Saturday, September 18, 2010


I can’t believe it is that time of year already. Where did the summer go? Where did all the fresh fruits of summer disappear to? I’ll really miss them this year. It seems to me that summer just didn’t last quite long enough. I guess autumn is okay too though. I didn’t used to like autumn because I knew winter was lurking right around the corner, but I have to admit I love canning season. I love the little nip in the air that says soup, pumpkin and hot chocolate weather are coming. And I have to admit I love apple season.

Another thing I love about this time of year is all the case lot sales. I need to put a plug in for shopping at these sales. Not only do you get some of the best buys on cases now, it is also a great motivator. Sometimes that’s all we need to work on food storage is a little motivation. There is nothing that makes you feel better than seeing some cases in your storage room. It just makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Whether you can it yourself or buy it, it makes you feel good every time you see it.

Even though apples are one fruit you can buy year around, there is just something about this time of year that makes them special. I used to can a LOT of applesauce when my kids were little. I’ve kind of gotten away from that but I have a new appreciation for using applesauce in baking. It also makes a great base for dried fruit leathers. If you have access to cheap apples or want to can applesauce do it! I’m including my favorite applesauce recipe. It doesn’t make too many pints so depending on the price of apples you may choose to shop the sales for applesauce. My favorite things to make with apples are as I’ve mentioned before, the dried apple slices with cinnamon and sugar, canned apple pie filling, apple cake in a jar, which I often use in gift baskets for people who live alone and would like a smaller dessert and this chocolate chip applesauce cake which I bet everyone makes and likes as much as I do. I’m also including the recipe for my favorite applesauce muffins. These are just plain old muffins, nothing special except they are good and easy. Add chocolate chips, raisins or a streusel topping if you wish.

20 large apples
4 c. water
2 ½ c. sugar
Cinnamon to taste (if desired)
Wash apples; quarter, peel and core and remove all bruised or decayed parts. Put apples in a heavy pot. Add water and cook over medium heat till soft. Put cooked apples in food processor and blend till mostly smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, press the apples through a colander or sieve. Return to pot and add sugar. Bring to a boil. Pack into hot canning jars while sauce is boiling hot, leaving a 1” head space. Wipe jar clean. Put lid and rim on jar, tightening by hand. Process in boiling water bath 25 minutes for pints and quarts. This recipe makes about 4 pints.

2 c. applesauce
2 c. flour
1 ½ c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. cocoa
½ t. salt
1 ½ t. soda
½ c. oil
2 eggs
Combine all ingredients and blend well. Pour into greased and floured 9x13” pan. Sprinkle with 2 T. brown sugar combined with ½ c. chocolate chips. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes. This is a cross between brownies and a cake. Very good.

Apple Cake In A Jar
2/3 c. shortening
2 2/3 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 t. cinnamon
2 t. soda
1 ½ t. salt
½ t. baking powder
½ t. nutmeg
3 c. flour
2/3 c. water
3 c. grated apples
1 c. chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350º Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Combine dry ingredients. Stir into mixture all at once. Stir in water, apples and nuts and mix well. Using 6 or 7 wide mouth pint canning jars; grease bottles with shortening, using a paper towel. Fill each bottle ½ full with batter. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 45 minutes or longer until all the bottles are browned all thru. If it rises too high, slice off the top with a knife. Take out of oven one bottle at a time. Put a new canning lid and rim on and tighten. Jars will seal and keep for several months or up to a year. These make great gifts.

Applesauce Muffins
1 c. butter or margarine softened
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 c. applesauce
4 c. flour
2 t. soda
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. allspice
½ t. ground cloves
1 c. chopped nuts
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in applesauce. Combine flour, soda and spices. Stir into creamed mixture. Fold in nuts. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups ¾ full. Bake 350º for 25 minutes or until muffins test done. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture if desired. Y: 2 dozen.

I can't believe I almost forgot the reason I did this post in the first place. Whenever I go into a bakery to buy rolls or doughnuts my first choice is always the apple fritters, even before the maple bars. I was so excited when I found this recipe so that I can make them at home. See...the way I figure it is, if I make the apple fritters at home then I can buy the maple bars and have the best of both worlds. Yup, always thinking!!

Apple Fritters
1 c. flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
2 T. sugar
½ to 1 t. cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
½ c. plus 1 T. milk
1 ½ c.(about 3) apples, peeled and diced
Oil for frying
Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add egg and milk to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add apples to the batter and stir well. Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil and fry until dark golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Once done frying, let cool on paper towels. Dip in glaze, covering fritters well. Place fritters on a wire rack with wax paper underneath, for easy cleanup. Let glaze harden! Y: 12 small fritters.
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 T. milk (add more for desired consistency)
Mix all together until fairly thin but not too runny. Add more powdered sugar or milk if necessary.

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