Apple Season in Blue Ridge and My First Mexican Coca-Cola

This past weekend a friend and I headed north to do a little leaf peeping and apple gathering. We landed in Blue Ridge, Georgia where we visited Mercier Orchards.

Mercier

Have you ever been there? It’s a beautiful place! You can see the orchards up the hillside in the distance.Β We had perfect weather, not too hot and not too cold.

Mercier Orchards

There were wagon-rides available to take folks out into the orchards.

Business Feature - Mercer Orchards II

Photo above from Mercier online

I almost didn’t buy any apples since I don’t really like apples. Yes, I know I ate all those candy and caramel apples recently to get the broomsticks for our broomstick placecards but that’s different since they were covered in candy and caramel. Yum!

Mercier (2)

Then I remembered, I do sometimes like applesauce, so since we were in apple country, I decided I’d try my hand at making some home-made applesauce.

I asked one of the employees at Mercier what apples were best for making applesauce. They grow and sell over 50 varieties so the choices are a bit overwhelming. There are tables piled high with bags of apples everywhere inside the Mercier Orchard store. Without hesitation she answered, Mutsu and Rome. She said the Mutsu was both sweet and tart and would be great mixed with Rome apples for applesauce.

Have you ever made applesauce? What apple varieties did you use when you made yours? Mutsu apples are also known as Crispin so you may know them under a different name. They are a cross between a Golden Delicious and the Indo apple varieties, first grown in Japan per Wikipedia.

I also purchased some Pink Lady apples since they are good for making apple pies. I guess I do like apples when they are slathered in lots of sugar or cooked into something. Ha! Β I also purchased a big bag of sweet potatoes–love those!

Apples, Pink Lady, Rome and Mutsu Apples

Before leaving I bought this Triple-Action Apple Machine. Sounds fancy doesn’t it? It slices, peels and cores the apple. It just suctions down to the surface–wonder if it will suction down to my granite countertop. If it doesn’t, I’m pretty sure I can use it on my glass breakfast table. Have you ever used one of these?

Have any good homemade applesauce or apple pie recipes you would like to share? Hello internet research…here I come!

Apple Peeler

Of course, we had to walk all around the adorable town of Blue Ridge, GA. I was amazed their annuals still looked so nice since we’ve had some chilly nights further south in Atlanta. But as you can see they were still pretty. Don’t you love these planted inside an old Coca-Cola drink cooler?

Coca-Cola Cooler with Plants_wm

 

Speaking of Coca-Cola, one of the highlights of our trip was eating breakfast inside a place called “The Grocery” located on Main Street in Blue Ridge. The food was so good we skipped the free breakfast at our hotel both mornings, choosing to have breakfast there instead.

The first morning I had two eggs, sunny side up, one of their insanely awesome biscuits piled high with gravy and a side of their yummy bacon. Okay, don’t judge…I was on vaca!

Breakfast at The Grocery on Main Street in Blue Ridge

 

I also had my first Mexican Coca-Cola. Have you ever had one? It’s supposed to be made with real sugar and less of the sucrose/fructose stuff or whatever it’s called. It did seem more flavorful and the thing I loved the most was how super carbonated it was. I just don’t think you can get that out of a plastic coke bottle or a can.

The second morning I had the same breakfast but skipped the bacon and got one of their yummy Cranberry scones/biscuits. Soooo good! If you go to Blue Ridge, GA, be sure to have breakfast at The Grocery. The folks who work there are so nice and I loved the atmosphere with the old brick walls and wood floors.

Mexican Coca-Cola

I snapped a few pics here and there with my camera phone. I took my real camera but in the end I just ended up using my phone most of the time.

River in Blue Ridge Georgia

 

On the way back home we stopped in Elijay for a little antiquing. One of my guilty pleasures is an English muffin or toast with homemade jam. I picked these three up in one of the antique stores we visited. I’ve already opened all three to sample them and they are REALLY good! They are from the left: Peach Pecan Cherry Amaretto, FROG Jam (which is Figs, Raspberries, Orange and Ginger) and Blackberries & Brandy. Update: Just noticed you can order their jams/jellies online here.

