Friday, December 19, 2008

Apples, Apples, Everywhere!

A couple months ago when we visited my parents, we hit during part of the apple picking season. It's been many years since I picked apples, so it was fun to climb up and load the baskets. It was quite windy that day, so at times it got a little scary! This is to prove to Dan that I climbed up the ladder (I'm on the far ladder, my sister is on the near one) and picked apples myself! Ask him why I don't have any pictures of him climbing up to pick apples! Yep, that is Joseph climbing up the ladder. Grandpa was just about to get him. So we came back with 2 large boxes full of apples and we just recently ate the last ones. I thought I would share what I did with them. A lot of them just gotten eaten raw. The kids loved to just take an apple out of the box and start chomping. And sometimes I would find a few in the box with a Joseph bite out of them! I made apple salad, apple cake, applesauce, and apple butter, none of which I got pictures of, but they were tasty. Some of the applesauce and apple butter got stored away in the freezer for later use.

Here is the start of fried apples:
Of course, we had to have apple pie:
And finally, apple muffins:

Here is the recipe for the apple butter from allrecipes. I had never made any before but the crockpot made it easy once I got the apples prepared (although I had to laugh because the recipes says it only takes 20 min. to peel, core, and chop 5 and 1/2 pounds of apples!). So this is a good recipe for a day when you'll be home all day because you have stir every so often. It sure does make the house smell good!

All-Day Apple Butter

5 1/2 pounds apples - peeled, cored and finely chopped
4 cups sugar (I only used 2 cups as I had sweeter apples)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place apples in a slow cooker. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt; pour over apples and mix well. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 9-11 hours or until thickened and dark brown, stirring occasionally (stir more frequently as it thickens to prevent sticking). Uncover and cook on low 1 hour longer. If desired, stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Spoon into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Cover and refrigerate or freeze.

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