Tag Archives: apple

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

17 Nov

Jars of Apple Butter

Since I haven’t had much success with making jams and jellies, I’m glad to have had success with making apple butter.  Mid-October, my family made a trip to Apple Annie’s Orchard to pick apples.  At that time, what they had for harvest was lots of Granny Smith and some Rome Beauty.  So, we got around 8 pounds to bring home.  We won’t really eat Granny Smith plain, but, with a little added sugar, we like them prepared in things.  Now, mine never turns out as pretty as other pictures that I have seen, but it works out well enough for us!

I used 6 1/2 pounds of the apples we picked, a mix of Granny Smith and Rome Beauty varieties, and used my peeler/corer/slicer  to prepare all the apples, then used a hand chopper to chop them into smaller pieces.  This filled up my 6 quart slow cooker pretty much to the top.  Then, I added sugar and spices, skipping the salt and vanilla extract, according to this recipe for Slow Cooker Apple Butter:

– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1 cup light brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Normally, I wouldn’t add sugar, but with as many Granny Smith apples as I had, it needed the sugar to balance out the tart.  I cooked it on low overnight, about 10 hours.  In the morning, I removed the lid and used my hand mixer to smooth out the apples in the slow cooker.  I left the lid off and continued to cook it on low for another 2 hours, until it had gotten a thicker consistency.

We love to eat this on toast and waffles, plus it’s a nice addition to a peanut butter sandwich instead of the grape jelly I buy at the store.  It’s a wonderful fall treat!  The prep takes some time and effort, but then you can let it cook all day while you work on other things.

Fruit Butterfly Snack

11 Mar

My older daughter just got her new Highlights magazine in the mail.  Ah, the memories of Highlights magazines from when I was a kid.  I loved the picture search puzzles the most!  Anyway, the You’re the Chef! section of the April 2013 magazine had Butterfly snacks.  They had a few variations with vegetables (lettuce, carrots, grape tomatoes), cheese (sticks and slices), and bread, but we chose to do the fruit one, using a banana, apple slices, yogurt, and raisins.  Here is how it turned out:

Fruit Butterfly Snack


It’s easy!  Place a banana in the middle of your plate, then cut an apple into slices to make the wings.  Spread some yogurt on the apple slices, then put raisins on top of the yogurt.  You could also use some pretzel sticks for the antennae, but we didn’t have pretzel sticks, so we skipped it.  You could use a variety of fruits here, first that comes to mind is orange slices in place of the apple slices.  You could use mint leaves for the antennae as well.

Cherry Apple Fruit Leather

19 Jul

My kids love fruit snacks and roll ups, but most are so full of crap, that I don’t like to buy them.  So, in trying to use up my cherries, I decided to give fruit leather a try.  It was pretty easy to put together, it was just the time in the oven to dry it out.  It would be a lot faster with a food dehydrator, but I don’t have one right now.  I’m working on figuring out how to use other fruits to make this in the future.  The original recipe I found just used cherries and also had sugar, but since I didn’t want to use sugar, I decided to use some applesauce I had in the freezer to add some more sweetness.  Although, honestly, the cherries I got were sweet enough, they probably wouldn’t need sugar.  If you use tart cherries, you will probably want to add sugar for sweetness, but you could probably substitute honey to give it a more natural sweetness.


Cherry Apple Fruit Leather
Original recipes here and here

What you need:

4 cups cherries, stems and pits removed (I used a whole bag, which was about 2 1/4 lbs of cherries)
1/2 cup Homemade Applesauce (alternatively, you could core, peel, slice, and chop an apple or 2 to cook with the cherries)
1/4 cup water
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar or honey, depending on your desired level of sweetness

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 170 F, or the lowest setting your oven will go.  For me, this was 200 F.

Place cherries (and chopped apples) in a large pot with the water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until fruit starts to break down, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a blender to puree well, then return to the pot.  Or, keep in the pot and use an immersion blender to puree fruit.

Add applesauce and/or the sugar or honey, and stir well.  Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens.

Line a jelly roll pan or baking sheet with raised sides with parchment paper, plastic wrap, or a silicone baking mat (I used plastic wrap).  Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to use 2.

Spread the fruit mixture as thinly and evenly as possible.  The thicker it is, the longer it will take to dry out. (Note: in the picture below, I also have a pan of whole cherries that I was attempting to dry out as well.  They have taken much longer because I left them whole.)

Place pan(s) in the preheated oven.  If using 2 pans, be sure to rotate every hour.  Let sit in the low heat oven for 3-6 hours, or until fruit mixture is just slightly tacky.  Remove and allow to cool.

