It’s my favorite time of year…Fall! The days get cooler, the clothes get bigger, football parties, fall festivals, Halloween, and best of all…The Harvest (all the wonderful Fall fruits and vegetables). Living on the Central Coast, we are in agricultural heaven! They grow everything here.
I love apple picking! If you’re a mom like me, Avila Barn has been one of your best friends since your kids were old enough to make animal noises. They have all kinds of farm pets to view and feed: goats, chickens, sheep, ostriches, a cow, and sometimes even a turkey (hmmm, I wonder why it’s only in the fall…). The barn offers hayrides out to their orchards where, depending on the season, you can pick apples, peaches, squash, nectarines, and pumpkins. They host a lot of school field trips at Halloween time with hayrides to pick your own pumpkin and a hay-maze to play in. Even as my kids are growing older, they still love going to Avila Barn. Did I mention they have an ice cream shop, a wonderful bakery, deli, and fruit & vegetable stand? For more information on Avila Barn, I’ve got them listed below.
When I started writing this post it was going to be a recipe for homemade applesauce with apples we picked ourselves. Well, my applesauce didn’t turn out quite right, and instead I turned into apple butter. Here’s what happened.
Crockpot Applesauce: (My Apple Butter Recipe By Mistake)
3 lbs Apples (cut and cored)
½ C Water
A squeeze of fresh Lemon Juice
1 ½ tsp Cinnamon
3/4 C Brown Sugar
Error # 1: Maybe it was stated, but I didn’t see it. You should peel your apples! The peels get hard and change the consistency of the applesauce.
Place your apple chunks into the Crockpot & add in the rest. Cook on low for 5-6 hours & then use a potato masher to smash the apples into the consistency you desire (I like mine chunky). Store in the frig.
Error # 2: My Crockpot has a low setting, but it’s 8 – 10 hours. I thought I could set it and forget it… apples still tasted great, but there was some browning around the edges…
After I mashed the apples, the peels were tough and made it unpleasant to eat because we were constantly spitting out the little peel pieces. So how do you fix this? I had spent a lot of time and energy picking, cutting, and coring the apples; I didn’t want to waste this batch. It still tasted great. So I placed my mixture into my Vitamix blender thinking that I could blend it until the peels were small enough we would detect them. Well, I got a little overly excited with my blender and pureed the mixture. Yummy, smooth as butter…hey, I just made apple butter! It turns out the kids love it! We put it on toast, make sandwiches with it & even put it on rice cakes.
So, that’s my story on how I went from making applesauce to apple butter, and now I’m canning the rest to give to friends & family for Christmas.
Oh, I did end up making applesauce. I used a different recipe (no sugar)!
3 lbs. Apples (Peeled, Cut & Cored)
½ C Water
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 T Cinnamon
1 T Maple Syrup
Place ingredients o top of apples in your Crock Pot, and cook on Low for 5-6 hours. I had to keep a second timer on since my Crock Pot cooks on Low for 8-10 hours. But after 5 hours, my apples were soft & using a potato masher I mashed them into super yummy applesauce.http://avilavalleybarn.com/about.html https://www.facebook.com/pages/Avila-Valley-Barn/117190128299474 560 Avila Beach Drive San Luis Obispo CA 93405 805.595.2810 or 805.595.2816 Open Daily 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m.