Frog Jam, Blackberries & Brandy, Peach Pecan Cherry Amaretto

 

If you have a great applesauce recipe or apple pie recipe, scan that baby in and e-mail it to me. Or, if you blog and have one posted on your blog, leave a link to it in the comments.

Any tips for the rookie on making apple sauce or a homemade apple pie? Love to hear them!Β I think I’m going to try making a fancy apple pie with the lattice top, if I don’t chicken out. πŸ™‚

Apple Pie

Photo from Mercier online

mercier-orchards-story-blog

 

Update: Added to post

While I was running around shopping in Blue Ridge, I kept my eye out for some gloves since I had lost one of my winter gloves. I came across these in a store. Notice how funny looking they are…

Gloves you can use with phone and ipad

 

The reason they are designed this way is so they will work with a mobile phone or an ipad, WITHOUT you having to remove your gloves. And guess what? Β They worked! I was amazed.

It was awesome being able to use my phone and iPad without taking my gloves off. Have no idea how they work, but they do! I don’t remember the brand now. If I can find them online, I’ll add the name to this post. Just wanted to let you know these exist…I had no idea!

Gloves you can use with phone and ipad 3




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Comments

  1. Hi Susan, How are you? I love Cortland apples best for eating and cooking but recently made apple sauce with MacIntosh apples that I picked earlier this month. They were getting too soft so I used them up and it made great sauce. Another favourite is Royal Gala which I get at the grocery starting in February and the rest of the year. The Cortland are usually getting soft by then even when in cold storage. We have an apple orchard right down the road from us where I picked but it’s closed for the season now. I have never heard of Mexican Coca Cola. We just don’t drink pop at all because of the sugar in it. Have a great week! Pamela

    • Pamela, amazing how many kinds of apples there are. I wonder how they are taste in pies and applesauce…be fun to test taste them all! I saw some Royal Gala apples in the store yesterday. πŸ™‚

  2. I love Macintosh, Cortlands or Paula Reds for sauce. The Paula Reds make nice pink sauce.

    My best tip for making sauce is to do it in the Crock Pot or huge Nesco roaster. Wash your apples, quarter them, put them in, turn the Crock Pot or roaster on, put the lid on and let ’em cook a few hours. Then, run them through a food mill to get out the seeds and skins. Or, you can peel and core them with your new handy tool before cooking. Then, your sauce makes itself in the Crock Pot or roaster and there is no need for the mill at the end. It’s super easy and works great! That’s how we make all our sauce now. When we used the huge roaster, we just set the temperature at about 200.

    Enjoy!

    • That does sound easy! I haven’t used my crock pot in ages…it’s one of the old style. I think it only has a high and low setting. Hopefully it will work as well as the newer ones for applesauce. Thanks, Rae!

  3. We make apple butter every year from apples that we pick. Last year, we managed to pick the apples, make the butter, and seal it in jars it all within 12 hours, so even when we open a jar now it tastes super fresh. One thing we found that gives the apple butter or apple sauce a really rich apple flavor is to use fresh apple juice to add to it (as opposed to something from a plastic jug at the grocery store). We juiced part of the apples we picked and added the juice to the concoction on the stove. It turned out delicious!

  4. Gloria in Pgh says:

    Hi Susan! I use Granny Smith apples to make my applesauce. I add apple pie spice to mine so it is like eating a piece of apple pie. Do you like cranberry sauce? Not the jellied stuff in a can but real cranberry sauce? I make my own using apples to provide both natural sweetness plus structure to the sauce. I like it more than apple sauce. Want to try it? Dump three bags of cranberries in a large pot. Core 4 medium sized apple (I prefer to use Fuji, Stayman or Gala apples for this) Apples can be peeled or unpeeled. Cut apples into chunks and put in the pot with cranberries. Add three cups of sugar, three cups of water and two cinnamon sticks. Bring to boil, stirring frequently, until the cranberries burst and the apple chunks are soft (about 20 minutes). The mixture will be a gorgeous garnet color. Then working with small amounts at a time, run the cranberry-apple mixture through a food mill fitted with the medium grater. This separtes the cranberry skins and apple skins from the sauce and mashes up the apple. Put the cinnamon sticks into the bowl with the milled sauce and allow to cool. The whole thing takes about an hour and can be done weeks ahead. This sauce freezes beautifully. I’ll be making my sauce for Thanksgiving this coming week. Hope you give it a try. You give me so much inspiration to try new dΓ©cor ideas and crafts. It makes me happy to share one of my ideas with you!