Cut the fruit leather into smaller pieces, as desired.  I used a pizza cutter to make a cut in the middle lengthwise, then cut into 1″ strips.  The pizza cutter cut the plastic wrap as well, so I kept it on to help prevent the roll from sticking to itself.  I used twist ties to hold the rolls together, you could also use string.  Store in an airtight container, and it should be good for a few weeks.

Apple Crisp

26 Nov

When I get a lot of apples from Bountiful Baskets and I can sneak some away from my girls, I love to make Apple Crisp.  I actually hadn’t made it before last year, so I didn’t have a recipe.  Thankfully, after reaching out to friends for a recipe,  I got one that was exactly what I as looking for.  Thank you to Joshua W. for sharing your grandmother’s Apple Crisp recipe.  I love it, and everyone I’ve made it for or who has made it as well, loves it too.  Next time we get apples in Bountiful Baskets, a friend and I will be working on a gluten-free version of this, which, if we get it to work, I will share as well.

Apple Crisp

What you need:

4 cups peeled, cored, and sliced apples (I’ve used Gala, Granny Smith, Fuji, Macs, Cortlands, many varieties or a combination of varieties works)
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons water or lemon juice

1/3 cup margarine or butter (cold, not melted)
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quick oatmeal
Note: I sometimes like more crumble on top, so I will double the topping ingredients.

How to make it:

Combine the ingredients for the filling and place in a 8×8 or 7×11 baking pan.

Cream together the butter and flour for the topping.  Mix in the brown sugar and oatmeal and form “crumbs” with your fingers. Spread over the apple mixture.

Bake at 325 F for 30-40 minutes.  Let cool slightly, and serve warm. Or it tastes great cold from the fridge the next day too…if it lasts that long!

Homemade Applesauce

17 Nov

Last year, I split a couple cases of apples from Bountiful Baskets with friends.  With some of the apples, I made homemade applesauce, which both of my kids enjoyed.  Recently, there was a case of fuji apples available, so I ordered it and split the apples with some friends.  Then, we moved, then I broke my glass blender pitcher (a very sad day), so applesauce got put on hold.  I was able to get a very similar blender this week, and the apples are still good to go, so it was time to make applesauce.

Homemade Applesauce

What you need:

8-10 apples, in variety of your choice
2 cups water
1 tsp cinnamon

How to make it:

Wash, peel, core and slice the apples.  I have 2 little helpers who love getting to wind the apple peeler/corer/slicer we have.  This invention makes the whole apple prep process go pretty quick.  It makes the apple into a sliced spiral, which I then cut into fourths.

Add the sliced apples to a large pot, along with the water and cinnamon.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for about an hour or so, until apples are nice and mushy.

Pour cooked apples into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  My new to me blender worked perfectly for this.

Then, serve or put into containers of your choice.  This made 3 cups of applesauce, so I put 1 cup into each of the 3 containers that I had on hand.

My kids were already in bed by the time this was finished, but it will be a nice addition to breakfast or a good snack!

Dehydrating fruit

7 Sep

Each week in Bountiful Baskets, I get a nice assortment of fruit.  It mostly gets eaten outright, but lately it’s been tough for us to get through it before it goes bad.  Or, it’s just something we don’t particularly like a lot.  This week and last week, I got pears and nectarines that have sat, and the plums I got last week were starting to not look great anymore.  While trying to decide what to do with the pears, my friend D got a new fruit dehydrator to make raisins with the grapes we got.  I decided to ask to borrow it to at least dehydrate my pears and I picked it up yesterday.  Since you need the base and at least 4 trays, I decided I would try doing the nectarines, plums, and a couple bananas, plus we ended up putting a Granny Smith apple in too.

For the pears and the apple, I got out our peeler/corer/slicer.  Seriously, one of the best inventions for prepping pears and apples.  My girls love helping me use it.

Next, the pears, apples, and nectarines all need to be pre-treated to prevent them from browning.  There are a variety of options to do this, but I chose soaking them in lemon juice.  D had dehydrated her pears and dipped them in lemon juice, but felt like the lemon taste stayed with them, so I diluted my lemon juice with water, 50/50 ratio.  I left it in there about 5 minutes.

The plums I cut in half and removed the pits, the bananas I cut into 3/8″ slices.

I arranged it all on the trays, stacked the trays, plugged it in, and flipped the switch.

I let it run overnight, approximately 10 hours and here is what I woke up to.

It’s a browner than I wanted it to be, but it’s still sweet and full of flavor.  I think I may have left it in the dehydrator too long, probably should have started it later in the evening.  Also, I wonder if some of it was not in the lemon juice long enough or if my diluting the lemon juice had some effect.  Still a good experiment and thanks to D for letting me borrow the dehydrator!

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