The bucket list for fall festivities has officially begun at our house! A few weeks ago our family kicked off the fall season with an activity that we love – apple picking!
We are fortunate enough to live in an area that is surrounded by farms. One of the perks of living in the country is meeting your country neighbors.
One such neighbor lives on an adorable little farmette, not far from our home, and they are sweet enough to invite us over every year at this time to pick apples – sometimes pears too – from their orchard trees. I am always very grateful for the bags of fruit we receive and all the delicious fall treats that come as a result. They have such an adorable little piece of property. It is meticulously maintained and shows a real pride of ownership.
I especially love all the stonework that is exposed on their barns. So pretty!
This was a perfect early fall day for apple picking. The sun was shining, temperatures in the low 70’s and lots of cool breezes blowing in.
We used a long flexrake with a fruit picker head attached to the end to reach the really high up apples that grow on the very top of the tree.
The kids had lots of fun running around trying to collect the apples as fast as they could when they came tumbling down from this big tree.
But even still a lot of them ended up rolling down to the driveway before they could catch them.
My kids always love biting into a fresh juicy apple! As long as they are free of any worm holes!
The apples were plentiful and ripe for the picking! I was surprised at how early they peaked this year.
We ended up with quite the load of apples. My in-laws who came along with us even got to take a full bag home for themselves.
So what do I do with all these delicious apples? Well, about half of them I peeled, chopped and placed in freezer bags for making pies over the winter months. The other half I made into delicious dutch oven applesauce. It quite literally will make your entire house smell like heaven. It’s amazing – not to mention very simple to throw together.
Would you like to try it for yourself? Here are the basic steps to making it:
1) Peel, Chop & Core 4-6 Apples
Then add them to your dutch oven with 3/4 cup of water.
2) Add Sugar & Spice
I add about 1/2 cup of white sugar, along with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
3) Add Lemon Juice & Simmer
Then I squeeze the juice from 2 large lemons into the pot, stir it all up and let it simmer on medium heat for an hour or however long it takes for the apples to cook all the way down. When they look soft enough, I take a potato masher and help break down any remaining chunks of apples.
The result is delicious dutch oven applesauce that you can serve alongside a nice roast pork dinner, or spoon warm over a bowl of vanilla ice cream….it’s so worth enjoying any way you can this time of year!
How about you and your family? Where do you like to go apple picking this time of year?