    • Ohhh, wonder what’s in apple pie spice? I do love cranberry sauce! Thanks for the recipe, Gloria…that sounds wonderful for Thanksgiving!

      • Gloria in Pgh says:

        Susan: Apple pie spice is a combination of cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg. You can buy it at the grocery store — McCormick makes it. But you can make your own, which I prefer because you can control the freshness of the spices. The ratio is 2 parts cinnamon, 1 part ground ginger and 1 part ground nutmeg. So 1 teaspoon of “apple pie spice” is 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg. I really like my spices to pop in a recipe so I only use Vietnamese cinnamon from King Arthur Flour in Vermont. I grate my own ginger and nutmeg. Dried sliced ginger is not too common on stores — I got mine online — but whole nutmegs are readily available. Just grate them on a Microplane. Enjoy!

    • YUM! Thanks for sharing Gloria. I’ll be trying that in a couple of weeks!

    • Same recipe as you posted, but I add the cooked cranberries whole. My grandmother taught me to
      add vanilla and butter when warming to applesauce to be served.

  5. Looks like a fun weekend. I tried making apple butter in the slow cooker- works great, but wow, was I surprised how little sauce I got out of a bag of apples! I don’t have a recipe for you, but am curious to see how your experience will be. πŸ™‚

    • Sheila, my friend is planning on making apple butter…I think she uses a slow cooker too. Thanks…will post about what I do make…keeping fingers crossed it’s edible. πŸ™‚

  6. Margo Kuhn says:

    Susan, funny thing that you bought the 3 in 1 apple machine. I just bought one that looks just like it recently at Target. Yes, the suction held well on my granite counter top. I did notice it works better on some apples than others. For apple sauce, a crock pot would work well, but I am usually in a hurry, so I take a tart apple and peel, core and cut in chunks, add some sugar (sometimes white sugar and sometimes I add a little brown sugar), a pinch of salt, and I like cinnamon so I may add that and just cook on low heat until it is soft and the consistency you want, the longer you cook it, the more broken down it becomes. I also make a rustic apple pie that is a blend of a pie and a custard called an Apple Kuchen, Apple Crisp, regular Apple Pie and sometimes an Apple Carmel Pie. The latice pie is not that hard, just cut the top crust into strips and put your longer ones in the center, I always weave mine, so I have one strip from top to bottom and one that goes from side to side, then I start one each side of the first strip with those a little shorter, and lift to make a basket weave. When done, pinch the edges and make them into a nice ruffle. Make sure you put a tray with edges on the rack under as they will usually boil over a bit and that saves on oven cleaning.

  7. Edith Bice says:

    Hi Susan, I just made my first homemade applesauce recently. Like you, I don’t really like apples but I do love them in food. I live in Bowling Green, Ky and we have a place here called Jackson’s Orchard. It is at the highest elevation in our county and has amazing apples, pumpkins, etc. I purchased individual apples and bought 8 different varieties for my recipe. I ended up using 7 because the recipe called for 3 lbs. of apples so that is how it worked out. I am not fond of applesauce but this recipe just sounded good and it did not disappoint. I found it on pinterest and the applesauce is made to be served warm. My husband was crazy about it and he does not like applesauce either. I am copying the link to the original recipe. http://dietersdownfall.com/chunky-applesauce/ I need to buy the gadget to peel, core and slice like you bought. That was the worst part about the recipe. Everything else was very easy. Oh, and I used brown sugar instead of regular sugar or honey in the recipe. Have a good week!

    • Linda Hart says:

      Was glad to see a post from my Home, Bowling Green, Ky. I also like to go Jackson’s when I am visiting home. Beautiful countryside. Linda Scantland Hart

      • Edith Bice says:

        Linda, we have been in Bowling Green for a little over a year. We love it here. We retired here to be near our grandchildren. It is very beautiful around here.

