Try a bushel a week during apple picking time around my house……..!

We can’t resist a trip to Lyman Orchards or Roger’s Orchards during the Fall.  My husband and i have been known to hit up Lyman every weekend to get our fill of the freshest produce around this time of year.  (And yes, we usually pick up a frozen turkey pot pie or three to last during the winter).  We took Jake up to Roger’s Orchards to pick out pumpkins (3 this year instead of 2!), apples, and sharp cheddar- to snack on with apple slices, of course!  And while we usually burn through that bushel of apples snacking on them during the week, i usually end up with 6 or so lowly apples bouncing around in the fruit bin of our refrigerator.  This is where the fun comes in.  There are lots of ways to incorporate that bushel of apples, and i don’t mean the simple slice and smear of peanut butter on top.  So after you figure out what you want to bake, load up the family truckster and head to your local orchard.  Here are some of my favorite ways to use the bounty of the season:

 

1.) Baby Food, of course!  At Roger’s this weekend, i was told that Cortland apples are very good for baking, so i picked up a little basket of them to make baby food.  You might remember one of my previous posts about this.  All you do is peel and dice some apples, simmer them in a small pot (or use my favorite method- the Beaba Babycook), add a little bit of the cooking liquid to the apples once they’re done (usually 5 or 6 minutes), and blend in a food proccesor until smooth.

2.) Apple and Onion Stuffin’ Muffins.  Rachael Ray comes through for you with this pretty delicious and quick side dish.  After you prepare the stuffing mix, you scoop it into muffin tins and bake.  You’ll end up with quite a few, so after you and your family have had their fill, you can simply freeze the rest for a later date.  (You know, when you’re running late, everyone’s hungry, and you’re looking for something to go with that rotisserie chicken you bought at the grocery store!?)  These are not overpoweringly seasoned, so even your pickiest of eaters will still love them.  Oh, and an added bonus- your house will smell like Thanksgiving when you’re done.  You can find the recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/apple-and-onion-stuffin-muffins-recipe/index.html

3.) Caramel Apple Pie Bars.  If you’re looking for a recipe to impress this season, Caramel Apple Pie Bars are IT.  I’ve made this recipe often, and it has come out perfect every single time.  (To [welcome] rave reviews from family and co-workers!)  If that doesn’t have you convinced, I can tell you that the Durham Fair judges were pretty in love with it when it earned me a First Place ribbon!  You can choose to add or not add the caramel- i’ve done it both ways, and it is equally delicious.  You can find the recipe here:  http://www.cakespy.com/blog/2009/11/4/decadent-sweets-inspired-by-dana-treat-caramel-apple-pie-bar.html

4.) Apple Crisp.  I’m going to leave you on a high note.  (as if the Caramel Apple Pie Bars don’t have you running out on your lunch break to the nearest orchard)… If there is one recipe that i keep around the kitchen this time of year it is this one.  Obviously you can use any kind of apples you have, and mix them up if you have a few varieties.  I’ve thrown raisins in the mix if i have them on hand, and chopped pecans or walnuts- pretty much anything goes with this recipe.  You can adjust the recipe if you have as little as 5 apples, and bake it in a smaller dish.  While i enjoy apple crisp on it’s own, if we are going to a family party, or have people over, i’ll serve it with vanilla frozen yogurt or a spoon of whipped cream on top.  Oh, and the leftovers are amazing cold.  In the baking dish.  Right out of the fridge.  (Remember- this is a no judgment zone).  This fall staple can be found here:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/apple-crisp-ii/detail.aspx

So what are some of your family’s favorite fall recipes?  I’m always looking to add to my recipe box, and i’d love to hear what your favorite ways to cook with this fall fruit are.

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