Apples plus Squeezo equals Apple Butter

Tomorrow is the first day of fall, and what better way to celebrate the leaves changing colors, the crisp cool nights and sweater weather…than with homemade apple butter.

I bought a box of apples during one of my Mennonite shopping trips. That poor box of apples sat in my kitchen the whole time while I was trying to recover (and still teach) from one bad sinus and ear infection. I finally started feeling like my usual self the end of last week. I know that everyone in my family are ecstatic that I am feeling better. I think I was a little complainy. Even the Princess (mom) told me I was a grouch….ouch!

Feeling better, I started sorting through the apples. They had sat in that box for over two weeks. Some were ready for the compost pile, some were ready for the chickens (and they loved them) and the rest were ready to meet THE SQUEEZO.

This is a picture of the squeeze doing some magic on the apples.

This is the what it looks like all put together.

It took three college degrees and a you tube video to figure out how to put it together. Oldest Daughter who does not cook, watched the video and in about 5 minutes had it all put together. I pretend that I can’t figure it out, so she will keep putting it together for me. (please do not tell her) hehe.

Well anywho, let me tell you about this contraption they call The Squeezo. I guess it has been around for about 100 years. They are pretty pricey if  you buy one brand new (over $200). I was able to buy a used one from a retired teacher about a hour drive away for about $50. I had so much fun talking with that retire teacher, I bought a pressure cooker from her too. I need to have oldest daughter watch some you tube videos to teach me how to use it too. ; )

I love this squeezo (food mill). I do not have to peel or core my apples for apple sauce and for apple butter. I think I can do jam with the pureed apples too, but I have not tried that yet. I did use it for peach jam and it worked great. Though I used the smaller strainer and I got more juice than pulp. The peach jam will be on another post…promise!

You load steamed apples that have cooled in the hopper at the top. Push the apples down into the mill with a wooden mallet and turn the handle. The apple puree comes out of the holes in the strainer and the peeling, core and seeds come out the middle.

Here is the picture of the peelings and stuff. We were able to get about 10 cups of puree done in less than 20 minutes. Woot Woot!

I found the most fabulous recipe for apple butter!!

It is from a website called Taste of Southern. Just click on the link and you will find step by step pictures and recipe.

I cooked the apple butter in the crock pot overnight. The original recipe cooks the apple butter on top of the stove and that is fine too.

After about 11 hours it cooked down to about half the original amount.

So, let me tell you a little about this recipe.

You will need some sort of food mill, or food sieve.

I took the stems off the apples.  I cut them in fourths and put them in a big pot.

I put in 3 cups of water and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. I had read on many reviews that people prefer the taste of their apple butter if they use apple cider vinegar instead of using apple cider.

I cooked the apples until they got soft.

I scooped out the apples and drained. I let them cool and bit and then put them through the food mill.

For every ONE cup of apple puree you need 1/2 cup of sugar.

The FIRST cup of apple puree use 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Then after the first 1/2 cup of brown sugar, start using regular sugar.

ok….so now that you have that down, here is the recipe.

Apple Butter

Adapted from Taste of Southern Website

5 pounds of apples

3 cups water

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 1/2 cups white granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon grown cloves

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 lemon, zest plus juice (I used 2 tablespoons lemon juice)

Pinch of salt

Directions:

Wash and slice apples into quarters and put them in large stock pot.

Add 3 cups of water and 1 cup apple cider vinegar.

Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce to simmer for about 30 minutes or until soft.

Scoop out apples and run them through a food mill or sieve.

Measure the amount of puree you now have.

Add 1/2 cup sugar to each cup of apple puree, adjusting amount as needed, starting with the brown sugar and the remainder as white sugar. You need 1/2 cup of sugar to each 1 cup of puree.

(Crock pot method)

Put the apple puree and the sugar in the crock pot and stir until the sugar as dissolved. Add the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Stir in. Add in the vanilla and lemon juice and zest (I used 2 tablespoons lemon juice instead). Add in a pinch of salt.

Stir well to incorporate.

