Just imagine… crisp autumn air, ochre and crimson leaves rustling outside with a steely grey sky behind. Maybe a puff of smoke spiraling out of a neighboring chimney, or possibly a stash of gourds on the table. And permeating it all, the scent of cinnamon and apples wafting through the room. This is the epitome of slow, seasonal living. This is what I live for.
Fall is a season of pumpkins, gourds, apples, and pears. All of which can serve as seasonal decor, as well as tasty treats. Apples in particular are very versatile. From pies to strudels to crisps, from cider to juice to apple sauce. The list goes on and on. Apple cider is a tradition for us, we make it multiple times every fall to accentuate the presence of the season. I have posted my apple cider recipe on the blog before. So this year, I decided to share my apple butter recipe, along with an apple chip recipe which makes for a great snack.
Apple butter can be used in a variety of ways: as a spread on bread, in oatmeal, on ice cream. You can store it in the fridge or freezer, or can it for a longer season. First, chop 6 1/2 pounds of apples into quarters. You don’t need to peel the apples or core them, as it will all cook down. Place in a large stock pot and add 1/2 cup of raw sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, a healthy dose of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and a whiff of salt. To make brown sugar (as many bulk stores don’t sell it), simply mix sugar with molasses. Add more molasses to make a darker brown sugar. Cover the ingredients with water and cook over medium heat all day. Once the apples have cooked down to a soft mush, blend or food process the mixture to desired consistency. Pour into jars and either freeze, store in the refrigerator, or can according to your altitude’s guidelines.
For apple chips, core and thinly slice two to three apples. You can leave the skin on for added crunchiness. Remember to compost your cores, don’t let that food waste rot in a trash can. Lay the slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 225 degrees for 45 minutes until golden and crispy. Enjoy!