I did remark that I was bummed that we weren't living closer together, because I am always up for mooching fruits and/or vegetables off of other peoples trees and out of other people's gardens. Dad said that he was bummed as well. He honestly sounded a little bit at his wit's end as to what he might do with all those apples.
As it turned out, we ended up meeting in Utah County a week or so later for a family funeral. (I'll be writing more about this later). Realizing that we'd be seeing each other, I called my parents up and asked them to bring me up a bunch of apples, and did they ever! They filled a 5 gallon tote up to the brim with apples, in fact.
(As I was supervising the transfer of that tote from my parents' car to mine, Doug (that brilliant wit) remarked to me, with a smirky smile on his face, "How do you like them apples, Char??" Have I mentioned how much I love having that guy back in the neighborhood?)
So anyway, that was just a long way to say that we had a whole bunch of apples, and we used them in many varied ways. Here are a few of them:
We followed these instructions for apple chips, but we didn't really love the results. They were fine, but nothing to write home about really.
We then froze some apple pie filling, using this recipe (but we only used about 6 cups of water, rather than the 10 it called for). We haven't eaten it yet, so who knows how good it will be, but I have high hopes. I'm not a huge fan of apple pie, but Thanksgiving is coming, so we'll probably have some then. I AM a big fan of apple crisp, so we'll be using this throughout the year for that.
We dried a bunch of apples using the dehydrator. We love them this way. All the apples I dried have already been eaten-that's how much we love them.
And finally, we made apple cake. So dang yummy. You are going to be glad that you have this recipe, so here it is. (A note--don't skip the nuts, they make the meal. We use almonds--whole almonds that I run through the food processor for about 10 seconds to chop them a bit. Tasty.)
Apple Streusel Muffins/Cake
(I got this recipe from my sister, Becca. We don't do the muffins because every time I try I fill the muffin cups too full, and then they spill over and burn and I get irritated that I spent all that time peeling and chopping apples just to have a bunch of sub-par muffins. Becca has success with the muffins though, and they are yummy, if you feel confident enough to make them. Anyway, for the cake instructions, skip to the second to the last paragraph of the instructions.)
FOR THE STREUSEL:
1 c light brown sugar
1 c chopped apples
1 c sliced almonds, pecans, or walnuts (optional)(But not REALLY optional. Add them--you'll be glad you did.)
¼ c flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 TBS butter, melted
FOR THE CAKE/MUFFIN
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup butter (softened)
½ c sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c orange juice
FOR THE GLAZE (if making as a cake)
½ cup powdered sugar
2 ½ tsp orange juice
Preheat oven to 350. To prepare streusel, in a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, apples, almonds, flour and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter. To prepare cake, in a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and soda; mix well. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition. Add vanilla. Set mixer to low, alternately beat flour mixture and orange juice into egg mixture.
Alternate layers of batter and streusel mixture in a greased muffin tin (DON’T OVERFILL!), finishing with a sprinkling of streusel mixture. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
To make cake instead of muffins, Spoon half batter into bundt pan. Sprinkle with half of streusel. Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel, spreading to make an even layer. Swirl batter with a knife to create a marble pattern.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove cake from oven, sprinkle top with remaining streusel. Return cake to the oven; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely. Turn cake out onto a serving plate, then drizzle with mixture of powdered sugar and juice.