Monday, October 14, 2013

Autumn = Apples

Challenge to Blog Daily: Day 2 
(See this post for the background info on this challenge and please forgive whatever you find "imperfect, incomplete, potentially uninteresting, and quite possibly incomprehensible.")

We managed to get two rounds of apple picking in in the past week!  We had to go twice so that we were sure to get the two varieties I specifically wanted - Empire and Crispin.

I'm pretty strict about what varieties of apples we bring into the house - for instance, you better not even try to come onto this property with a Red Delicious.  They are so opposite of delicious.  It's like whoever gave them their name knew that they were disgusting but was trying to manipulate people to pay for and eat them anyway by attaching the word "delicious" to them. Perhaps more people would be duped into liking lima beans if they were called "Light Green Delicious," or SPAM if it was referred to as "Pink Delicious."  See what I mean, Mr. I-Named-the-Red-Delicious??  You're. not. fooling. anybody.

Getting back on track... We had two delightful days at the orchard and ended up with 110 pounds of apples to show for it.

What?!?!  I made it into a picture!

You know what you have to do when you get a good price on 110 pounds of apples??  Make sure you use them before they go bad. Here's what I've been serving up so far... 

No-Sugar Apple Sauce in the crock pot - some for eating, most for freezing. This is the main reason we get so many apples - I use our frozen sauce all year long for baking and the kids use it to sweeten their oatmeal. 

Aaron helping with a batch of applesauce

Apple Crisps - many of them!

German Apple Pancakes - I surprised the family with this for dinner the other night! (Seriously, breakfast for dinner is the best.) We ate them with fresh squeezed lemon and powdered sugar :)  (and eggs and sausage on the side!)

Baked Apple-Pecan Maple Pancakes - I had these babies baking in the oven while we were at Mass and they were hot and ready when we walked in the door.  (I love Sunday second-breakfast!)

Cranberry Applesauce Muffins - tossed some shredded apple into the recipe as well! 

Oatmeal Apple Muffins - whenever recipes call for apples, I add extra!

And here's what I've got on the schedule for this week:

Caramel Apple Pie - I'm thinking an easy crumb-topped apple pie with cut-up caramel candies mixed in.  (I've got the candies in the pantry, and like the apples, I've got to use em up...)

Apple Pumpkin Pie - I'm going to try something new here - I have a pumpkin pie recipe that I love, so I think I'm going to stick with that recipe but add a layer of apples first (maybe cooked in a bit of brown sugar and water first on the stovetop?)  We'll see if it works.

(I tend to stay away from traditional apple pies because my pastry chef sister holds the blue ribbon in that category so there's no need to bake something that will naturally pale in comparison.  We'd all just sit around eating it wishing we had one of hers instead!)

**  Grand Finale **  Russ really wanted to grill out yesterday evening and I figured I'd better figure out a way to get some apples on the menu.  I found some apple-grilling tips on-line, which was totally unnecessary because the instructions for grilling apples turns out to be "put them on the grill."  

Grilled Toffee Apples

I peeled and cored the apples (I used the bigger, tarter Crispins) and then sliced them into circles.  I soaked them in water and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice - just enough to cover the apple slices.  Then Russ grilled them until they got grill marks on them but didn't turn black and burn.  (15 - 20 minutes total, he says.  It's a charcoal grill, probably medium heat.)  

As soon as they came off the grill I sprinkled them with a topping I had put together earlier - it was a mixture of Heath brand toffee bits (again, stuff left over in the pantry!), chopped pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  I let them sit while we ate dinner and we scarfed them down enjoyed them right after our meal.  Needless to say, they were delicious!  
The toffee pieces were an experiment I thought I'd try when I realized I didn't have any caramel sauce, which was my first choice.  Go with the toffee.  So so good!

Frustration of all frustrations... I took some pretty pix of the apples on the grill, but they're not on the camera or the chip, so instead, here's the finished product - looking sticky but tasty...

I still have lots of apples!  Send some new recipes my way, please!

"Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness." - Jane Austen (from a "lost" letter to her sister Cassandra, 1815)


  1. "It's like whoever gave them their name knew that they were disgusting but was trying to manipulate people to pay for and eat them anyway by attaching the word "delicious" to them." I knew there was a reason we were friends. Red Delicious are only good as models for still life paintings.
    These all sound delicious, by the way!!

  2. I am pretty loyal to empire apples. I will occasionally eat a jonamac early in the season if there are no empires. And I do not see the draw is of red delicious.

    However you should watch what you are saying about them! Their progeny, the empire apple may take offense. If not for red delicious apples, we wouldn't have empires!

    I wouldn't want the dozens of pounds of empire apples you have in your house to come after you to defend their mother's honor!


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