Three ways to cook with apples [RECIPES]

The lovely sight of apples hanging from the trees is a fine reason to hit the orchards this week. We are a big fan of buying bags of "seconds"--apples with slight blemishes that are sold at a deep discount. Finding ourselves with 12 pounds of apples this weekend (at 99 cents a pound from Aamodt's), it was time to get crazy in the kitchen. Here are three of our favorite creations.

Crock Pot Apple Butter

Let this cook all day long and fill the house with sweet fragrance

Apples--enough to fill your crock pot very full
1-2 cups of sugar (to taste)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt

Peel, core, and chop the apples. Fill a crock pot to the brim with the apples. In a bowl mix sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Pour this mixture over the apples. Cover and cook approximately 10 hours, stirring occasionally. Freeze in baggies, or follow safe canning procedures, filling your jars leaving a 1/4-inch space. Wipe rims clean, remove any air bubbles, and place lids.

Recipe adapted from Simply Canning

Apple Brandy

A perfect little nip for a cool fall evening.

Peel and slice three apples and put them in a mason jar. Fill with brandy. Add a vanilla bean and orange peel if desired. Place in a cool dark place to infuse for a week.

Easy Applesauce

3 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and quartered
Optional: sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice to taste

Place apples in large pot. Cook until soft with just enough water so they don't stick. Puree in a food processor or use a hand blender to desired consistency. Return to pot and bring to a boil. Add sugar and spices if desired. Keep applesauce boiling and ladle hot sauce into hot jars leaving ½-inch space. Remove air bubbles and adjust two-piece caps. *Process pints and quarts for 20 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
*Be sure to follow safe canning procedures or refrigerate or freeze instead.
Makes 1 quart

Adapted from the Ball Canning Book courtesy of

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