Apple Everything

I moved to Greenville, SC from Nashville, TN this summer for my husband’s work, and I am definitely falling for this city. It is small/tiny in comparison to my hometown of Houston, TX, but it has so much to offer! From museums to breweries to numerous delicious restaurants to the best farmer’s market that I have ever experienced, this city is really great for the season of life I am currently in. The weather has been cooling down and the leaves are starting to turn to brilliant shades of golden orange and fiery red, which naturally inclines me to want to spend all of my time baking and drinking giant cups of tea. So, this past weekend my husband planned a date at an apple orchard for us. I had visions of plucking beautifully plump apples right off the tree, but that was short-lived. When we got there, all of the apples had been picked for the season so you could only purchase those that had been pre-bagged. Ehhhh, what can ya do? We wandered around the farm for a while before buying a half of a bushel of apples. For those of you who don’t buy your fruit in increments of bushels, a half bushel is 20 pounds, 20 pounds of deliciously ripe beautiful mutsu apples. Fantasies of pie overtook me on the way home. But that’s most days.

Saturday afternoon I put together my pie crust (I’m trying to make this recipe into a family secret that will only be passed down on wedding nights and deathbeds… so sorry, no sharing of this recipe 😉 ). And, I got to peeling. My husband is a huge fan of traditional apple pie, but I found a recipe for an apple crumble pie (thank you, allrecipes.com) that not only looked delicious but afforded me the opportunity to be lazy and not make a lattice top. Though I love a beautifully presented lattice pie or one of those with little leaf cookie cuts baked on top, crumble tops mean less time before the pie is ready for baking which means less time before EATING PIE. And that’s all I really want out of life.

Here is a picture of my lovely cat who was eagerly anticipating pie (she takes after me).IMG_1356

Ingredients for the apple crumble pie:

1 previously made pie crust

5 cups apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

3/4 cup white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup ap flour

6 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together apple slices with ¼ cup flour, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar, and because I love cinnamon, I added ½ tsp cinnamon here. I decided on a more “rustic” look for this pie, so I just dumped these combined ingredients into the pie pan. Then I mixed the remaining ½ cup white sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and ¾ cup flour together, followed by cutting in the 6 tbsp of room temperature butter. I sprinkled this mixture over the top of the apples and baked for 60 minutes. We let cool for a few hours and then dug in.

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It was as delicious as I hoped it would be, and I got a “this is the best apple pie I have ever had” from my dear husband, so I would call this recipe a success! I will definitely be making at least one of these pies each fall from here on out.

After making this pie, I found myself with many more pounds of apples still remaining. So, I decided to make some applesauce, something I had never done before. I don’t like things to be overly sweet, so I opted for a very simple recipe, one that would really highlight the natural flavor of the apples. This time I used about 8 apples. Again, I peeled, cored, and chopped up the apples into about 1 inch squares.

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I put the apples into a stock pot with about a cup of water and ½ cup white sugar with a pinch of cinnamon. Over medium heat, I let the apples simmer for 20 minutes or so. After they had a chance to cool off, I mashed them with a potato masher. The house smelled divine at this point, and I was ready to dig in. I don’t know if I can ever go back to store bought applesauce now. I can’t quite get a picture of the applesauce that does it justice, so just trust me on this one. It’s ah-mazing ;).

I still found myself with more apples after making the applesauce and decided an apple crumble topping for yogurt in the morning would be just the thing to use my last batch of apples on. I made a very quick no-fuss granola—just ¼ cup melted butter combined with ¼ cup brown sugar, all mixed together with 3 cups oats. I baked at 350 for about twenty minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes to make sure everything was evenly cooking and nothing was getting burnt.

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To mix with the granola and yogurt, I followed similar procedure as if I was making applesauce except that I sliced the apples and stirred more frequently to ensure they weren’t getting too mushy.

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I cooked them over medium-ish heat for about half an hour. Can’t wait to spoon these over my breakfasts for the next several days!

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My house smells divine, my kitchen is a mess, and all of the windows are open. Happy fall, y’all!

-J

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