Applelishousness

Apples

Good Morning!  In my last post I mentioned that my husband and I went for a little day trip to Black Mountain and Old Fort, North Carolina.  We had a blast hiking and spending much needed quality time together.  The weather was absolutely perfect and I could not have asked for a better day except that maybe it could have lasted a little longer.  Hey, a girl can dream can’t she?!

Am I the only one who feels that the work week drags on and on and then the weekend flies by?  I have this theory that production might be a little higher if the work week was only four days and the weekend a mandatory three days.  I know! I know!  I’m dreaming again!  If only, right?!  The point is enjoy your weekend only if it is one or two days.

After my husband and I finished hiking in Old Fort we decided to drive to Hendersonville, North Carolina.  Oh yes…can anyone say APPLE COUNTRY?!!!  It was so pretty with apple orchard after apple orchard and the mountains in the background.  It was absolutely beautiful!  We stopped at one of the orchards called Grandad’s Apples.  We drove in surrounded by apples trees on one side and a fenced area on the other side with goats and a donkey.  In front, was a large barn.

apple-barn.jpg

We walked inside and the aroma of fresh baked apples filled the air.  Oh my goodness it smelled heavenly!  Inside the barn was a bakery, cider slush machines, jars of different jellies, jams, and oh yes apple butter along with many other items for sell.

We continued to the back of the barn where the barn was open to the outside and there sat rocking chairs for customers to enjoy their baked goodies.  But as soon as we reached this area of the barn my jaw dropped open and a sense of jealousy rushed through me.  If only I could enjoy this perfect view every day!  The view was gorgeous and relaxing!  There were apple trees upon apples trees on one side and on the other side a huge corn maze and a playground for kids.

Apple Orchard

There were picnic tables between the barn and the apple trees in the back of the barn.  That is where my husband and I spent about 30 minutes just sitting there talking and enjoying the view…and of course enjoying our goodies which included an apple dumpling topped with ice cream and a cider slush.  It was so delicious!

apple-dumpling.jpg

This was the perfect ending to a perfect day!  Before we decided to head back home we picked up a bushel, yes I said a bushel of apples.  I wanted to make apple butter, but after experiencing the apple dumplings and the cider I had other ideas in mind for these apples.  What was I going to make with ALL of these apples?

Let’s just say my Labor Day Monday was filled with apples after apples and I stayed in the kitchen for the majority of the day.  It was really nice though because my Mom and Dad came by for an unexpected visit, so Mom helped me in the kitchen whipping up all kinds of wonderful apple dishes.  We made apple butter, apple dumplings, and my personal favorite apple pie.  I’m a sucker for fresh apple pie right out the oven!

The rest of this week my blog will be filled with wonderful apple recipes that my Mom and I whipped up.  Enjoy!  If you enjoy any of these recipes please drop a comment and let me know.  Happy Apple Season!

I found this product helpful for speeding the process up for peeling, coring, and slicing the apples.  Click on the image to see more details about this product.  I highly recommend!

APPLE BUTTER

apple-butter.jpg

Ingredients:

20-25 Apples, peeled cored and sliced

3 Tsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

¼ to ½ cups Water

1 ½ cup Brown Sugar

3 Tsp Cinnamon

¼ Tsp All Spice

¼ Tsp Nutmeg

2 Tsp Lemon Juice

10-12 Tbsp White Sugar

Directions:

Place apples in a crock pot.  Add all the other ingredients over the apples and stir.  Cook the apples on low for 6-8 hours until apples are tender and break apart when stirred.  You can add more sugar if that is your preference.  I used a mixture of Jonagold, Gold Delicious, and Fuji apples.  Jonagold and Gold Delicious are sweet-tart apples and Fuji apples are sweet.  This combination creates a good balance for apple butter where a lot of sugar is not required.

After I cooked the apple butter, I sterilized some jars in a hot boiling water bath.  I poured the mixture into the jars to the bottom neck of the jar and added back to the hot water bath.  I boiled for about 10-15 minutes.  I then took the jars out of the water bath, set on a counter, and listened to the pops of the lids while I worked.  Hearing the tops of the jars pop is like music to my ears.  It lets me know my job is complete.

I hope you enjoy this apple butter as much as my husband and I do!

Apple Butter-2

Credits:

Pictures provided by Leaves, Loaves, and Life.  All rights reserved.

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