My name is Erin and I'm a u-pick-aholic. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples -- I always come home with way more than I should. Luckily, the berries freeze, and freshly picked apples have a pretty long lifespan. This fall, I picked about 25 pounds of apples at Jones Creek Farm, a lovely u-pick orchard north of Seattle. They grow a ton of varieties and don't label most of the trees (you are welcome to sample as much as you want from the trees to find what you like instead), so it's always an adventure seeing what you end up with. I got a bag of tart (baking) and one of sweet (eating), but not really sure what actual kinds of apples I got beyond that!
I cooked with the apples in various spurts throughout the last few months, finally finishing them off with a desperation applesauce-making round this week. I made some yummy things, and with the applesauce sitting in the freezer, I predict making more yummy things in the months to come!
Apple Spice Bread
I have no idea what I did wrong, but this was a pretty bad flop. I baked it well over the suggested time and the outside got very dark, but the inside was still very gummy when eating it.
Apple Oatmeal Bread
This bread is very dense, but in a good way. The raisins add a great textural contrast and the flavor is good. Definitely more of a breakfast/tea time type quick bread. I can't wait to try this with honey butter.
I converted six pounds of apples into this. The taste and texture are both great -- so much better than store-bought. Since I don't have a baby to watch out for like Smitten Kitchen, I leave the lemon zest in and puree it up with the sauce. I'm planning on converting this into granola and some baked goods - will need to do a follow-up post!
One of the items I made with the applesauce was spiced applesauce cake, discussed here.
[Update 1/14/11] I used some of this applesauce to make this granola. It was delicious, and not too sweet. I halved the recipe and it still provided several weeks worth of breakfast yogurt topping.
Slow Cooker Sweetened Applesauce
You can't get much easier than crock pot cooking. This applesauce has just the right amount of sweetness and has an appealing texture. My only regret is that I ran out of flour before I could make the accompanying buttermilk biscuits!
Savory recipes documented here and here