When Fall comes we love to go apple picking and all the yummy baking that follows after. I did a fun post over at Or So She Says about our Southern apple picking experience. And I included in the post a a chart that shows which apples are best to use in your different baking recipes. So head over there to print up your chart before you head out to apple pick! And don’t forget to check out my past posts that list my favorite apple pie recipe.
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We went a few weeks ago to an local apple farm. The hay ride and apple picking experience was alot of fun, but I was disappointed on how expensive they charged per bag. It wasn’t a great deal. I could of bought a bag of apples at the grocery store for much cheaper. So, we didn’t pick enough apples to make my year-worth of applesauce. Next time, I’m going to make the hour drive to the orchard. You get a lot and pay a little.
We finally headed to the farm to pick apples this weekend. There are only a few more weeks left before the harvest is done. We picked a huge bag of apples so I’ve got my work set out. I’m planning to jar applesauce this weekend and perhaps bake an apple pie. I love the fall season for all the yummy food.
Part of the agenda for this past weekend was head to the orchards and pick apples and get the last crop of pears. It was a lovely day and a lot of people were out picking, but the orchards are very spread out that there were plenty of fruit to go around. The corn and sunflower mazes were out and pumpkins too. Fall is in the air. Now I’m just wondering what I’m going to do with all these pears. Pearsauce? Pear pie? Pear muffin? Can I freeze them? Not sure.
Gluten-Free Apple Pop Tart
To kick off the fall season, we headed to the apple orchard and picked fresh apples right off the apple tree. We love this family tradition, and have been doing it since my babies were babies. For days after, we then do a marathon of non-stop apple baking for days, cooking up our favorite family recipes like apple pie, apple muffins, applesauce, apple snacks. A few years ago, I made up an apple chart about what apples are best for cooking and baking. I still use that chart today! Some other things we are going to make with our apples are dehydrated apples for trail mix and apple salad and throwing in apples in a pork dish. So many yummy ways to use up your picked apples. My children love pop tarts! They want me to buy them every time I am at the grocery store. Problem is they are loaded with so much sugar, preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. I have notice one of my children having an adverse affect on processed high-gluten foods, so I am trying to be a little more diligent in making food items instead of buying pre made. Also, I have been exploring the gluten-free baking world to see if it will help him and his skin and behavioral issues. I have noticed he does do better when I am watching what he eats and cutting out the junk. So, I thought it would be fun to bake up a gluten-free apple pop tart with our picked apples. My kids loved these Gluten-free Apple Pop Tart and begged for more so this recipe will be apart of our yearly apple baking traditions.
The gluten-free dough was made following from this Epicurious sweet pastry gluten-free dough, which works for also making gluten free cookies. I will list the dough recipe below also. My kids love love this dough! It’s one of our favorite gluten-free recipes. Make sure to put the dough in the freezer to set the cream cheese and butter. It will make it much easier to roll out.
The apple filling is similar to apple sauce. You can really make the apple filling chunky but my kids are funny about texture so I always blend up the apple filling in the blender to make it smooth before adding it to the gluten-free rectangle dough.
Gluten-Free Apple Pop Tart
Pie Crust Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour (take 1 1/4 cup of oatmeal and blend in your blender to make oat flour)
1/2 cup of gluten-free flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
2 ounces of cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions for Gluten-Free Pie Crust:
Pulse all the dry ingredients in a bowl until combined. Add butter and cream cheese and blend. Then whisk in the egg and vanilla and blend until the dough begins to hold together. Then knead together and form into a rough ball. Cover and put in freezer up to 10-20 minutes to firm the dough.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup gluten-free flour
Instructions for Apple Filling:
Melt the butter over high heat in a medium sauce pan. Add the apples and stir until soften, usually 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar and continue stirring until the sugar has melted and mixed with the apples. Remove from heat and transfer the apple mixture to a bowl. Then add the cinnamon, salt and flour and mix well. Then put the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth.
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
To assemble the Gluten-Free Apple Pop Tart:
Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough on lightly floured surface and cut into 3″x 5″ rectangles. You will need a top and bottom for each pop tart. Brush egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten) on the bottom of the rectangle. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling on top of each bottom rectangle. Gently place the top dough on. Use a fork to lightly press the edges together and seal them. Brush again with the egg wash to make the pop tart shiny. Cut a slice on the top of the pop tart to allow for the steam to escape. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let it cool then drizzle on the cinnamon glaze and then let it set for about 10 minutes before serving.
Here are some of the tools we used for making our Gluten-Free Apple Pop Tart:
My favorite afternoon snack are apple slices. Apples fill me up and can keep me chugging through the afternoon. So, I shared some of my favorite ways I slice, cut, prepare and serve apple slices over at How Does She. This is the season for apple varieties! I like to take advantage of those sweet, juicy, crisp, round fruit. I think I’ve rubbed my apple fetish on my kids because their number one request for a snack after school is usually apple slices.
We like to get creative with our apple slices so I’m sharing are favorite recipes like this one. Peanut butter, dark chocolate and coconut. Yum. This recipe is my afternoon energy boost–protein, energy and sweetness. The perfect combo. So, head over to How Does She to see the rest of the post.
How do you eat your apples?
Check out these other apple posts:
Apple Variety Chart
Apple Fennel Salad
Homemade Apple Sauce
Apple Pie Recipe
The apples are ready to harvest! Fall is one of my favorite time of year, and it all begins with apple season. The last two weekends we’ve been busy picking apples at the orchard and then processing them.
Homemade apple sauce is SO much better than store bought. You can find my applesauce recipe here.
And in addition to the applesauce, I made four apple pies to freeze and cook at a later date. I did this last year and it was so nice to have a supply of homemade apple pies to give away or use at Thanksgiving or as a dessert when guests come over.
