Vintage Apple Recipes Perfect for Fall

Keep these recipes close. They're easy, tasty, and a great way to enjoy fall's apple harvest.

Last year, a friend of mine generously gave me a big garbage bag half-full of apples - holey moley, what a windfall! After my kids, hubby and I gorged ourselves on crisp, fresh, apple-y goodness, we still had tons left and had to figure out what to do with them. As I usually do when faced with a food-related quandary, I pulled out my handy vintage cookbooks and came up with four recipes: applesauce, apple butter, applesauce muffins and applesauce cake.

Homemade Crockpot Applesauce: Easy-peasy to make!

You know that applesauce doesn't originate in a tidy little jar at the grocery store, but what you might not know is that the process that turns apples to sauce is actually really simple. All you need, equipment-wise, are a food mill (normally less than $20.00) and your crockpot.

Homemade Crockpot Applesauce
Apples (Use a variety of types if you can - this makes for the best applesauce.)
Cinnamon and sugar to taste

Remove the stems and cores from your apples. Cut them into quarters or eighths and toss them into your crockpot. Pile them high and set your lid on top - the will slowly fall into place as the apples cook and soften.

Add a half-cup or so of water to your crockpot. Turn your crockpot on low and leave overnight. Your cook time might vary, depending on how big your apple chunks are and how many apples you cook, but typically, you'll have a crockpot-full of soft apples in the morning. Run them through your food mill (which eliminates the need for peeling the apples) and then add cinnamon and sugar to taste. You can also leave the applesauce plain, which I usually do, and it will still be nice and sweet with a hint of tartness.

If you're in a hurry, you can also make this applesauce on the stovetop pretty quickly. Simply pile the apples high in a pot, add about half-inch of water to the bottom to prevent scorching, and bring the water to a boil. Once your water is at a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the apples cook for 30 minutes or until soft enough to run through your food mill.

Then, can your applesauce, freeze it, bake with it, bathe pork chops in it, or leave it in your fridge to eat for the next week.

Leftover applesauce? Make apple butter with it!

Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons allspice
1/2 TEASPOON cloves

Note: Don't use one tablespoon of cloves. I did that once by accident and the apple butter was still tasty, but clove-y enough to numb a sore tooth.

Fill a 3.5-quart crockpot to about an inch from the top with your homemade applesauce. You can also use storebought, but you lose serious "I made this from scratch" bragging rights that way.

Mix in sugar, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Cant the lid of the crockpot slightly to one side to let steam escape, but not enough to get your kitchen walls and counters splattered with apple butter goo. Cook on low all night, or on high during the day for six hours, or until apple butter is thick and able to be spread on bread without dripping all over the place.

I had enough to fill seven 8-ounce jars and can them and enough leftover to fill a small container to stick in the fridge and use right away. But feel free to gift it, freeze it, or get a knife and a loaf of bread and eat it all straight out of the crockpot.

Okay, I don't really recommend that last one, as it would probably be a painful, stomachache-inducing mistake. Which is not to say that you won't be tempted, since your house has been filled all day (or all night) with the spicy scent of apple butter goodness.

Still can't get enough apples? Try this delectable muffin recipe.

Homemade Applesauce Muffins
While brainstorming apple-related recipes, a tried-and-true Meta Given (my favorite maven of 1940's cooking) recipe came to mind: Applesauce Muffins. A variation of traditional apple spice cake (which is also awesome), my kids can't get enough of these. We make them for special weekend breakfasts, but the leftovers make great snacks and desserts... if you can get yours to last that long.


1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened tart, stiff apple sauce
1 cup seedless raisins
Brown sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Normally when I bake with raisins, the first thing I do is submerge them in warm (or boiling) water to plump them up a bit - the few minutes this takes are definitely worth the moist and delicious results.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cloves three times. (I don't have a sifter, so I just use a fine mesh strainer and a couple of bowls for this.)

In another bowl, cream the shortening well. Gradually add sugar while beating. Add egg and beat until mixed in. Add applesauce and mix that in, too. At this point, the mixture might look a bit curdled, but don't worry - it's supposed to.

Gradually add the sifted flour mixture. After flour is completely mixed in, fold the raisins into the batter. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. I like to sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar on top, to give them an extra sweet crunch, but if you're sweet tooth isn't as demanding as mine, they taste just as good without.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I use standard-sized muffin cups, and this makes 18 muffins.

Traditionalist? Make your applesauce muffins in their original form: applesauce cake.

Applesauce Cake
Source: Meta Given's Modern Family Cookbook, 1958

1-3/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened tart, stiff apple sauce
1 cup seedless raisins

Sift flour, measure and resift 3 times with soda, spices and salt. Cream shortening well and gradually blend in sugar. Beat in egg, then apple sauce. Add flour mixture gradually, beating after each addition until well blended. Stir in raisins. Turn into a buttered 8-inch square cake pan lined with waxed paper in the bottom; bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees Farenheit) 45 minutes. Or bake in greased muffin cups 25 to 30 minutes. Cool before serving. Apple sauce cake improves with age, if kept in a breadbox. 6 servings

Now, what are you waiting for? Go get some apples!

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2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

These recipes look delicious.

I am adding this hub to my Recipe Index for HubPages.

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