Apples to Apples: Part 4

I imagine at this point many of you are getting sick of this apple business. I get it. But maybe now its becoming clear for you just how many apples I picked that fateful Saturday…

This being the 4th installment of my apple series I’ll share 2 of the more unique recipes I tried. The first that I’ll talk about is a tasty Fall Apple Sangria….mmmm sangria….

Sangria is one of the easiest things to make because it is very forgiving. Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for sangria because it satisfies so many needs…the need for some booze and it also is a tasty snack. Win win. Here’s how I made this fun fall beverage:

1 bottle sweet white wine (I used a Moscato)
1 bottle champagne (I used a Dry Cooks)
3 bottles of hard cider (out of like a 6 pack)
1.5 Tbs sugar
1/2ish lemon juice
1-2 apples

All you do is dump all this biz in a bowl, let it sit for a little while and DRINK UP!!! Hello Friday!…..I may have drank most of this myself one weekend….

The second recipe I’m going to talk about is one I found on Pinterest…shock I know lol. Its a shake up on Mac and Cheese. Its a Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with bacon and apples.

Now my first issue with this was that I simply couldn’t find canned butternut squash….so I subbed in canned pumpkin instead. You can find the recipe here.

So the picture on the website made it look super good. Even mine photographed pretty well (even without the bacon). I have mixed feelings about the recipe. It has an “interesting” taste. I think that it’s because of the broth that the recipe calls for. Its not bad…its just very different. I’m not sure I would make it again. But I’m really happy I tried it out. And as weird as it may seem, the apples TOTALLY worked. They were crunchy and tart and went so well with the mac and cheese aspect of the dish. Plus, who doesn’t love bacon?

This actually concluded my mini-series on apples!!! And at the present moment I only have about 5 apples left that I’m just snacking on.

How has apple season been for you folks?

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Apples to Apples: Part 3

Apples apples and more apples. That has been my life for like 2 weeks. But in my recent post I told you that I made Apple Butter in my crockpot.

I’ll be honest with you. I had NO idea what apple butter was, what it looked like, what it tasted like, or what the what you did with it. But friends and the internet said good things so I figured hey why not?

It is a bit of a process so it works best as a weekend thing.

Start by peeling, coring and chopping about a dozen apples. Then toss them in your crockpot.

Next add 1/4 c brown sugar and cinnamon (I used like 1.5 Tbs) and 1/2c water. Set your crockpot on low and cook for about 10 hours (overnight works best time wise).

In the morning you have this!

Then use a wooden spoon to prop the cover open and cook on high for around 4 more hours.

After around 4 hours the water cooks off so you have this tasty mess. You can leave it like this, or you can use a Magic Bullet or Immersion Blender to smooth it out. I happen to have both so I opted for smooth.

I divided my batch in half. I filled this adorable mason jar and put it in my fridge, and filled a tupperware container and stuck it in my freezer for later. Its really tasty stuff. It also makes for great holiday gifts come Christmas time.

Apples to Apples: Part 1

‘Tis the season you guys!…the season for APPLES! And I’m pumped about it! I love going to the orchards and picking my fruit off the trees and tasting all the fun cider based treats. I also love going home and making apple treats. This year I may have gone slightly overboard….

I haven’t been apple picking since college (ugh that was 3 years ago….I’m old) so I was extra excited to go. Long story short I ended up with 1/2 bushel of apples.

I realizes once I got these guys home I needed to start baking ASAP as I picked entirely too many lol. But these things happen…especially when you go with friends who’ve never been apple picking before (shock) and the weather is gorgeous.

I decided to start with an apple pie and an apple peach cobbler (we also picked peaches).

I started with the pie first. I prefer butter over shortening for my crusts so here’s the recipe I use…I roll mine slightly thin so that I get two crusts out of this (one for bottom and one on top)
Pie Crust:
2 1/2 c flour
1 stick of butter
1 tsp salt
cold water

You cream the flour, salt, and butter together with a pastry cutter or a fork (I don’t own a cutter anymore ūüė¶ ). When the mixture looks like a bowl of small crumbles add water 1 Tbs at a time until you get the right consistency (not too wet not too dry, slightly elastic).

Flour your surface area and roll your dough out in a circle until its about 1/4 in thick. Transfer it to your pie plate.

Filling:
I don’t generally use a recipe for this, but here are some rough guidelines. I peel and slice about 8 apples and put them in a bowl. Add about 1/4 of sugar and 1 Tbs cinnamon (I like cinnamon so I use more of it) and a quick squirt of lemon juice. Mix it all up and put it in your pie plate. I add about 3 tbs of butter (3 pats) on top of the apples.

Roll out another pie crust and place on top of your apples. Pinch or fork your edges to seal it and make it all pretty and slice some ventilation in the top. Brush with milk or add a little butter on top to make it golden. Bake for like 30ish mins until golden brown.

 

You can get edges like these by pinching your thumb and pointer finger on one hand, and pinching the crust into those fingers with the pointer finger on your other hand.

Apple Peach Cobbler:

Repeat the filling from the Apple Pie recipe above…except also add peaches.
Put your filling in a casserole dish or pan.

Crumble Topping:
1 c Corn Flake type cereal (I used Special K Vanilla Almond…YUM)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4-1/2 flour
1 c melted butter
cinnamon for flavor

Crush the cereal. Mix the cereal, flour, sugar, and cinnamon together and add melted butter. Mix until a crumble forms. Spread it on top of the apples and peach mixture in your  dish. Bake for 20-25 mins until apples are soft and crumble is lightly browned.

Both were really tasty and made my house smell amazing. I’ve been baking like crazy with the millions of apples I have so look for posts later in the week to find out what else I made! ¬†SPOILER ALERT: apple bars, apple butter, and apple cider sangria…stay tuned!

The gang and I had a fun time picking apples and walking around Smolak Farms the other weekend.