Saturday, September 28, 2013

Apple Season! Muffins, sauce and butter!

It's fall.  The best time of the year!  Around here, it is apple season! I live between two orchards so we go apple picking a lot.  Usually I pick enough for the week since we can stop by every weekend to pick up more.  The last two trips however, I picked up a bit more so I can make a few recipes.  My youngest some requested apple muffins and apple sauce and I loved the idea of an apple butter where I can control the sugar.

These all came out delicious.  The only problem is I didn't make enough!  The apple sauce was so good my youngest had three servings.  I served it as a side with a pork roast for dinner.  My youngest was able to use it as a dip!  He's three and he dips all of his food into apple sauce, ketchup, ranch dressing, you name it.

Here are the recipes for all three.

Apple Muffins

 1 C all purpose flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C Oats
1/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Apple Pie spice or just cinnamon
1 C milk
1 egg
2 Tbs butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla
2 apples
1/4 C walnuts (chopped)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Mix the flours, oats, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, beat the egg and add the milk, vanilla and meted butter.  Add the liquid ingredients into the flour mix. 

Peel and core the apples.  I grated the apples since I was making it for my kids and they don't like chunks of fruit in muffins.  Chunks of chocolate are a different story.  Fold in the apples and walnuts. 

Pour into 24 regular sized muffin tins/stone bake for about 16-18 minutes (more or less depending if you are using tins or stones).

The apple sauce and apple butter recipes are from Put 'em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Cookbook by Sherri Brooks Vinton.

Apple Sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
4 pounds apples (or 2 pounds apples and 2 pounds pears)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves

Pour water and lemon juice into a large nonreactive stockpot.  Roughly chop (no need to peel but you should cut out the core) the apples (and pears in using), adding them to the pot with lemon water as you work to prevent browning.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and then simmer, covered, until the fruit is tender, 10 to 20 minutes.

Pass mixture through food mill (or a mesh strainer) to remove skins.  Return the sauce to the pot and add the sugar and spices, (these are optional but I highly recommend using them).  Simmer, stirring, until the mixture is thickened- about 20 minutes.  

If stopping at sauce, remove from heat and cool.  Keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze up to 6 months.

Apple Butter
If you are continuing to make apple butter simply continue simmering over a low heat for about another 40 minutes (may take a little more or a little less).  The mixture should be really thick and rich.  Be careful, this can burn easily so keep stirring.  

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