My favorite season is fall and with the changing of the weather comes apple season. I don’t know about you, but some of my favorite desserts and side dishes involve apples: apple crisp, apple pie, apple butter, apple dumplings, applesauce…I really could go on and on. Well, like a true homesteader, I have a desire to have my own trees to grow my own apples and to know where my apples are coming from. However, when we planted our trees a few years ago ,as true beginners, we never thought the deer that live in the local park and our backyard would destroy them during their rut. We learned our lesson the hard way and realized for us we would need to fence it in, and to this day, it hasn’t happened yet. But there is hope.
One misconception among the masses is that we must grow all our own food that we use to can or preserve our own way. And although I would say that is the most ideal situation, it isn’t the only way. After our little mishap, we learned that we could get the apples from a local orchard, and we don’t have to grow our own apples. One thing that we have learned is that we need to pick and choose our own battles on what to grow and what to buy. When starting your homestead, start small. If you have a good local farm that grows items like apples, maybe you would want to plant other fruit trees like peach or cherry. If your area lacks a good apple orchard, then maybe that is the tree that you should plant in your homestead. Not everything that you can or preserve must come from your own land. I do recommend looking around your area to see what the local farmers’ specialties are.
My family really enjoys visiting our local orchard and picking our own apples. There’s just something so special about the time spent with my family going out on a nice sunny day, taking a tractor ride to the orchard, and picking apples in anticipation of apple pie or fresh applesauce.
My Great Grandma was raised Amish and my Amish ancestors all knew how to cook and bake, and she was no different. After picking our apples, my wife uses the same recipe that my Great Grandma used to make the best apple pie. This recipe has been in our family for generations, and I honestly can’t say if it was my Great Grandma’s recipe or maybe her mom’s or grandmother’s. Sometimes I complicate things by trying to do everything myself. Hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes. You really don’t need a lot of tools to get the job done, but the following items would help make the job a little easier.
Tools needed to make your apple pie dessert easier:
My Family’s Apple Pie Recipe:
1-9″ unbaked pie crust
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Fill pie crust with sliced apples. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apples.
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
Mix and sprinkle over apples. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
*My wife likes to eliminate the pie crust and then double the batch to fill a 9 x 13 baking dish. It is great for bigger gatherings. Served warm with vanilla ice cream is the best!!