Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Bushel of Apples

I love going apple picking in the fall.  We drive out to an orchard in Berlin, MA and they drive us in a hay wagon to the picking orchard.  We got the "big" bag of apples.  It says it's about 20 pounds.  It's actually a 1/2 bushel. 

It's so much fun to pick them, walking up and down the rows, looking for  ripe apples.

We picked a bunch of different varieties: Macintosh, Gala, Honey Crisp, Golden Supreme, and Cortland.  My favorite from last year, Macoun, wasn't ripe yet.  I've been making pies for the last few years, and I like to use a mix of apples, rather than just one kind. 

I think this is Macintosh.
Though, with so many apples, I need to do something other than just make pies (even Dan who loves pie so much it's often requested instead of Birthday cake can't take that much!).  The first thing I made was Applesauce in the Crock Pot, since I wanted to use it to make Pork Chops for dinner.  I used a recipe I found on A year of Slow Cooking.  I only have a 6 quart pot, so my apples took about 4 hours on low, rather than 6.  I also used an immersion blender to smooth it out a bit, since I don't like chunks.  It was very good. 

Currently in my pot right now is the makings of Apple Butter.  This also got really good reviews on
A Year of Slow Cooking.  I added the juice of half a lemon, to help keep the color, and give it a brighter flavor.  I also followed her recommendation to use less sugar.  I used 3/4 cup brown, and half cup white. 

This takes a while, 8 hours, then another 6, so I'll update later with the results, but I am pretty sure they will be great. 

I still have half a bag of apples, so I'll probably try the recipe I used for the Strawberry Cake.  And at least one pie.

I have a lot of cookies coming up soon, since apparently September and October are popular months for birthdays, and I have some cupcakes coming up too.

Gala apples

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