Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Apple Treats

My memories of Labor Day are filled with the scent of apple orchards. Just about every Labor Day weekend, my family would travel to southeastern Arizona, where both sets of my grandparents lived for a long weekend visit. Monday usually meant a trip to nearby Mount Graham and Angle's Orchard. We would load up the cars with family and go pick apples in the afternoon. It was always a fun day, filled with cousins and lots of tasty apples (of course you have to eat as you pick!).

Although some Labor Days were hotter than I wanted, the walk through the orchard longer than expected, and the bugs sometimes too plentiful, the boxful of apples that came home with us down the mountain were certainly worth it.

This year, we missed the excursion up the mountain in order to spend a bit more time with our California family. Luckily, our Arizona family still loves us, and shared some of their bounty this year. We have been in a state of apple happiness for a month now.

In honor of apple picking season, here are two of my all-time favorite apple recipes. The wonderful thing about both is that you can use your older apples that maybe aren't firm enough anymore to eat by themselves. Waste not, want not...

Apple Crisp

4 cups sliced and peeled apples (approx.6 apples)
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup rolled oats

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place apples in greased 8x8x2 pan. Blend remaining ingredients until mixture is crumbly. Spread over apples. Bake 30-35 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden. Serve warm. (Even better with a bit of vanilla ice cream on top...)

Apple Streusel Muffins

1/2 cup nuts (I prefer pecans)
1/4 cup flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 stick (2 Tablespoons) melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup diced apples

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients for topping until crumbly and set aside.
Mix wet ingredients together and fold in apples. Mix dry ingredients together, then add to wet ingredients until just combined. Divide batter into greased muffin tins and sprinkle topping on each. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Best served warm.

Happy noshing!


  1. i think a better way for you to celebrate fall is to make those muffins and then give them to me.

  2. I love to hear about the orchard and apple picking! I
    believe we miss Safford/Thatcher most of all since we've been here
    in Mexico!

  3. FUN and YUM! What a great tradition. I'm hungry now! :)

  4. I was checking out your blog when I stumbled across this post from last year. I grew up in the Gila Valley. I live in Georgia now and REALLY miss Mt. Graham. It makes me curious as to who your grandparents are. My parents still live in Safford. I recently went home to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday.