Ever since I was a reeeeally little kid, we’d go to Larriland Farm every year during the fall to pick a crap ton of apples. (I vividly remember losing my Tamagotchi/Giga Pet one year at the farm and my dad stopping on the way home to replace it. <3) In more recent years, it’s become quite an attraction, with farm animals, fair food, hay rides, face painting, live music – basically, food & fun galore. You can then go up to the barn to buy apple butter, apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple fritters, caramel apples… Pretty much every apple confection you could ever imagine, plus, sooo much more. Going to Larriland is one of the main reasons I love fall!
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really started to appreciate that trusty old pick-your-own-crap farm. I used to despise going to pick frickin’ vegetables. I really thought it was my mom’s favorite way to torture me. “We’re going apple picking! Butfirstweneedtospendanhourpickingstupidvegetables.Of course, the apple-picking part was awesome, but, veggie-picking was not, because… vegetables. Cringe. This year I was really pumped to go into those vegetable fields and develop some fun recipes with the fruits (veggies? lul) of my labor.
I came home with broccoli, kale, swiss chard, spinach, beets, and apples, of course! Plus some giant pumpkins to carve and a few other treats including my annual bag of Baltimore’s famous Otterbein’s cookies that we just won’t speak about. I CAN’T BE PALEO ALL THE TIME, OKAY. OTTERBEIN’S COOKIES ARE NECESSARY IN LIFE… I may or may not be suggesting that you order some online… WHOOPS. #badinfluence
‘Kill the cookie talk and let’s get back to the apples. As one would imagine, I had a PLETHORA of apples to use and I had never made applesauce, baked apples, OR cider. It was time. And I immediately vowed to never buy applesauce again. I’m not even that crazy about applesauce, but, the taste was so out of this world, I couldn’t stop eating my super simple homemade version. I had already dropped & broke one jar of it (James swooped in to clean this up for me. He was worried I’d cut my hands. Sweet Prince. <3) and wanted to make applesauce pancakes, so, I really couldn’t afford to lose (aka eat) anymore!
So, if the applesauce was great, what about the juice + cider? Well, I tried all 3 kinds. Juice, Juice-Cider AND Crockpot Cider. Allllll amazing. The baked apples? Amazing, too! They were a warm, welcome treat after being in the kitchen all day. Plus, they’re sooo light and versatile – not heavy or overly sweet at all! Swap filling ingredients to customize these bad boys and I promise you won’t be sorry. Happy Appling! (this should seriously be a phrase.)