  8. Peggy Thal says:

    Looks like you had a fun day! What a breakfast. I sure could go for that one. We used to go every year to Gettysburg area for the big Apple Fest. Such fun and delicious apple everything. -I hope you make one big beautiful apple pie served with a nice scoop of ice cream. That is just the best dessert ever. Great for Foreign visitors and anyone. Make your own crust with crisco and a little butter. Your pie is only as good as the crust !

  9. I luv making homemade applesauce…or…whatever concoction happens πŸ™‚ I just use apples on hand with apple cider and some brown sugar…reduce…cinnamon and the grandkiddos luv it when I add maple syrup and use this sauce for their pancakes. franki

  10. What is frog jam?

  11. Hi Susan – Thought you might want to know you can buy Mexican Coke in the bottles at Publix. At least you can here in Fla, probably up there in Hotlanta, too.

  12. My daughter and her family go to that area to apple pick every year. Such a beautiful place. xo Laura

  13. We buy Mexican Cokes at Sam’s Club, by the case. Made with sugar, like the good old days, not the syrup stuff that isn’t so good for you…in our opinion. The Cokes do taste just like a good cold coke in a glass bottle from our childhood. A case will last us a long time because we don’t drink a lot of soda. The Mexican Cokes area a special treat at our house..

  14. Hi Susan,

    It makes a Yankee giggle when you Southern Belles call going anywhere in Georgia “going north.” Just seems so hilarious from way up here north. In face one doesn’t hear it often but 2.5 hours due north, on Lake Erie where I grew up is referred to as “The North Coast.” We’re next to Pennsylvania, which is next to New Jersey – not sure why folks refer to Ohio as the Midwest, it truly isn’t if one looks at the map – we’re called “The Heart of it All” as if you were standing as the USA we’d be where it’s heart is located……on the left side, which is EAST………..not WEST…………anyway, I digress.

    I wanted to address that Coca-Cola you had. My husband LOVES it – one can get the same thing around Easter – has a yellow cap instead of red – called “Kosher” coke…………he buys ALL of it every time it is found available…………….says it tastes so much better, and as he is addicted to the stuff and quite the drinker of it I believe him. Anyway, funny you mentioned it because I have a garage full of the yellow capped stuff, haha.

    Hugs.

  15. Hi Susan! I enjoyed this post about your apple orchard trip. My good friend, Myra, at My Blessed Life recently made applesauce. Here’s the link to her recipe:
    http://myblessedlife.net/2013/10/crockpot-applesauce.html

  16. I have the same 3-in-1 apple peeler. It must be more than 20 years old and still works great. I replaced the peeler blade once, but that was it. But I miss northern apples like Northern Spy and Cortland. They make the best pies, IMHO.

  17. I love all apple recipes and fall in the mountains. I think you have me ready for an apple picking trip before we get too much cold weather.
    Linda
    Tailgate Queen – game day dresses

  18. Sandi Lee says:

    My grandmother always made applesauce with whatever apples she had and she made it with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste-no recipe. At Christmas she would open a jar and heat it up with red hots which was even more delicious and a beautiful Christmas red.

  19. Christine says:

    When making applesauce cook the apples until tender before adding the sugar then cook until the sugar is completely dissolved! The apples will not toughen!

    I love my apple peeler, corer, slicer and have used on for years. Kids love using it too.

  20. Hey Susan,
    Not like apples. . . that sounds so unAmerican lol!! However, the best apple in the whole wide world (developed at the Univ of Minnesota) is the Honey Crisp. Great for eating and baking!! Have you ever had apple cider donuts? They are made on site at most of the apple orchards here up North and they are to die for!!!! My favorite apple recipe comes from my mom’s old Better Homes & Garden cookbook and it’s apple dumplings using Red Hot candies in the sauce (do not use Golden delicious apples). I have also used an apple peeler that I bought from Pampered Chef years ago and it’s been one of my most favorite kitchen gadgets.

    • I haven’t had apple cider donuts…sounds yummy though! Who knew there were so many things you could make/do with apples!

