Apple pie is a real treat but it can take an awful long time to make. The filling, the crust, and ultimately baking it can take hours. This recipe helps you prep the filling ahead of time so you have less excuses in the end preventing you from enjoying a hot and fresh pie.
- 5-6lbs tart pie apples
- 4 1/2 sugar
- 2tsp cinnamon
- 1/2tsp nutmeg
- 1c cornstarch
- 1tsp salt
- 8c water
- 3Tbsp lemon juice
- Always start with making sure you have 6 clean and sterilized quart jars, lids, and bands. You don’t want all your hard work to be wasted on dirty jars.
- Peel and core apples. (An old fashioned apple peeler/corer is an essential tool for all apple cooking. If you don’t have one, get one.)
- cut into small triangle or long slices and pack them into the jars. Here is where there is a little difference in the apple quantity because you have a finite amount of space in 6 quart jars.
- In a large pot add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, salt and water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat, stirring frequently. Boil for just 1 minute.
- Remove from heat, add lemon juice and stir.
- Using a funnel, pour the filling sauce into the jars full of apples up to 1/2′ from the lip.
- Seal the jars with lids and bands.
- Place the jars in a boiling canning pot for 20 minutes to fully process.
Donuts are easy to make and a fun project for the whole family. Who doesn’t like to decorate their own donut? I regret that the donuts were so good with sprinkles that our kids devoured them before I had a chance to take pictures. The directions are here to make your own and, trust me, you will love them as much as we do!
- Cooking Oil(Whatever you choose to fry with)
- 3 1/2c flour
- 1c sugar
- 3tsp baking powder
- 1/2tsp salt
- 1/2tsp cinnamon
- 1/4tsp nutmeg
- 2Tbsp shortening
- 2 eggs
- 3/4c milk
- Heat oil to 375°. Whatever you choose to cook in, make sure you have 2 to 3 inches of oil in the bottom to allow the donuts to “bathe” in. (We use a regular cast iron pan)
- Beat together all ingredients with just 1 1/2c of flour to an even and texture and color.
- Add the remaining flour. For this stage you will want to hand mix it because the dough will become much stiffer.
- Turn dough onto a well floured surface.(Don’t skimp! You don’t want to have the dough sticking to the surface.)
- Flour the top of your dough in the same manner and then roll it out with a rolling pin to approximately 3/8″.
- If you have a donut cutter then use it, otherwise the rim of a standard rocks glass makes a great outside cutter and the top of a plastic bottle makes a great inside hole cutter.(Tip: If you cut the top off of the plastic drink bottle you can easily get the cut-out “hole” dough through the back side instead of potentially getting it stuck in the bottle.) You can take the cut out bit and re-roll them or just fry them up to make donut holes.
- Carefully slide uncooked donuts into the hot frying oil so as to not splash yourself.
- The donuts will sink to the bottom of the oil. Once they float up to the top, flip them with a fork or tongs.
- Fry about 1 minute until both sides are a nice golden brown color.
- Remove donuts from oil and allow them to drain on an absorbent material such as paper towels. This recipe makes about 2 dozen donuts.
- Once they’ve cooled, top them with whatever you fancy. We like just eating them old fashioned style but our kids appreciate iced with sprinkles.
For toppings, Here are some ideas:
- Powdered or Sugar-Cinnamon – Place topping in an empty bread bag and have the kids shake to coat.
- Iced – A simple mix of 1c powdered sugar, 1Tbsp milk, and 2tsp vanilla(or some other flavoring) makes a great icing. Just place the donut in the icing and turn it clockwise, then remove and allow to dry.
- Sprinkles – Just add them to the iced donuts. Icing makes a great mortar to stick your topping to a donut.
This is a great option if you find one of those forgotten, and grossly over-sized, zucchinis when cleaning out the garden in the fall. Zucchini is a blank slate summer squash that can take the character of whatever you pair with it in a recipe. Here we substituted our usual go to relish ingredient (cucumber) for zucchini. Enjoy.
- 8c finely chopped zucchini
- 3 medium(2 large) sized onions finely chopped
- 2-3 colored sweet peppers(or mix in a hot pepper or 2)
- 3Tbsp pickling salt
- 1 1/2c sugar
- 1c cider vinegar
- 2tsp celery seed
- 1tsp ground mustard
- 1tsp hot pepper flakes(just a guideline)
- 1tso tumeric
- After chopping zucchini, onion, and peppers, combine in a saucepan.
- Add pickling salt and mix well. Then let stand for 1 hr.
