A lifestyle blog about life and living in Southeast, Alaska.
August 20, 2016
I wish that any of you could come to my house right now and savor how wonderful the smell of apples, mixed with cinnamon and brown sugar simmering on my stove is. It took me back to when I was a little girl growing up in Washington and my parents would take us to apple harvest festivals where you could pick apples and make your own apple cider. My dad, now retired, was a commercial loan officer for over 30 years. Many of his clients consisted of apple farmers and the fruits of their labor were always gifted to us when my dad would close a deal. Perks of the job.
My friend Rene had told me come pick crab apples from her parents crab apple tree in their yard. Her parents run a small family/community farm called Sunshine Farms and before you get to the garden stands a large and tall crab apple tree. It reminds me of the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Not only does the tree give us plenty of fruit and shade on a hot day it's strong branches also provide a place to hang a swing and simply enjoy the sound of the leaves as the wind sings through them. I took the kids picking crab apples at Sunshine Farm giving tree on probably one of the worst possible days to harvest apples. It was raining sideways and by the time we were done and got in the car, each of us looked like we had just gotten out of the shower. But we ended up picking about 2 gallons, which was enough for me to do something fun with.
First I cut the end of my tiny crab apples office and placed them in a bowl of whatever just to cover them, and I added about 1/4 cup of vinegar. I just wanted to make sure they were really clean before I started cooking with them. I kept them in the water/vinegar solution for about 10 minutes. I then drained the water and placed them in a big pot.
Now when you pick berries, apples or harvesting anything you usually use a gallon bucket. I ended up just using about 1 gallon of the apples to start. I had picked 2 gallons, so this was just a half batch. So then I added to my gallon of apples, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups of water, juice of one lemon, pinch of salt, and 3 tsp of cinnamon. I then turned the stove on to med/high heat and stirred every 10 minutes for 45 minutes.
At this point be prepared for the smells of the simmering apples to put you in some sort of trance. I swear I had so may flashbacks of growing up in Washington apple country. Yum.
Now I let the mixture cool for about a half an hour. I then grabbed a ladle and scooped it into my Vitamix Blender (you could use a food processor too). I had to do this in two batches. I then blended it for about 2 minutes straight just to make sure all the lumps and bumps were out. Then that's it! My husband is at the store right now getting canning jars, so I may can this to have a healthy easy snack for the kids or even smother over pork!
1 gallon of apples (can be peeled)
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 lemon, juiced
3 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot.
2. Simmer over medium/high heat for 45 minutes, stir occasionally.
3. Place mixture and blend in food processor until smooth.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!