Apple picking has been a Fall ritual in our home for many years. We’d load into the car and drive an hour or so to one of the orchards just outside of Chicago so our girls could spend a day in the sun, picking and eating apples. When they were old enough, they’d climb into the trees and fill a bag with their favorites; Golden Delicious, Pink Ladies and Granny Smiths.
The challenge for the girls was lugging their bags back to the stand where we’d pay for our bushels and inevitably buy more treats such as fresh apple pies, apple cider and even apple cookies made by the grower’s wife. The challenge for me was what to do with all the apples we brought home. I love to bake, but pies have never been my specialty and I needed a recipe that used A LOT of apples, not just three or four, so I started making applesauce.
When most people think about applesauce, they see a plastic container in a child’s lunchbox or a jar of murky looking mush on a grocery shelf, but homemade applesauce is different.
Unlike these other types, homemade is creamy and filled with flavor and it takes a lot of real apples to make it. The best part is, it fills your house with the scent of cinnamon that warms your home instantly, without having to turn on the heat!
Fall is a great time to cook hearty comfort food for your family. Let the warmth of the oven and the scents that come from making these Fall goodies fill your home and help us embrace the colder weather. There’s nothing like comfort food for all to make those cooling temperatures a lot less painful.
MAKES 6 to 12 Servings
6 pounds apples-Peeled & Cut (mixed varieties of sweet & sour)
½ cup water
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 Cinnamon sticks or 3 Tablespoons Powdered Cinnamon
¾ Cup Packed Brown sugar or 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
Peel/Core and cut apples and put into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Add the water and cinnamon sticks and cover for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally until apples are soft and falling apart. Stir in sugar and vanilla, keeping apples uncovered. Stir frequently until mixture thickens. Use a food processor or immersion stick (my choice) and whip into smooth sauce. Leave mixture on stove with heat off to cool for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy this treat warm or chilled and store in refrigerator in small containers for eating thru the week.
Two weeks ago, we visited my daughter in Ann Arbor and went apple picking with her and a few of her teammates. Being from California and Australia, some of these girls never went apple picking before and it was fun to take them to an orchard. I ended up bringing all of their apples home and making two batches of applesauce that I sent back with my daughters the following weekend.
Now that we have a new puppy, I feel the need to spoil her too.
Hearing my dismay on how awful some of the store-bought puppy treats are, one of my employees shared her recipe for homemade treats. These look amazing and they will satisfy my need to make a special Fall treat that our new baby can eat.
Frozen Dog Treat Recipe
1/2 cup plain non-fat or greek yogurt
1 small chopped apple
2 spoonfulls of oatmeal
1 spoonfull of honey
1/2 cup apple cider
Blend and pour into an ice tray and freeze. Super simple! Swap out blackberries for other seasonal fruits!
– Germaine Caprio, Company Owner & Designer
TO HEAR FROM YOU
What are your favorite Fall recipes?
Please share your own thoughts with us – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below! Your comment may even win you a free MAJAMAS garment this week!