My 5 Favorite Apple Recipes for Fall.

Now that it’s almost October, I’m starting to get on board with all the fall things! The weather has turned a little bit cooler and the leaves are starting to change, so I’m starting to accept the fact that summer is over and fall is here.

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Yesterday my friend and I picked apples and  now I have no less than 50 apples to use up. So, here are my favorite apple-based recipes in case you pick up some fresh fruit, too! These recipes scream fall to me and are tried-and-true. Some of them are pretty indulgent, so enjoy in moderation.

Easy Crock Pot Apple Butter

If I have to choose one apple recipe to make each year, it’s this one!! It’s fool-proof. I’ve been making this for years and it always turns out fantastic. It’s so easy to do because I let it cook in the crock pot overnight. In fact, I made this last night and woke up in the middle of the night to the sweet aroma of apples and cinnamon. I LOVE the way it makes my house smell, and the taste is even better! Make a large quantity and freeze some of it for later.

The Best Apple Pie Ever. 

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Now, if my husband could pick just one apple recipe for me to make, it would be this one. I use my one-minute homemade pie crust to hold in those sweet, juicy apple slices. They get tossed in a rich butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture before baking, and some of that lovely mixture gets brushed on the crust. It is sooooo ridiculously good.

Apple Crisp Muffins

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Super sweet muffins with real chunks of apple in the batter, then finished with an oat topping reminiscent of an apple crisp (hence the name). There’s enough sweetness that these can be dessert instead of breakfast!

Autumn Chopped Salad

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This salad is ahhhhmazing. There’s lots of yummy things like crunchy romaine, feta, peanuts, cranberries, bacon, a pear, and (of course) an apple! Toss the whole thing in a combination of poppyseed dressing and balsamic vinegar (seriously, so delicious) and dive in!

Easy Crock Pot Apple Sauce

Here’s another super easy crock pot recipe. You can make this refined sugar free by simply omitting the sugar. Like the apple butter, it all cooks down in the crock pot, but the apple sauce takes about half the time (6 hours). When it’s done it looks like this:

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What is your favorite apple recipe? Let me know in the comments!

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Apple Crisp Muffins

If you love the flavors of apple crisp, you will love these muffins. They are very sweet, with a warm autumnal flavor thanks to the combination of apples and cinnamon. The crumb topping is to die for and really makes these look and taste like bakery style muffins!

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Thanksgiving is next week and these would be a delicious recipe to share with your family for breakfast, or dessert. They are soo moist (thanks to apple sauce and a little bit of oil and butter) and by far the best apple muffins I have ever made. But, just for the record: these are not healthy muffins. They do have white whole wheat flour and fruit in them, though. : )

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I almost went ahead and declared them cupcakes because they are more dessert than breakfast fare, but I then considered the absence of frosting and decided to leave them as muffins. Let’s be honest, though, there’s not THAT much of a  difference between muffins and cupcakes, right? Calling them muffins just makes it acceptable to eat one for breakfast!

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I used my handy apple peeler/corer/slicer machine to make these apple slices thin. Each muffin has layers of apple slices throughout, making each bite tasty and the overall appearance beautiful! I actually do not think the photos do them justice; these muffins are seriously yummy and will also make your home smell delicious!

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Apple Crisp Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped apple (about 2 medium-sized apples. I typically use Honeycrisp or Granny Smith)

For the crisp topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1). Preheat the oven to 350F. Line muffin pans with foil liners.

2). In a large bowl, mix together the butter, oil, sugars, and apple sauce with an electric mixer until very well combined. Add egg and vanilla and beat another minute.

3). In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Remove 2 tablespoons of this flour mixture and toss well with the apples in a small bowl.

4). Using a spatula, add half remaining flour mixture to wet ingredients, mixing just to combine. Add remaining half of flour and apples. Fold the apples into the batter until combined, being careful not to over mix. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full with batter.

5). Prepare the crisp topping. In a small bowl, combine all of the crisp topping ingredients until very well combined. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon over each muffin.

6). Bake muffins for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack.

Servings: 12. Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 275 Carbs: 36 Fat: 13g Protein: 3g Sugar: 23g Fiber: 3g WW Points+:7 

Recipe adapted from: http://iowagirleats.com/2013/09/20/apple-crisp-muffins/ 

 

Crock Pot Apple Butter

One of my favorite fall activities is going apple picking. My good friend and I recently made the 90 minute trip up to the local orchards to pick apples, and I used a large portion of those apples to make this fabulous recipe. Did you know you can make apple butter effortlessly in the crock pot? The only time-consuming part is slicing the apples, but if you have one of those peel/slice/core machines it doesn’t take long at all! If you don’t have one, you really should get one…they are amazing!

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Back to the recipe. All you have to do is combine sliced apples with some spices and sugar, and the crock pot does the rest. It cooks down so well that in the morning all it takes is just a quick swirl of a fork or whisk and the apples completely disintegrate into a jam-like consistency. The worst part about this recipe is having to wait 12 hours for the final product. But the best part of this recipe, other than the delicious apple butter,…

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…It makes your ENTIRE house smell like a holiday candle. I let this cook overnight and we woke up to the most amazing autumnal smell of cooked apples and cinnamon.

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This recipe makes a lot of apple butter, which is perfect because you can freeze apple butter to have year round or give it to friends in a cute jar as a gift. Mine made 11 cups!! We love having homemade apple butter at our disposal year round. We seem to use it often on top of homemade breakfast items such as biscuits, pancakes, french toast, muffins, etc. If you are really feeling bold, toss a spoonful of it into a milkshake. My husband makes himself milkshakes all the time and does this. It tastes like apple pie!

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An important note about this recipe: it is easily adaptable and you should feel completely comfortable tweaking it to your taste. I suggest starting with the recipe below and adjusting from there. You will want to add more sugar based on the tartness of the apples you use, and you may want a stronger flavored apple butter. I always taste the apple butter after the initial 9-11 hour cooking window and add more spices then. Also, I have used various types of freshly picked apples in the past and it has always turned out amazing!

It is October, fall is here, and you MUST make this recipe!

Crock Pot Apple Butter

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/2 lbs of apples (about 15 for me), peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • 2-2 3/4  cups of sugar (add more if you have very tart apples…I usually start with less sugar and add more if needed)
  • 2 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1. Spray your crock pot with cooking spray. Place chopped apples in the crock pot and combine with sugar and spices. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.

2. Cook on low for 9-11 hours (I always do this overnight). It should be dark brown and thickened. Uncover and cook on low (I sometimes kick this up to high) for 1 hour or longer until thickened to desired consistency.

3. Allow to cool; place in containers. Cover and refrigerate or freeze.

Serving size: 2 tbsp. Nutritional Information per 2 tbsp: Calories: 31 Carbs: 8g Fat: 0g Protein: 0g Sugar: 8g Fiber: 1g

WW PointsPlus: 1

Recipe adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/all-day-apple-butter-2/detail.aspx