It is now autumn and apple picking season is upon us. As one of the most quintessential Fall Activities, it is extremely important that you know what to do with all those apples! Massachusetts has always been a place that takes pride in all the festivities that this crisp season brings. There are over 80 pick-your-own-spots across the state that grow the fruit that we all know keeps the doctor away.
The best time of year to partake in Apple Picking is largely considered to be the last two weeks of September and the first two weeks of October. With that being said, what good is it to have all these apples and nothing to do with them? Luckily for you, we have gone ahead and done the heavy lifting for you. The possibilities are limitless from Apple Butter, Poached Apples, Apple Pie, Apple Muffins and even Homemade Cider. Check out the following recipes for each of these seasonal treats.
- Combine your ingredients in a stockpot. Add the apples, oranges, and spices to a large stockpot. Then cover with water, leaving about an inch or two of space at the top of the stockpot.
- Heat the cider over high heat until it reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the apples are completely soft.
- Mash the apples and oranges. Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, take a minute to mash all of the apples and oranges against the side of the stockpot to release more of their flavors. Then cover and let the cider simmer a bit longer.
- Then, using a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth, strain out all of the solids (apples, oranges, spices), pressing them against the strainer to release all of their juices. Then discard the solids (or save for smoothies or another use). This will probably take about 5 minutes.
- Then stir in your desired amount of sweetener, to taste.
- Serve warm. And then, your cider is all ready to go! For extra presentation points, I like to add a few fresh orange slices and cinnamon sticks back to the stockpot for pretty serving. But however you like to serve it, your cider is now ready to go and enjoy.
- 12 cooking apples
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- Place apple slices in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, cloves and allspice.
- Cover; cook on high-heat setting for 4 hours. Stir. Uncover and cook on high-heat setting 2 to 2-1/2 hours more or until apples are very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Cool mixture at least 1 hour or cover and chill overnight. Process with an immersion blender or run mixture through a food mill*.
- Ladle apple butter into half-pint freezer containers, leaving a 1/2-inch head space. Seal and label. Store 3 weeks in refrigerator or for 1 year in freezer. Makes 4 half-pints.
You could even make your very own Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie and the best part is that you don’t need too many ingredients. All you need is 2 cups of flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 15 tablespoons of cold butter and a tablespoon of cold water.
Check out these instructions on how to make your very own Apple Cake. Everything you need is directly below.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a tube pan with butter and set aside.
Peel, core and roughly chop the apples into chunks. You want to end up with about 6 ½ cups apples – for me, this was the equivalent of 5 rather large apples but it will depend on the ones you use.
3. In a large bowl, toss the apple chunks with cinnamon and sugar and set to the side.
4. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and maple salt.
5. In a medium size bowl, whisk the oil, apple cider, sugar, vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, and maple syrup.
6. Add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and then add in the eggs, one at a time, until everything is incorporated.
7. Pour half of the batter into the tube pan; spread half the apple mixture over the batter. Then pour the rest of the batter on top, and arrange the rest of the apples on top of the cake.
8. Bake until a tester comes out clean – for me, this took an hour and 45 minutes. Check yours starting at 1 ½ hours. This is a very dense cake which is why it takes so long in the oven, but the time spent is worth it I can promise you that!
9. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, including the inner tube. Let cool for a while in the pan and then lift it out. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or by itself – it’s that good on its own.
Now you have everything you need to enjoy your apple filled autumn season. Make sure to use this prime opportunity to spend some quality time with the family here in Westport. Happy Fall!