      I’m glad to know that about the peeler. I was hoping this thing would really work, sounds like it might!

  21. Oh, Vikki ! I’d forgotten all about apple cider donuts ! When we lived in NY there was an orchard just 2 miles down the road. We would buy donuts hot and fresh ….. SO good ! Thanks for the memory.

  22. Thank you for sharing about your trip to North Georgia! We love going to Merciers and the fried apple pie is delicious!! You have to try one and apple cider doughnuts when you have the chance! We live in CT and are fortunate to have many orchards around that make apple cider doughnuts or doughnut holes. So good!

  23. Susan,
    I used to help my dear MIl make applesauce every year. She was originally from Dauphin County, Pa. and had grown up as the oldest of 12 kids on a farm. Her favorite applesauce apple was smokehouse but as the years passed, it became harder to find. She always would bug her sisters to call around for apples for her and would bring home a bushel and if she couldn’t get the Smokehouse variety, she liked Cortlands and McIntosh. She passed away in 1998, and when we were preparing the house’s contents for an estate sale, I made sure I grabbed the sieve and wooden tool that you used to push the applesauce through the sieve. It takes lots of sugar when you make applesauce. It is not hard but time consuming. She always peeled her apples and quartered them. Check out this website: Mennonite Girls can cook! And you’ll find directions for making homemade applesauce and apple butter plus many other apple recipes. Now that’s some good eating!

  24. Susan,
    I’m thrilled that you were able to have Mexican coke out of a bottle!
    I L O V E Coke. . .but NOT in plastic or aluminum cans!!!
    All I could keep thinking as I read this post and saw your breakfast was. . .
    I wonder if the folks who work in the diner realize this is “THE LADY”
    who host a weekly Tablescape Linky Party???
    The breakfast served in a pie pan was a hoot!!!
    I’m sure it was delicious, dear friend. . .just too, too funny to me!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat

    • LOL, Pat! You are so funny! I like to “rough” it occasionally, too! hee, hee Should I mention they gave us plastic flatware? That made cutting and scooping up biscuit/gravy and the egg a little interesting but clean up was fast. πŸ™‚

  25. I’d love to visit these places, they look like such fun! And the breakfasts, wow! An English muffin with jam (especially strawberry jam), is NOT a guilty pleasure, it is one of life’s necessities from time to time. xo

  26. What a great weekend, Susan! I loved hearing about it and seeing the pretty pictures. Your breakfast pictures made me hungry and we just had dinner!

    I have been up to my ears in apples for the past few weeks, buying them at our farmer’s markets and then my kids going apple picking. Let’s just say I made a few and now I want one of those machines! The peeling is monotonous! I’m told that using a mix of different apple varieties makes the best pie. Anyway, I made a salty caramel apple pie a few weeks ago and burned the sugar and it was inedible! Then I tried a very simple recipe by Susan Branch that takes 5 minutes after peeling and it really is yummy. The lattice top can be tricky, I Googled it and found several websites with tutorials and after you do it a couple of times, it’s a cinch.

    Have fun and good luck. if you end up with too many, the squirrels love them!

    XO,
    Jane

  27. You haven’t tasted apple pie Susan, until you’ve tasted Deep Dish French Apple Pie made with Granny Smith apples which is a French Canadian staple for those who do not worry about their waistline as it is topped with a butter and brown sugar crumble. ☺ Oh so good, served with a side slice of Canadian Cheddar or a scoop of Vanilla ice cream. The secret is the apples which are tart and green. (Re the apples: originally grown in Australia but can be found in Europe, New Zealand, Canada, South America and yes … Buford Georgia which I believe is near the vicinity that you visited.)
    As I do not have a Blog, I will forward the recipe to you in case you wish to try it. Bon appetit! -Brenda-

  28. I don’t use a recipe, but I make applesauce the same way I make cooked apples except it is cooked longer. If you keep cooking it, you will have apple butter. Apple butter is usually made in a copper pot over an open fire, but a crockpot or slow cooker will work too. For cooked apples, slice apples (I use an apple slicer and I don’t peel them). Put two tablespoons of butter in a cast iron skillet (no home should be without one) and cook until they are almost done. A few minutes before serving add brown sugar and cinnamon. Pie directions are on the blog post: http://savingtnhistory.blogspot.com/

