Baking with Apples

I’ll admit that I’m new at baking with apples. I haven’t had a lot of experience so right now the possibilities are endless on what I want to do with the 18 pounds of apples I bought the other day. I’m a fan of going to an orchard and buying apples and as luck would have it Gays Mills, WI is under three hours away from where I live. After a day filled with orchard hopping and eating way too many delicious apple sweets I thought about what I want to make with these.

I’m definitely going to want to make either apple pie filling or apple hand pies for the freezer.  There’s nothing like warm apple pie on a crisp fall day. I’m also thinking on making a couple of loaves of bread and testing out some dips. Luckily I have plenty of taste testers for my experiments!

If you’re looking for something new for Thanksgiving or even a new side dish give this one a try. It’s one of my favorite recipes that uses apples.

Slow Cooker Acorn Squash

1 whole Acorn Squash

2 T butter

1 tsp cinnamon

2 T brown sugar

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 small apple, diced

One small package dried cranberries

2 T chopped walnuts

splash of apple juice or cider

Instructions:

Prepare Acorn squash by removing outer green skin. Cut in half and remove seeds so that the squash has a hollow in the middle.  Add apple juice or cider to the bottom of the slow cooker so that it just covers the bottom.  This will help keep the squash from drying out. Place squash in juice and place 1 T butter in each half of squash in the hollow. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and place in hollow. Top with apples, cranberries, and nuts.

Cook on low 6-8 hours until squash is tender.  Stir together just before serving.  I’ve served it straight out of the slow cooker and in a dish.

For a healthier version leave out the sugar and reduce butter and add in more juice or cider.

For a crowd: squash is filling and most people take a smaller amount. One squash in this recipe feeds 3-4 people.  The recipe works best if all of the squash is on the bottom of the slow cooker and has the ingredients baked in the hollow, but I’ve also cubed the squash and placed on the bottom and layered the ingredients over the top. If you cube the squash you’ll want to keep an eye on it and may need to add more juice or cider. I’ve placed 3 squash in a slow cooker with the squash cubed.

 

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