Put crock pot on low for 10 hours. I used a skewer to prop my lid up a bit so the steam could escape and let the apple butter cook down.

Cook until you get the desired thickness. (I like mine thick).

Now, when it is done you can freeze it or water bath process it.

I water bath processed mine for 10 minutes.

I put one jar in the fridge and the rest is still on the counter. I looked in the fridge tonight and half the jar is already eaten…..

I think that is a sign that is GOOD!

I was able to make 5 pints of apple butter when my crock pot is pretty full to start off with.

I know this was a LONG post and if you are still reading.

Congratulations!

Because now you know all the secrets to this recipe!

Enjoy!

Becky

Older Post You May Enjoy:

                   

Baked Potato Soup                                Apple Crisp                                   Messy Marvins 

 

 

Apple Crisp

It took me a while to get the hint.

Over the course of the last several weeks, Oldest daughter who does not cook, suggested that apple crisp sure sounded good.

She said in once.

Then twice.

Then suggested that, when I had time, she’d love to have some homemade apple crisp.

Is that a hint?

Anywho, last summer I tried my hand at canning some apple pie filling. I used a special thickening agent called. clear jell, that I purchased at a Amish Store. The clear jell does not break down when you process the apple pie filling, like corn starch or flour. The pie filling turned out wonderful, except that I used a variety of apples that were a little soft, and the apples broke down when they were processed in the canner. What I ended up was this delightful tasty, chunky apple pie filling that would be perfect for apple crisp.

Here is a picture of my first try at making canned apple pie filling.

I decided to surprise the girl who hates to step into a kitchen (but some how dirty a ton of dishes) with warm apple crisp for dessert.

This recipe only takes a few minutes to throw together. You can use store bought apple pie filling or you can use fresh apples for this apple crisp. I will give you recipes for both, no worries.

If someone in you family gives you a HINT, try making this simple delicious and tummy pleasing apple crisp that has lots of crunchy crisp goodness on top.

Here is what  you need:

I am showing the picture of how to make this recipe with apple pie filling. (I will put the recipe for a fresh apple filling in the recipe section at the bottom. You will need one quart of apple pie filling, butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda.

The first thing I did was pour my apple pie filling in the bottom of a 9 by 9 baking dish.

         

In a medium size bowl, melt one stick of butter or margarine.

         

Add one cup of oats and one cup of flour to the melted butter.

         

Now add one cup of brown sugar and 1/3 teaspoon of baking powder.

         

Now add the baking soda. With a large spoon, mix the topping all together, making sure all the ingredients are moisten with the melted butter.

Sprinkle the top evenly on top of the pie filling and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Here is the recipe.

Apple Crisp adapted from Alrecipes

Ingredients:

1 quart of apple pie filling (or you could use another fruit pie filling)

1 cup quick oats

1 cup flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 stick (1/2) cup butter

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

If you are using fresh apples for the filling:

5 cups thinly sliced apples

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoon flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup water

Directions:

Pour the pie filling in the bottom of a 9 by 9 baking dish. If you are using fresh apples, mix the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon and water in a medium bowl and pour into the bottom of a 9 by 9 inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, melt the butter. Add in the brown sugar, flour, brown sugar, oats, baking soda and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.

Spread the topping on top of the filling.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Warm apple crisp.

I am so glad, that I finally figured out what Oldest daughter was hinting at.

Enjoy,

Becky

Other post you may enjoy:

                             

Mint Layered Brownies                      Coconut Cream Cake                          Farmers Oatmeal Cake 

 

New Bundt Cake equals New Cake

A week or so ago, Bed Bath and Beyond had a clearance sale on selected items. Who knew that one of the items would include a bundt cake pan.

I could not pass up a bargain and picked up a new bundt cake pan.

I got a new lasagna pan too.

Plus I was able to used a 20% coupon on the clearance items. Yippee!

After my last bundt cake near disaster, I was anxious to try to make a bundt cake again. For those that might have missed my earlier post, “Can This Cake Be Saved,” I blogged about making a bundt cake for a church ladies day. The cake got stuck and broke in two.

Has this ever happened to you?

