On my land there are four old apple trees.

  I know the name of the variety of only one of them and that is an Arkansas Black.  Arkansas Black come in later than the other three and tends to be smaller. But they are very crisp and tasty.  The earlier varieties are what I use to cook with. I make apple cakes and apple sauce and apple pies and apple muffins- you name it, whatever I can to use them up. I hate to waste them!  I am sure the deer up here would be happy to munch them but I figure they have the rest of the mountain to feed on so they can leave my apples alone!  I like applesauce with cottage cheese, with yogurt, with toast, with pork and just by itself.  When I make it for the dairy products, I usually make it with cinnamon - and lots of it. But when I make it for serving with pork, I make it with fresh rosemary cut into it.  That may be my favorite way of all.  
I cook it in the crock pot.  Sometimes I peel the apples and sometimes not.  I always core and cut away any blemishes. As soon as I fill the crock pot, I add the rest of the following ingredients and put the pot on my screen porch to cook. That saves heating my kitchen. I always set a timer and check in about 2/3 of the  way into the cooking time to make sure it doesn’t need any more liquid.  I cook it on high for about 3 to 3 &1/2 hours. Then I cool it and taste to see if it needs more cinnamon or rosemary.  I put it into quart freezer bags and label it. Then all winter long I can enjoy it on my oatmeal or whatever strikes my fancy.  Right now Crow Mountain Orchard has a number of varieties that are good for cooking. If you buy the second quality of fruit you can get more bang for your buck.  Try this and see if your family doesn’t enjoy it as much as I do.

4#  cooking apples, washed, cored and
cut into bite-size pieces
•   1/2 cup water
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 2 Tbsp. cinnamon*
• 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
* if making with rosemary use a good heaping
Tablespoon of chopped, fresh rosemary or
a heaping teaspoon of dried.

MIX all and place in a large crock pot.  Cook on high setting for 3 to 3&1/2 hours.   Test for seasonings and adjust if needed. Cool and place in freezer bags sized to fit your family’s needs..  Freeze and try to use within six months.

 

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