
Unlike the sweet jams and preserves, applesauce is something that I can without using any sugar. I love that it’s tart, just like the apples. I add lots of cinnamon, but you could leave it out. Serve this with pork, roast chicken, by itself, or use it to make applesauce nut bread.
Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce (Unsweetened)
- Sterilize jars and lids.
- Make applesauce by peeling and cutting up apples, then cooking with cinnamon and just enough water to keep it from scorching. I don’t measure when making applesauce, just make what I have. It’s a little difficult to figure out how many jars to use, but this time I guessed 6 pints and it turned out to be 7, so there was one for the fridge.
- Ladel into hot jars, screw on lids and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.