Saturday, October 04, 2008
A few weeks ago, when I was up visiting El Dorado County for Michelle + Chris's wedding in Coloma, Katie and I decided to go to Apple Hill on Sunday morning. We didn't have much time to hit all the different ranches for fresh fruit, yummy desserts and crafts, so we just went to one of our favorites that has all three of those things, High Hill Ranch. We tried the cider (and I bought some!), checked out all the craft booths, visited the Fudge Farm next door and, of course, I bought a box apples and some pears. We had a great time and I think Creighton enjoyed himself too. :) Here are a few pictures:
As for the box of apples, I used about half of it to make some applesauce the next week of course!
I used the applesauce recipe from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics, which I modified slightly:
Makes 7 cups
Everything after the cinnamon is optional. Homemade applesauce doesn't need any sugar, especially if you use apple cider or juice when cooking. It can be frozen, in airtight containers, up to 2 months.
18 apples (about 6 pounds), peeled, cored and quartered
1 cup apple cider
1 large cinnamon stick (substitute 1 tbsp cinnamon)
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped (substitute 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground mace
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1. Combine apples, apple cider, cinnamon, vanilla bean and seed scrapings, the ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, sugar and lemon juice in a large, heavy-bottomed wide saucepan.
2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon to prevent scortching, until the apples are broken down and saucy, 50 to 60 minutes. Mash any large pieces of apple with the wooden spoon to help break them down. Season with more sugar and spices if desired. Remove apple mixture from heat and let stand to cool completely before serving, discarding the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod. The applesauce can also be stored in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Hint for prepping the apples: Get a huge bowl, fill half way with water and dump a bunch of lemon juice in the water. As you are done with each piece of apple, just toss it into the bowl until you are ready to cook them. It will keep them from browning too terribly bad. You'll just need to drain them before putting them in the pot -- I drained them using a strainer like you would pasta.
I am actually going to use more of the apples to make some additional applesauce because we ate the stuff so fast the first time! Brian even suggested adding frozen strawberries, which I am definitely going to do. Also planning on making our usual apple pie with crumble topping.
I also want to try and make some Iced Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies or maybe some Rustic Apple Tarts. Don't they look yummy?!
Off to bake some stuff!