Vanilla Maple Apple Butter & What to Do with Apples

Stock up on apples when you see a great price, generally under a buck per pound. Then do great and tasty things with those apples.

So, I’ve bought a lot of apples so far this season. 50 pounds and counting. At this time next week, I’ll be up to 70 and I’m not sure when I’ll stop. When the price goes up, I suppose.

You see, our produce co-op has ten pound bags for $7.70. That means these beautiful organic Granny Smiths are only $0.70/pound which in these here parts is a screaming deal. I know this price won’t last long; in fact, I’m surprised that they haven’t sold out yet.

So what do you do with 50 pounds of apples?

Let me count the ways.

1. Eat them fresh.

I love it when my kids ask for something to eat because now I have a good, healthy answer. Apples! I’m keeping the crisper filled with apples and the kids know that they can eat them whenever they want. They just can’t waste them.

Some get really jazzed that they can have a WHOLE apple, others prefer them sliced. And there are lots of fun ways to slice apples.

We also spread them with sunbutter or dip them in maple whipped cream. It makes for a lovely, nutritious snack.

2. Make applesauce.

My kids can go through applesauce in no time. The great thing is that applesauce is a no-brainer to make. Just peel and core the apples. (Or cook with the peels on like Amy does.) I use my handy dandy apple peeler-corer-slicer. Toss them in the Crockpot with a little water and walk away. Just walk away.

Well, after you’ve plugged it in and turned it on.

In a few hours, come back to mash it up and stir in some brown sugar and spices. I contemplated canning the applesauce, but not much of it has lasted to make it to the freezer! Maybe next week.

Slow cooker applesauce is super easy to make. And can in turn be used in Applesauce Walnut Bread and Easy Apple Turnovers.

3. Make pies.

Apple pies are one of my favorite things to stock in the freezer. I’ve been doing this for over a decade. It is just so fun to go to the freezer and pull out a pie, especially once the weather starts to chill a bit. An hour later we have a piping hot apple-scented slice of heaven ready to emerge from the oven. Yum!

This weekend I made 2 Slab Apple Pies and 3 regular pies. We’re set for the month at least.

4. Make apple butter.

Hubby doesn’t like apple butter. It’s been years since I even tasted it, so I didn’t know how I would feel about it. My guess is the last time he had it, it probably wasn’t homemade. So, I made a small batch of apple butter and canned it in small jars.

Hubby cringed when he saw it, but accepted a bite when forced. He admitted that it had a nice flavor, carmelly, he said. It was actually the maple he was tasting. It’s so yummy!

I’m imagining all kinds of delicious uses for it, including using it for the jam in my Jam and Cream Scones (from my cookbook). I also picture using it on roast pork and on Baked Brie. I can’t wait!

Want to try your hand at apple butter? I made it in the Crockpot, basically taking the applesauce I made and cooking it further. It was an all day affair, which of course is how things are with a slow cooker. Next time I might just do it up on the stove and speed up the process.

How bout them apples?

What do YOU do with apples to enjoy the season to the fullest?

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Comments

  1. I made apple butter for the first time last year in the crockpot, and gave small jars of it away with fresh bread at Christmas. Not gonna happen this year though… apples are WAY too expensive here! Even a gallon of apple cider is $5-6! But I’ll save your recipe for another year — I never thought of putting vanilla in it, yum!

  2. Can the apple butter be frozen? I usually freeze applesauce, but I was not sure about apple butter.

  3. Your timing is great! I’ve been canning apples for the past two weeks – applesauce, apple butter, apple pie filling, dried apples – and I still have half a bushel left! I’m not complaining, we haven’t had a great apple harvest like this in years. I’m trying this recipe today. Thanks!

  4. I also do the apple pie filling. But we use it as a side instead. Kinda like Cracker Barrels fried apples. Goes great with pork. Only thing when canning anything don’t use thickeners or any kind of oil. It promotes botulism.

  5. I’m sort of an apple snob every since I’ve discovered Honey Crisp … no appleauce, no apple butter, no nothing but a nice chilled apple that is cut into 8 pieces with one of them handy dandy apple cutters … and maybe, just maybe, I’ll toss a few slices in with a glass of white wine, but not very often … serve them cold and plain is my motto! :)

  6. My apple butter is taking forever to thicken. Since I added the maple syrup and vanilla it’s been cooking for 9
    hours. It’s condensed quite a bit , but I think it has lost the vanilla maple flavor. Any suggestions?

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