Originally published April 2019
I love warm apple flavors, but especially in autumn! Here are three recipes I found this week that I love.
At the grocery stores near us they have this thing called ‘The Odd Bunch’. You can buy a bag of ‘the odd bunch’ produce at a discounted price because it’s unusual or funky shaped.
Well, last week I got groceries at Countdown, and since Jared needed our vehicle that day, I had my groceries delivered. How cool is that? I wanted to make some homemade apple cider (especially since I’m pregnant I feel like I should add this disclaimer: in NZ if you say cider you automatically mean hard cider. In the US it’s a name for a kind of apple juice, basically. I’m referring to the American kind). Honestly it didn’t turn out as great as I’d hoped… the powdered kind from Costco is still ten times better. I kind of regret not bringing any back when we were in the States because it’s the perfect autumn drink.
Anyways – so Countdown had ‘the odd bunch’ apples – a 2kg bag for $2. That’s a great deal! Normally I buy apples at around $3.50/kg. So since the price was great and I needed lots of apples, naturally, I bought two bags.
Sonic knows that I hate when he’s in our room if Jared or I aren’t there too! That’s his ‘Am I in trouble?’ face.
Well I didn’t quite realise how much 2kg is. So when my groceries arrived I had two very large bags of apples. I got my apple cider started in the crockpot (apples, water, spices) and then found an applesauce recipe since Jared and I definitely can’t eat 30 apples in a week.
The applesauce was so amazing! It’s so easy to make. I honestly didn’t know that applesauce was so simple. It didn’t take long for us to finish off the batch I made, and I couldn’t stop thinking about what a good deal the apples were.
$1/kg. They were all in great shape too, I think two apples had bruises and a couple had spots but nothing major. So on Thursday after work I told Jared that I really, really, really wanted to get more apples.
So I went to Countdown and bought some more apples – 4 more bags. Why not?! When will I find a deal like this again?! We have a chest freezer, the applesauce is delicious, and so easy to make.
For those wondering how much 8 kg is in pounds, it’s about 17. And if you count the two bags I got earlier in the week, that’s a total of 12 kg, or around 25 pounds.
I made several batches as per the recipe, and then made a batch with brown sugar, extra spices and a sliced lemon instead of lemon juice, and that’s the one I got photos of. And it turned out amazing! I didn’t measure, I just added a cinnamon stick, lots of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and some cloves. At the end, before blending, I removed the lemon peels and cinnamon stick.
Essentially, take a ton of apples (I used mainly royal gala, with a bit of granny smith) and chop them up. You don’t need to peel them unless you really hate apple peels and you don’t use a blender at the end.
Add 1/2-1 cup water (I used 1 cup for a full pot of apples), a few Tablespoons lemon juice, salt, and spices. Add sugar, if you’re using it – it’s up to you! The recipe calls for white sugar, but I made some with brown sugar instead.
Bring to a boil, then turn down and cover with a lid, and let simmer for about half an hour. I put my burner on 10, then turned it down to 4. After the half hour was up, I took the lid off and let it simmer until I was happy with the amount of liquid left in the pot. Once you’re satisfied, take off the heat and use an immersion blender to get it nice and smooth!
On Friday I started making more applesauce, and had several batches going throughout the day. But since I had soooo many apples I also looked for other recipes with apples and found two great ones!
Click here for the recipe for apple waffles. I made a batch and they were delicious, so I made another batch – doubled this time – and put a bunch of waffles in the freezer. The flavor of these waffles is just warm and tasty and cozy. I’m looking forward to being able to pop one in the toaster and have a delicious waffle anytime I want! This blog has tons of recipes including lots for the freezer, and I’m planning to try out several of them.
What I thought of next was a warm, spicy, apple cake. And… I couldn’t find one. All the recipes I found didn’t look like what I pictured in my head. I searched breads, muffins, cakes.
Finally I found this recipe, which isn’t quite what I was thinking of at first but it is delicious! The original recipe is very sugary. So if you love sugary cakes, this one’s for you! I made a batch, and while it tastes amazing, it was a bit sweet for me, and the spices a bit subtle, so I decided to be brave and try and adjust the recipe. I am not a baker. I love baking but I know nothing about the chemistry side of it. So I did some googling and found this great article from King Arthur Flour about how to reduce sugar in cake. I made this recipe again, but this time I cut the sugar in this recipe by 25%, and added some extra spices.
I was so nervous. But it turned out great! Still not quite the warm spicy cake I first dreamed of, but it’s a good, tasty, apple cake.
Here are the adjustments that I made:
Original Recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar.
I used 1 1/4 cups white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar.
Original Recipe calls for 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg.
I used 4 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon allspice.
For the applesauce in the recipe, I used my freshly homemade applesauce – you can’t really beat that!
Edited to add: everyone LOVES this apple cake, and it freezes well! Just thaw at room temperature, and enjoy.