It kinda makes you want to buy a cake in the bakery department at your local grocery store.

Even though this cake looked like it had been dropped, used as a basketball and a dog nibble on it’s side…. I could not just give up on this recipe…..it really is a wonderfully tasting pound cake.

So…… I went ahead and tried this recipe again.

And Guess What………

My new pan did the trick. The cake came right out of the pan!

Yippee….

Anywho….since I finally had success…I wanted to post this moist and yummy Caramel Apple Pound Cake recipe.

Above is the ingredients that you will need to make the cake. The apples are ones that I picked right off apple trees at Company’s house.

The first thing you need to do is melt the butter. Then pour the butter into the brown and white sugar. Mix together with a mixer until creamed together.

Next, add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix them with the sugars and melted butter.

Then add the vanilla. I love real vanilla!

Now, you can add in the flour, apple pie spice, baking powder and salt. Mix in all the dry ingredients to make a nice cake batter.

One of the changes I made from the first time I made this cake was to dice my apples smaller. So my second cake, the apples were diced smaller.

Now, take your diced apples and add the cinnamon and some brown sugar.

Stir the apples, brown sugar and cinnamon together until the apples are well coated.

With my New bundt cake pan, I sprayed it down the vegetable spray and coated it with flour to help with the release of the cake.

Now the fun begins. You will make layers of cake batter and the diced apples. Take a third of the batter and spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Take half of  your apples and spread over the batter. Did you notice the apples are diced smaller this time?

Add another one third of you batter over the diced apples, and spread the rest of the apples over the batter.

Using the last one third of  you batter, cover the diced apples. Put cake in a preheated 350 degree oven for around 50 minutes.

Bake until a tooth pick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges of the cake from the pan.

Here is truth time…..will the cake come out of the pan???? Can you hear the drum roll…..?

Yippee…..relief…..success….Can you see the layers of spiced apples and batter? If you do not want to see the layers, do not put the apples all the way to sides of pan, just put the apples in the middle of the batter.

Here is what the inside of the bundt cake pan looked like after the cake came out.

Now, you can cool completely and decorated it with a cream cheese glaze, caramel drizzle and chopped pecans (if you likes nuts). I made the cream cheese icing a little thinner this time around, (by accident) that is why it looks a little different from my first cake.

Here is a close up of a slice of the cake. I would have taken more pictures, but The Princess, Dad, Jeanie Beanie and grand son,  Oldest Daughter who does not cook, Grand girls and Company was waiting on their piece of cake.

Family holding up forks, waiting on their piece of cake, makes me nervous.

Apples are still in season, so it’s not too late to try to make this cake!

Don’t be afraid to try it! Even my broken cake went like  wild fire at the ladies day.

Here is the recipe:

Caramel Apple Pound Cake

Adapted from Southern Lady magazine.

Ingredients for the pound cake:

1 cup sugar

1 and 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, divided. (I used dark brown sugar and it worked out fine)

1 and 1/2 cups butter, melted

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla (I almost always use real vanilla, it does make a difference)

3 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon apple pie spice (you can make your own too, just use cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cardamon)

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups chopped Granny Smith apples.(I used ones I picked right off Company’s apple trees)

2 teaspoons cinnamon.

(You will use caramel ice cream topping in the icing, recipe is below, and to drizzle on the cake. You can also top with chopped nuts.I used pecans because it is my favorite.)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your bundt cake pan. I sprayed mine with vegetable spray and then coated it with flour. In a large bowl, mix together the white and 1 cup of the brown sugar. Add the melted butter and continue mixing until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg. Next add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl you will get the dry ingredients together. Combine the flour, baking powder, apple pie spice and salt. Take a whisk and whisk all the dry ingredients together.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, and mix until the all the ingredients are combined.

In another bowl, combined the chopped apples and the remaining brown sugar and the cinnamon.

Spoon one third of the batter in the prepared bundt pan. Spoon one half of the apples on top of the batter. Be careful not to get too close to the edge of the pan because it may cause the cake to stick. Next, spoon another one third of the bater over the apples and then top with the rest of the apples. Finally, cover the last layer of apples with the rest of the batter.

