Monday, October 5, 2009

Apples Galore

It is officially apple season and I have been stocking up. So far I've "processed" 25 pounds of apples with 5 pounds still sitting on my counter.

I have found that having one of these handy dandy tools makes apple life a lot happier (the fact that it keeps a three year old occupied for hours on end is a definite bonus!). Mine was $20 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but I paid $16 thanks to a coupon. Worth every single penny!

My first batch was some applesauce for snacking. It's in the fridge, I need to make some more to can or freeze. Ella is not a fan, but Miles can't get enough!

Next, I made apple butter (in the Crock Pot, of course!) and canned it. I haven't canned in over 15 years and then I only did peaches, but I made it through just fine using this tutorial and a canning book from the library. Thirty apples got me 10 jelly jars of apple butter. I'm planning to give these away as gifts. The jars cost $.67/each brand new and the apples were about half that making for a very useful, economical, and delicious gift!

While the apple butter cooked (I had a mishap and it did not cook overnight as planned. My Crock Pot really doesn't like me very much!) I put together three Apple Pie Kits and threw them in the freezer for a later date.

As a special treat for after dinner, I made an apple pie completely from scratch, which was amazingly easy. The last time I made an apple pie was for Thanksgiving in 1998, but it was so much work to peel and cut the apples that I never bothered again. With my new gadget, this pie came together in about 15 minutes. I only had 2 cups of unbleached white flour so I used 2 cups of a white flour/whole wheat flour/wheat germ blend (from The Sneaky Chef) and the crust turned out perfectly! I also used 2/3 cups butter and 2/3 cups lard. It was delicious, but my husband and I agreed that the pie need more "juice" in the filling. I've checked dozens of recipes and they all have same ingredients and proportions -- any suggestions?

Pie Crust (make 2 for a top/bottom pie)
2 cups flour (you can safely use up to 1/2 amount of whole wheat flour)
2/3 cup butter/shortening/lard
1 teaspoon coarse salt
5-7 Tablespoons water

Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut fat in to flour and salt. Add water and form dough. Roll out for pie plate.

I'm far from done with apples. As long as I can get organic apples for $1 or under per pound, I'll keep buying them. I'd still like to make and freeze apple bread and I found a recipe for apple fritters from my 1st grade class I want to try out.

After I'm done with the apples, the pumpkins are next!

6 Thoughts From Others:

PoorMom said...

For more juice lightly salt the apples , and pre cut them , let brown slightly ..makes it lots tastier !

The Prudent Homemaker said...

I'm glad you got some apple butter done!

Where are you getting your pumpkins from? Gilcrease Ranch?

I just heard about another place nearby that sells pumpkins through the end of October, and doesn't charge an admission fee like Gilcrease. I wonder how much their pumpkins are. They are supposed to have a free hay maze, too, and a petting zoo. It's close by. I am thinking of going next week.

Camille said...

Pumpkins are from Gilcrease ($.50/lb). You can walk in for free (just park across the street)to Gilcrease. They just charge for cars ($3). It's a moderate walk to the pumpkins and back -- a wagon or stroller would work to hold the pumpkins.

The other place is kitty corner from Gilcrease (behind it) on Grand Teton. We didn't stop but she also sells her own eggs! I wish I could afford them! It's about 1/10 the size of Gilcrease so it would be much easier to get around.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

That's the place! It's on Grand Teton!

Did you pick your own for that price from Gilcrease? The last time we checked it was $2 entrance fee per person--plus the pumpkins. We were planning on taking the children there last year and didn't because of that. I guess I should look at their website again!

Camille said...

Gilcrease is $3 per car and yup, it is $.50/lb to pick your own. Of course, if you want the best price and not necessarily the experience, Albertsons' pumpkins are $.39/lb. But you can park and walk in to Gilcrease for free!

Camille said...

PoorMom: I'm making another pie on Monday evening with friends and I'm going to salt them!

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