I wasn't ready for fall to be here yet. I was in denial really, just pretending we had another two or three months of nice, hot weather. BUT, when my neighbor gave me a big bucket of fresh picked apples, it changed everything! After a day of making applesauce and apple butter (pumpkin-maple-apple butter, that is!) and my house smelling like a giant Yankee fall scented candle, I've decided it's okay for fall to be on it's way. Fall means pumpkin everything, plus soups and stews, butternut/spaghetti/acorn squash...and more pumpkin! Bring it.
Unable to reach my mom for questions about how to make apple butter (I love hers), I decided to wing it, and it turned out surprisingly well. Amazing actually, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you fine folk. But before I do, let me tell you a quick story about these apples...
I turned 31 on Monday. For two weeks Brad had been asking what I wanted to do for my birthday, and quite honestly I didn't care. For the big 3-0, he threw me a surprise party because he knew turning 30 was a big deal to me, but 31 just seems like an unremarkable age, and I hadn't been feeling well so I just couldn't come up with anything spectacular to do. Eventually, I said I wanted to go apple picking and get a nice big bucket full so I could make apple sauce and whatnot. So that became the plan, except I asked around and looked online and found nothing; nada. No where near here to pick apples, so I gave up on that idea. Fast forward to the day of my birthday. I was walking out to the car when my neighbor (whom I rarely see or talk to, sadly) said, "Hey Crystal! I have a big bucket of apples that my friend brought over from her tree. I can't use them...would you like them?" Why yes, I do!!!!!!!!
Tell me God doesn't care about the little things. I will argue He does! That was my birthday gift from Him:)
(this makes a pretty big batch...cut in half if you don't want that much)
8 C peeled, chopped apples
2 C pumpkin puree
1 C (or more, to taste) pure maple syrup
3 T molasses
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
a dash of cloves, if you have them around
Place apples in a large pot with a few tablespoons of water or juice (I used cranberry juice) over medium heat and cover with a lid. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft. Add all other ingredients and stir together until well mixed. In batches, put mixture into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Eat lots, give some to a friend, and freeze the rest!
There you have it. Hope it turns out well if you decide to make it! By the way, I look back at all my food posts (including this one) and have to laugh. I'm soooo not a food blogger, plus I only have my phone to take these lovely pictures. I try, really I do, to make the pictures look like professional, creative food photos...like this one for instance: Cinnamon sticks, a nice jar, and a rustic backdrop (huh? no it's not my dirty back patio!!) Like I said...a laughable attempt. Oh well, it tastes good and that's what counts! :)