Place the cake in the preheated over and bake for around 50 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean from the middle. Take the cake out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack. Top with the Cream Cheese icing and chopped nuts. Drizzle with caramel ice cream topping.

Cream Cheese Icing Recipe

Ingredients:

1–8 ounce package of cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk (I used skim milk and it was fine)

1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth. Next, add the milk and the caramel topping. Mix altogether until smooth. Spread over the top of the cooled pound cake.

 

I am sure you can think of a reason to make this cake!

I have several reasons…..apples, caramel and pecans

Enjoy!

Becky

 

Apple Sour Cream Crumb Pie–Take Two

 

Have you ever heard of the saying, “Second times a charm?”

Well, with this pie, there almost wasn’t a second time.

About a month ago my baby college girl, was home for the weekend. As parents of college students already know, when college students are home they want to eat all their favorite home cooked foods.

This meant I had to make an apple pie.

A friend of mine at work gave me the November 2012  issue of Martha Steward “Living,” magazine. It has some pretty amazing looking pies with the recipes in the issue. I found one pie that intrigued me, it was Apple Sour Cream Pie. I thought this pie would, fill the bill, for helping baby college girl get over her apple pie craving. We went to the store and bought 6 golden delicious apples (yes, golden ones not those old Granny ones) and some sour cream. Luckily I had every thing else at home.

I really thought I read the recipe correctly .

But when I took it out of the oven 45 minutes later, it came out all soupy looking. I ended up having to bake it longer.

The pie all had part of the butter from the crumb topping spill over and burn in the emergency catch pan underneath the pie.

The crumb topping was so baked on, I  even had to soak my brand new pie plate to get it clean….that was the last straw. I need Martha’s Stewarts number. Something was wrong with this recipe!

Don’t worry, I did not call Martha Stewart. I could not fit her into my schedule : )

I did look carefully over the recipe again, the picture in the magazine looked so divine, and even though it was a soupy looking pie, it still tasted great.  What could have possible gone wrong?…..mmmm….. I read the recipe a second time……it said to do this, bake the apple filling first for 45 minutes (really) and then it said to do that, after you bake the apple filling add the crumb topping on top of the apples and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes, (no way)….how did I overlook these two important things….

OOPS!

It pays to read the whole recipe even when it goes on over to the next column. Sorry Martha!

So, to redeem myself and this apple pie recipe, I decided it was time to make Apple Sour Cream Crumb Pie again and serve it on Turkey Day.

I re-bought the apples, I was glad they were still on sale for .99 cents a pound.

Peel, quater and slice 6 medium size golden delicious apples.

         

In a medium size mixing bowl combline, sugar, flour and cinnamon.

         

Add the vanilla, beaten eggs, and lastly the sour cream.

         

Mix all the filling ingredients together, pour over the apples and mix until all the apples are coated.

         

In a pie plate, place pie dough in it for a bottom crust. Add the sour cream apple filling and pop the pie into the oven. I put my big old catch pan underneath the pie, just in case I had any boil overs.

    

 While the pie is baking, make your crumb topping.  (I did not add the walnuts in the topping because my son does not like nuts)

 Top the apple pie with the crumb topping. Place pie back into the oven and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes or until the topping is brown.

         

It came out beautiful. Look at the emergency catch pan….not a drop of burnt butter on it. Success…relief….uh….apologises to Martha.

Take Two, Apple Sour Cream Crumb Pie came out perfect.

Tasted great too!

Second time is a charm!

Apple Sour Cream Crumb Pie

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewards Living Magazine Nov. 2012 issue.

Filling:

1 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

pinch of salt

16 ounces sour cream

2 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4 inch wedges.

Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter cut into small pieces

1 cup chopped walnuts

Pie Crust:

I used a store bought refrigerated pie crust. I rolled it out on a slightly floured surface to enlarge it to fit my10 inch pie plate.

Directions:

Place store bought pie crust in the pie plate to form a bottom crust.

Prepare the filling by mixing together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, sour cream, eggs and vanilla.