  29. Diane Allen Parks says:

    I Love Frog Jam! My favorite sandwich from an old feed mill in a little country town here south of Nashville, is Frog Jam and Ham! It is yummy served on their homemade Amish wheat bread. Also, love mutsu’s! I have been frying up a big ole black skillet of them every week for about a month! Love to let the sugar and butter caramelize…..oh, my…..the calories, but the yum factor wins every time! πŸ™‚

  30. The gloves have been around for a few years. They are now available at Target and of course at the higher priced stores such as Lord & Taylor and Macy’s

  31. I love Ellijay, Blue Ridge, Blairsville, Young Harris and the other side too. I am not too fond of apples unless they are in a cobbler.lol Have you visited Cherry Log, which I believe is located in Blue Ridge. It is a community with log homes. My friend owns a cabin on top of the mountain there. Also, Clarkesville on other side near Helen, I love that area also. We owned property very near Mark of the Potter, but sold it, UGH! Are you familiar with Mark of the Potter on the Soque River in Clarkesville? As you can tell, I love the north GA mountains. Must get me those gloves!

    • Angie, you and I would get along just fine. Sounds like you like your apples the same way I like mine…with a lot of sugar! πŸ˜‰ I love all those places you named, too! I haven’t visited Cherry Log. Been to Helen a bunch for Octoberfest and for hiking. Oh, now I want to go see Mark of the Potter! I love the North GA Mountains, too. That has always been my dream to retire somewhere in that area. I just googled a little bit ago, “gloves that work with mobile phones” and there are a lot of companies making them so you should be able to find some pretty easily. Check in your local sporting goods stores, too. I’ve always shopped for gloves in regular dept. stores and had no idea there was such a thing but apparently they’ve been out for a few years now.

  32. The courtyard where my office looks out is in MI. There is a pink lady apple tree in the corner. It hasn’t borne fruit in 7 years because it’s usually too cold here for it’s late fruit. This year I’ve been blessed to be able to tap into the excellent apple harvest here, love pink ladies for pie. Also, I’m addicted to Mexican Coke!!!!

  33. Linda Bettinger says:

    Susan, enjoyed hearing about your trip! It sounds so fun!

    Up here in Michigan, our favorite apple is the honey crisp. It’s sweet, crisp, juicy, tart, and holds up well in pies too. They cost a little more………okay, a lot more as apples go. But they are well worth it. When you bite into one, inveritably, the juice will run down your chin! You need a napkin handy! I don’t know if you can get them where you live, but if they do, you’ve gotta try one! You will actually enjoy eating an apple without the carmel and candy coating!

  34. Ok, first of all I had an English muffin with strawberry jam for dinner one night! I also LOVE apples and try to eat one every day. I love Gala apples, crisp and sweet. I have nevr made an apple pie, crusts are NOT my forte, but I ADORE apple pie! Have never made applesauce either so can’t help you there. I just had an apple cider donut at my daughters this past weeknd and it was FABULOUS!!!

