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Pat’s Pantry/By Pat Mills
Apple harvest starts in September and runs through the middle of November. I remember when I was a kid, my mom would take us to an apple orchard to buy a bushel of apples and the guy running the place would let each of us pick out an apple to eat on the way home. An apple pie to canned pie filling there is nothing like fresh apples from the tree. – Pat
CLASSIC APPLE PIE
1 package (15oz) refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
6 cups sliced granny smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and vanilla
1/8 teaspoon each salt, ground nutmeg and ground cloves
1 tablespoon whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unfold one pie crust; press into 9-in pie dish. (Keep remaining pie crust in refrigerator while preparing apples.) Combine apples, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, nutmeg and cloves in large bowl; mix well. Pour into prepared crust. Place second crust over apples; crimp around edges to seal crusts together. Cut 4 slits in top crust; brush top crust with cream. Bake 40 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.
APPLE PIE IN A JAR
3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
6 cups cored peeled granny smith or other tart apples
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 package (1.75-oz) regular powdered fruit pectin
9 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Prepare canner, jars and lids. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse raisins until finely chopped. Set aside. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine apples and lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in pectin until dissolved. Stir in raisins. Return to high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Skim off foam. Ladle hot filling into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot filling. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
8 cups chopped peeled tart apples (about 3-1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Place all ingredients in a large saucpan or dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from the heat; mash until sauce has reached the desired consistency. Serve warm or cold. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Yield: 6 servings (about 3-1/2 cups) Note: I make mine in a slow cooker and cook for about 10 to 12 hours on low.
BAKED APPLES ON A GRILL
4 medium tart apples, cored
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Place each apple on a 12-in square piece of heavy-duty foil. Combined remaining ingredients; spoon into center of apples. Fold foil over apples and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until apples are tender. Yield: 4 servings.
• Raisins won’t stick to a food chopper if they are soaked in cold water for a short period of time.
• If you add a small pat of butter when cooking fruit for jams and jellies and you won’t have any foam to skim off the top.