Pour the filling over apple slices. Stir together to coat the apples.

Pour the apple filling the in the crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the apples are golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

While the pie is baking prepare the crumb topping. With a fork combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, walnuts and butter. Refrigerate until the pie comes out of the oven. You want the mixture to be cold when you put it on top of the hot pie.

When the pie comes out of the oven, crumble the crumb topping evenly over the  pie. Bake until the topping is set and the apples are tender, about another 35 to 40 minutes.

I did make changes to this recipe. I increased the amount of cinnamon that goes into the apple filling. I  decreased the amount of butter for the crumb topping to 1 stick. Lastly, I decreased the baking time for the crumb topping to 30 to 40 minutes.

Oh! and I almost forgot! I used a store bought refrigerated pie crust……I mean…not everyone can be Martha Stewart!

If you don’t succeed the first time…try, try, again…..it does work like a charm!

Enjoy,

Becky

 

Mountain Dew Dumplings

A couple of weeks ago we had all day teachers meeting at schools. Teachers went to different meetings across the district to discuss different topics. The next day we all went back to our home school and compared notes on our meetings. My meeting provided a small breakfast consisting of bagels and juice but we got a free catered in lunch wowza……I think they were afraid for us to leave and eat lunch : ). One of my friends at my home school Jen, said they had beautiful breakfast casseroles made by the staff and brought in for breakfast. They got to leave and have Mexican for lunch. They must have looked a little more trustworthy to come back after lunch!

Anywho……I asked Jen what she made to bring in and she said, “Mountain Dew Dumplings.” I like the sound of dumplings, but Mountain Dew? I was intrigued. She said it was her mom’s recipe and her mom even came over to help her make it. When they were about half way making the first batch she not so politely told her mom, “I am not taking these things to school. ”

Wow! She was a disbeliever!

Her mom was not worried and assured Jen that if she didn’t like the first batch they would  make something else to take.

Relief!

But, here is what happened. They made the first batch, had a little taste. It was a spoonful of sweet, buttery goodness with a side of apples.

Jen told me they went ahead and made two batches to take to school and she did not bring home a single crumb home.

I had to try this recipe!

When I came home with a 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew my two oldest kiddos got real excited! It was not diet and it had caffeine…..I knew I better make this recipe fast or I would have to buy another bottle of Mountain Dew.

This is all you need for a whole pan of dumplings. I used honey crisp apples because I was buying a bag of apples and they are oldest daughters favorite.

Peel and core 2 apples, cutting each apple into 8 wedges.

Wrap each apple wedge with a crescent roll.

         

I wanted some for my family and another dish for a friend that just had surgery. So, I used two pans. If you want them all in one pan, no problem. Just use a bigger pan then I did.

         

Get out two sticks of butter and melt them in the microwave. Add sugar and cinnamon.

         

Stir the butter, sugar and cinnamon together and spoon over the dumplings.

          

Measure out the Mountain Dew and pour over the dumplings.

         

Place them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Check the dumplings and make sure they are thoroughly cooked but not overly brown on top.

These are mine right after they came out of the oven.

Here is a warm dumpling. These are great for breakfast but I can see adding  scoop of ice cream and having it for dessert.!

Here is my first bite.

Suddenly…..I heard Davy Jones from the Monkeys singing in my ear.

I thought love was only true in fairy tales
 Meant for someone else but not for me
 Love was out to get me
 That’s the way it seemed
 Disappointment haunted all my dreams
 
Then I tasted this dumpling,
 now I’m a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I’m in love,
I’m a believer
I couldn’t leave it if I tried!!!!
 
YOU will be a believer too!!
 
Enjoy,
Becky
 
Mountain Dew Dumpling
Ingredients:
2 cans crescent rolls
2 apples peeled and cut into 8 wedges
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1-12 ounce can of Mountain Dew
 
Directions:
Wrap each apple wedge with a crescent roll from large to small end.
Spray pan with non stick spray
Melt butter and add sugar and cinnamon
Drizzle over the dumplings.
Pour Mountain Dew over the dumplings.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes