Every year one of my very favorite fall activities is going apple picking. I eat an apple pretty much every day, so I love stocking up on fresh, local apples while they are in season and making lots of tasty apple treats.
This year our friends Lauren & Walker joined us at Bell's Orchard, which has dwarf trees that are super easy to pick apples from. They also have pears, but we didn't quite go at the right time. They had both Fuji and Honeycrisp apples, and we picked all honeycrisp because they are my absolute favorite apples!
When we got home David and I went to work making apple butter, apple sauce and apple crisp. Everything is absolutely delicious, and the house still smells amazing from the apples and cinnamon in the crock-pot. Recipes below if you want to go apple picking and make your own treats!
I adore the flavors of fall, and nothing tastes quite as perfect as the combination of apple and cinnamon. This apple butter recipe is quick, easy and absolutely delicious. David and I are planning on giving some away and freezing any leftovers, which will allow us to enjoy the taste of fall all year long.
- 6 1/2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Place the apples in a slow cooker.
- Add the sugars, cinnamon, salt and vanilla to the crockpot. Mix well.
- Cook in slow cooker on low for about 10 hours, stirring every couple hours. The apple butter should be thick and dark brown.
- If desired, use a blender to puree the apple butter until smooth.
- Cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze in small containers.
It might be strange, but I've always liked a crisp or crumble over a pie. Pie crust sometimes gets too dry and I'm not the biggest fan of the texture, but I absolutely love the crispy, flaky topping on top of a crisp. This apple crisp really highlights the amazing taste of fresh fall apples and makes a great dish to bring to a party, or to act as desserts through the week :)
For the crumb topping:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- dash of salt
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, diced into small chunks
For the apple filling:
- 3-4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a medium size bowl combine the crumb topping ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles small crumbs. Refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling.
- For the Apple Filling: In a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour until well blended. Add lemon juice, milk and vanilla and stir well. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour butter mixture over apples and toss to coat. Pour apple mixture into an 8x8-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and top is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Tastes Better from Scratch.
Slow Cooker Applesauce
I definitely tend to go through phases with applesauce. Sometimes I'm obsessed and eat it as a snack every day, and then I go long stretches of time without having it at all. If I had this apple sauce year round, I would never be able to give it up! It tastes amazing, and the smell of it cooking was one of the best things ever.
- 9 medium apples, peeled if desired, and chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- optional: pinch of nutmeg or other spices
- Add all ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.
- If you prefer your applesauce chunky, leave as is and store in the refrigerator.
- If you left skins on or prefer smooth applesauce, blend with an immersion blender or regular blender in batches.
Recipe from The Healthy Maven.