I always love this time of the year. It reminds me of when we lived in Ohio during Medical School. Every October we would take one of Austin's days off, or just the kids and I would go if he was too crazy busy, and we would make a day of going to the apple orchard and picking apples. One time Stacy even got to come with me, remember that Stace? There were SOOO many kinds of apples. Apples for canning, for applesauce, for fresh eating, for pies.... I LOVED IT!!! My girls also loved it. As you were picking you could eat as many apples as you wanted. They wanted you to try all the different types, and so we did. It was the first time I ever tried a Honey Crisp and fell in love. It has been in my top 3 since then. We even planted a Honey Crisp last year just for me, and got 20 apples this year!!! YUM!
During the fall I make tons of applesauce. Usually I just do plain-jane regular. Depending on the tartness of the apples I will add no sugar up to 1/2 C. per batch. My husband and kids like it a little more tart, so more often than not I will not add any sugar. Sometimes I will add a couple of dashes of cinnamon. I have a friend that adds other fruits, like strawberry, raspberry or blueberry. This year though I tried a new recipe and it is by far my favorite. And all of my family's new favorite. It is called Spiced Applesauce. I found it in the little booklet that came with my sauce maker. I wanted to share it with you because, yes, it is THAT good!
(These are a few of my favorite pictures of my girls 8 years ago at the apple orchard in Ohio. Now they are 11 and 9!! I just thought these were just too cute not to share.)
8 lbs apples, washed and quartered
12 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 C. honey
Place the quartered apples in a large pot with a small amount of water, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Cover and steam until tender over medium heat, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick and put the apples through the food strainer.** Add remaining ingredients to taste.
** If you do not have a food strainer you will need to core and peel the apples, instead of just quartering, and then steam them the same. When they are done you can use a potato masher or a blender and puree them. Both ways works wonderful!
Don't forget to eat a little of the applesauce while it is still warm! It is the best!