Last month over Alex's birthday weekend (Ironically enough exactly 1 month ago today), we were able to experience something we never had before. See, he had made a request back in the summer that he wanted to go to an apple orchard and pick his very own. Now, we have a fantastic U-Pick place we visit in the spring and summer for berries galore (I'm sure you've seen the pictures) but I didn't even know if we had an orchard like that around here. Well, lucky for me, I mentioned my conundrum to a friend, and she told me about a farm, only about 25 minutes from our house, that was exactly what I was looking for.
Advanced Tree Technology in New Haven, Indiana specializes in their U-Pick apple orchard. They have dwarf trees, so it makes it easy and fun for kids to pick, and they have many varieties to choose from. Plus, it's really nice because they let you know the date each variety is ready to pick, so you know when your favorites will be ripe!
Well, little man decided this was something he wanted to do for his birthday, but with it being in the middle of September, I wasn't even sure if that was possible. But as luck would have it, there were indeed some ready, and just waiting for his little hands to grab them.
We had so much fun! It was a great family experience, and he was super excited to bring home a half bushel of apples for us to snack on, and of course for Mommy to cook with! Let me tell you, it's a lot of apples! So I was happy when I found this recipe in a church cookbook!
I will be honest, I wasn't sure about the addition of brown sugar, but I figured if the "little old church ladies" made it, it had to be yummy. Oh, was I right! I had nothing to worry about. This is the best applesauce I've ever had in my life! And the best part? You can start it in the morning before work, and it will be ready in time for supper. All you have to do is stir, and mash!
If you have never picked your own apples, I encourage you to find out if you have an orchard close and get out there with the little ones and experience a true fall blessing!
Crock Pot Applesauce
8-10 Fuji apples peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1/3 c. apple juice
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Combine all in Crock Pot. Cook on LOW 7-9 hours. Mash with a potato masher. Garnish with more cinnamon.
Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 18, 2013