- Thoroughly drain the veggies and then rinse and drain again.
- Add the remaining ingredients to your drained veggies and mix well.
- Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Ladle into sterile canning jars to within 1/2 inch of the rim and seal. This recipe makes about 2 1/2 to 3 pints of relish depending on how much you eat before canning it.
- If you wish, place jars into a boiling canner and boil half pint jars for 10 minutes or pint jars for 15 minutes
Note: I have found that your relish is hot enough when you place it in the jars, they will self-seal as they cool without time spent in the canner, but that is completely up to you.
This time of year, apple trees are heavy laden with the beautiful fruits of the summer’s growing. One of the simplest, quickest, and desired deserts around here is apple crisp.
Use your own judgement on how many apples to use. When it comes to availability of a varied sizes of suitable tart cooking apples, a good rule of thumb is to fill 2/3 to 3/4 of the 8×8 pan with apples.
- 6-8 sliced medium sized cooking apples(Approximately 4-5 cups)
- 3/4c packed brown sugar
- 1/2c flour
- 1/2c old fashioned oats
- 1/3c butter(softened)
- 3/4tsp cinnamon
- 3/4tsp nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Slice up the apples however you want. If you have an apple corer that also slices the apples for you, this process is even faster.
- Grease an 8×8 pan with shortening or cooking spray.
- Spread apples in the pan. Filling it up to 2/3 full.
- Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl.
- Sprinkle topping over the apples evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
Apple crisp is best served warm with a dollop of ice cream but you can do it any way you wish. It’s your apple crisp after all.
In our eternal search for finding enough recipes to keep from throwing out a single zucchini from our garden due to spoilage, we came up with this nice cake because of the overwhelmingly positive response to our Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread recipe. It again uses fruit to bring add favor and character to the mundane, but nutritionally abundant, zucchini.
- 1c white flour
- 1/2c whole wheat wlour
- 1 1/4c sugar
- 2tsp baking soda
- 1tsp salt
- 2tsp cinnamon
- 1/4tsp nutmeg
- 1/8tsp ginger
- 3Tbsp oil
- 2 eggs(lightly beaten)
- 1tsp vanilla
- 2c grated zucchini
- 2 1/2c drained crushed pineapple(or a 20oz can)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Mix all dry ingredients(flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger) and set aside.
- In a separate bowl mix together the oil, eggs, vanilla, zucchini and pineapple. Mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly.
- Pour contents of bowl into a greased 9×13 cake pan.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake is a nicely medium brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
We used some of the reserved pineapple juice from crushing to put in the frosting. It continues the flavor throughout the frosting that you get from the cake. If there’s no juice left(because someone over zealously drank it) then substitute milk.
- 2Tbsp softened butter
- 8oz package of cream cheese
- 2c powdered sugar
- about 1Tbsp pineapple juice(be careful not to overdue it or your frosting will be runny)
Simply mix the ingredients together until even texture and it has a thickness you are comfortable with. Then spread on your COMPLETELY COOLED cake. It should be completely cooled or your frosting will become a runny mess. You may also like to sprinkle crushed nuts or your choice over the top.
A healthy cucumber plant is a prolific producer. You know you can’t eat all of them, right? That means you need to do one of two things. Either sneak over to your neighbors and leave bags of cukes on their porch and run away or pickle them. Sure, there are breeds of cucumbers specifically for pickling, but all cucumbers can be preserved in jars. This just happens to be our down and dirty way of making a quick two quarts of dill pickles. Feel free to scale this recipe as you need for larger quantities.
- 3# Cucumbers
- 6 cloves of garlic(minced)
- 4 tsp dill ceed
- 1 red pepper flakes
- 2c cider vinegar
- 2c water
- 3 Tbsp pickling salt
- Start by making sure you have two cleaned and sanitized quart jars.
- Wash, dry, and cut cucumbers into spears or slices.
- Add 1/2 of the garlic, dill, and pepper flakes into each jar.
- Pack cucumbers into jar.(With spears you might want to tip jar and switch between thick and thin ended spears at the bottom of jar)
- In a pot mix together the vinegar, water, and salt. This is your brine.
- Bring your brine to a boil and pour into jars up to 1/2 inch from the top.
- Remove excess bubbles by gentle tapping the jar on the counter.
- Place lid and band onto the jar and boil in a canner for 10 minutes.
As the jar cools it will seal. If not, something when wrong. You don’t have to have a pressure canner for this, just a deep stock pot that will allow water to come up over the lid is necessary.