So here is the apple pie recipe that I use and that can be frozen. It’s really easy to make and easy to double or triple the recipe.
1 pie crust recipe
6 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Line pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Toss together apple and lemon juice in a large bowl. Combine brown sugar and next 4 ingredients; sprinkle over apple mixture, and toss to coat. Spoon into prepared pie crust. Place remaining pie crust over filling. Fold edges under, and crimp; cut slits in top for steam to escape. Bak at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 35 minutes.
And if you’d like to freeze the pies, you can see my previous post on where I get the white boxes and how to store. And I am now including the pie label as a FREE download so you can make your homemade apple pie cute and personal.
New England Fall Activities
Well we have kissed our long summer days behind. It’s been a good one, and we will miss it dearly except for the moving part . Fall is right here, except for the random 80 degree weather we’ve been having. I am holding on to those warm days but Fall is the Northeast is one of my favorite seasons. Since we’ve moved back up we have been talking about all of our old favorite fall activities that we had enjoyed during the time we lived up here before. The color of the leaves look like a painting. The smell in the air is truly that yummy cinnamon smell. It’s so festive and beautiful! I am excited to share these Fall moments with my children. So, I had to put together a New England Fall Activities list to get them excited, and to help ease the pain of this move. Yes, they are still adjusting and missing their life in the South. They don’t remember life before Georgia, even though they were all born in Connecticut!
One of the patterns I love to wear in the fall is leopard! Leopard is surprising easy to pair with color and denim. And it a great way to bring fall into your daily outfit. Leopard print is still a strong pattern for fall, so if you don’t have any leopard introduce it into your wardrobe with accessories like shoes or hand bag or pants. I like to wear a little bit of leopard paired with something else. Don’t do a leopard over kill! Wear one leopard print then pair it with a solid.
I may be wearing my leopard when I hit up our New England Fall Activities List. I am excited to make new memories with them and remind them of all the activities they used to enjoy.
New England Fall Activities List
- Apple picking up at Lyman Orchard Farm
- Make homemade applesauce and apple pies with our picked apples
- Visit the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (so much history in one spot and the cemetery is beautiful to explore in the fall)
- Go see the Great Jack o’ Lantern Blaze
- Learn to make apple cider doughnuts (or pick them up at the local farmer!)
- Harvest pumpkins at Jones Family Farm (they are still on the vine and in the field)
- Head to Vermont to see Fall Foliage and pick up fresh maple syrup from the maple tree farms
- Go whale watching in Cape Cod–October is the best time to see the humpback whales
- Go hiking in Mount Washington and take the Cog Railway down the mountain
- Get lost in a corn maze
- Take a class at Stone Barns Center
Here is our list of Fall Activities that we did last year. It was so much fun! I’m pretty sure we did most of the activities but not all. I always set the bar high but never quite am able to complete it all. What are some of your favorite fall activities?
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Fall To Do List
This season’s schedule has probably been the most crazy with our children’s sports, dance and musical activities. Looking at our calendar, you would think we’d never have time to do anything fun! A Fall To Do list is a must. I know. I know. I’m one of those mom’s that over schedules my kids, but it keeps them out of trouble and off the devices! Anyway, I’d say we’ve been pretty good about taking any open timeframe and making the most of what we’ve got and fully enjoy the Fall season. With this change over to a new season and it’s usually a short season, a Fall To Do List is a definite must have! For me, the best way to do this is through the use of Post-It Notes. Once I’ve completed a task, I can just cross it off or remove it from the board completely. There’s so much for me to do this month and I don’t think I would be able to get through it all without writing a list.
Finally down here in the South, the leaves are changing colors and there is that crisp breeze against the warm sun. Just cool enough for jackets and boots, but still warm to spend the entire day outside enjoying the beauty of all the Fall colors. One of the first Fall activities we did on our Fall To Do List was go apple picking. When we lived in Connecticut, we started the apple picking tradition when our babies we so little. The apples are so yummy up in the northeast, and you can even get fresh maple syrup. Luckily, we have found a few apple orchards in North Georgia that have a few different varieties of apple trees. Not the same as Connecticut picking, but good enough to make a fresh homemade apple pie.
Of course, a trip to the pumpkin patch is a must on our Fall To Do List. When the Fall season arrives, I always get a little nostalgic for our time living in Connecticut. New England just simply has the best Fall days. Which bring be back to the pumpkin patch. We have been searching for a true pumpkin patch down here in the South where you can go and pick your own pumpkin off the vine…in a field. From what I hear it’s just too warm to grow good quality of pumpkins. So, instead we just head to the “pumpkin patch” to buy an overpriced pumpkin. The kids still love it. The plus side is we’ve come across some pretty good corn mazes.
So here our Fall To Do List that we have done or still planning to do before this season quickly moves on to winter! What are some of your favorite things on your Fall To Do List?
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I know it’s almost October and I should be talking about apple picking and pie baking, and here I am talking about our lemonade stand that we had this summer. Honestly our summer was very uneventful. We were living in between Connecticut and Atlanta (living in corporate housing which was a 2-bedroom apartment) and didn’t do much except swim and look for houses (seriously, that boring). My kids’ number one request for the summer was to have a lemonade stand. That’s all they wanted! So once we were back home in Connecticut and among the moving craze and piles of boxes, I gathered materials from my party closet and let the kids spend the afternoon selling lemonade, homemade muffins and sweet candy. They had such a blast and made good money even with their well-priced 25-cents a cup lemonade. And I found one of the best ways to meet people who live in your neighborhood is to have a lemonade stand. Now looking at these pictures makes me long for our awesome yard and family-friendly neighborhood.