Friday, October 1, 2010

Apple Harvest 2010

A bonus of going to the farm last weekend to celebrate Kippy's 10th birthday (September 25 & 26) was being able to help with the Apple harvest. There are two HoneyCrisp apple trees at the farm, which were planted when my neice, Makenzie (1993), and nephew, Kaleb (1996), were born. The tricky thing is that some years there are loads of apples and some years there have been no apples at all. It all depends on the weather when the trees are in bloom. Rain and high winds greatly affect pollination as well as temperature, like a late Spring frost. This year was a little less than average, yeilding 9 five-gallon buckets full of apples, plus a couple of pails full of bruised and banged up apples are used for apple sauce. In a banner year, we can get almost 30 five gallon buckets.

This year the apples were HUGE even tho the yield wasn't great, maybe because of the smaller number of apples on the trees. We had 4 adults and 4 kids helping with harvest. Kaleb got the job of picking from up high in the cherry picker, while Kippy & Logan climbed right up up in the trees to pick. Abby used a ladder, while I helped out with transferring and rating the apples. Grandma Rose was busy cutting up the apples for apple sauce and shared slices with all of the workers. Steve and Grandpa Rod were in charge of moving the ladders and the cherry picker into position. It was a very good time and we have been eating delicious, juicy, crisp, sweet apples every day since then. I love them cut up in salads and in morning oatmeal.

Another option if you have apples that are less than perfect is to make crockpot applesauce.
I don't follow a formal recipe, but this is what I do. I core and quarter enough apples to fill the crockpot 3/4 full. Add 1/2 cup a liquid, I love using orange juice, but think that cranberry juice or apple cider would be good. ...I have used water too. It all works. I sprinkle liberally with cinnamon, add a dash of nutmeg and salt. I also add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for about 6 hours. I simply mash with a potatoe masher because we like it chunky, but if ran through a mill it would be perfectly smooth. The Honeycrisp apples are naturally sweet, so no sugar necessary. Of course, we love it warm with a dollup of ice cream. Tastes like PIE & makes the house smell wonderful! Yum!
How do you like your apples?


the mom~ said...

Looks delicious. I like my apples right off the tree.

Lori said...

Looks wonderful! I do love apple harvest time. I love to make apple pie filling (maybe not love...but I love to have it done!). Honey Crisp apples are the best!

Kathy said...

I thought...hmm...I should email Renae and ask her for the applesauce crockpot recipe. I even told a lady in Kohl's about it this weekend. She was so excited to make it...and we didn't even know how! I have officially wrote down the recipe "Renae's Crockpot Applesauce". I can't wait to give it a try. I wanted to make it on Wednesday because it is suppose to only be only 72 but Reno is on the road. (only 1 night so that is progress!) So it will have to wait until the weekend so he can try it as well. Thanks for the awesome idea. I can't wait to give it a try!