  35. Hi, Susan!
    I put up two apple trees worth of apples this year. My husband and I planted the trees 6 years ago, but this is the first year we have had enough to really preserve. I bought myself an apple peeler/corer/slicer very similar to yours, and it worked GREAT. Used it on my granite countertops, too. Highly recommend it for working up TONS of apples. So, get all the yummy things I did with my apples. I made Honey Applesauce (sweetened with honey), (5 pints) and regular Applesauce (7 pints) (sweetened with just a little sugar), both recipes made in my crockpot. I also made two crockpots of Apple Butter (18 half pints total) in my crockpot-it was SO easy, and the house smelled heavenly. I made two batches of apple jam, with chunks of fruit in them. (9 pints total) Also, I saved the peels and cores from where I peeled the apples for the butter and jam, and put them in a pot of water, boiled for 45 minutes, then strained the water off to make apple jelly! I got 8 pints of apple jelly. Great use of the leftovers and NO WASTE… I made a batch of Apple Strawberry Jam, (6 pints) which is made with Strawberry Jello. Also a success. Then, I canned 35 quarts of homemade apple pie filling. It’s wonderful-we had the first apple pie this weekend. I just made a crust, dumped the quart of pie filling in, covered it with another crust, put a little butter and sprinkled some sugar on it and baked, and voila! Wonderful pies… Finally, I made a batch of Apple Chutney, (7 pints), which will be great as an accompaniment to pork and/or chicken. Yes, I was exhausted after all that work, and yes, I’m probably nuts for canning so much, but could not stand the thought of letting all that yummy fruit go to waste, and I was also able to share some of the apples with friends, too. The ones I preserved this fall should last us for a couple of years. Plus, I will give the jams and jellies for gifts, and also keep my grown kids supplied with apple goodness from Mom this winter. I highly recommend both the crockpot and the apple peeler/slicer/corer as essential for working with apples! Now, I plan to hibernate all winter and eat my way through all this lovely apple goodness! I’ll send you any of my recipes if you want them. My Apple Pie Filling recipe I have had for many years, and it is wonderful, and really quite easy to do. I also found several ideas for what to do with apples on Pinterest, by doing a search for ‘Canning apples’. Have fun with your apples!

  36. p.s. You can also just freeze sliced apples, then cook with cinnamon hots when you’re ready to serve. My mom does them that way all the time, and they are GREAT for holiday dinners…

  37. Love the pics from your adventure….and I want that breakfast!!! Oh, yum!! Unlike you, I love apples…..up here in the real North…..we have Empire apples, they are sweet and crisp with very red skin. Long ago we lived on an old apple orchard and it was apple heaven!!! The red spy and Northern spy are the best apples for baking. I make apple sauce constantly, wash, core and cut apples in chunks, put in pot with a bit of water, add some sugar and some brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg………cook till done and put through sieve to remove skins, I leave some skins in cause I like them!!! I use Empire, golden delicious, Gala, crispin, and Johnathon…..always use this mix for pies too. My best pies use butter in the crust. I used to freeze the apple pie filling also , so easy to pop in the crust and bake. I had the apple peeler corer machine also, it works very well if you have perfect apples. You can freeze the apple sauce and can it too. We had a lady apple tree also, always put them in the sauce because the skin turns the sauce pink. Have fun!!!

  38. Great post! I made apple sauce not too long ago following my grandmother’s method – no recipe – just core, seed and slice or chunk the apples, put in pot with a bit of apple juice, a couple of cinnamon sticks and sugar and let them cook until they disintegrate – she did not peel them or pass through a sieve or food mill and we love it like that.

    BTW, speaking of driving north of Atlanta…when I was visiting family in the mainland last month, a cousin who lives outside Atlanta (Grayson) took us to the Jaemor Farms on the Cornelia Hwy in Alto, GA. Wonderful farm and store/farmers market. They had pumpkins of all sizes, apples, peaches (still some fresh and the BEST peach ice cream ever!!!) – I bought several jars of Peach Butter with Honey, some shelled pecans in bags and some of their Peach Syrup to bring home…

  39. Hi Susan, I have one of those apple peelers, would not be without it. We get through a lot of apples which we buy from our local apple factory at reasonable prices. They are all brought in from the local farms and washed through the machinery, the smell is wonderful when you walk through the door.
    Most apples make good apple sauce, Golden Delicious is the easiest. We actually make it as we require it, if we are cooking pork as a sauce and hubby sometimes cooks apples with roasted parsnips.
    My favourite fruit to add to an apple pie, is blackberries, another is blueberries. I also have a lattice roller for the top of pie and also a pie press with little apples cut out of it and you just press it down on your top piece of pastry before putting it on the pie.
    Now you are making me hungry and I spent today making my Christmas Cake…hmmm…better not eat it!! πŸ™‚

  40. I received my peeler corer slicer as a wedding shower gift in 1980. It’s from Pampered Chef, & back then they were the only company that sold them. It was also nearly TRIPLE what they cost now that they’re everywhere! I use it on my granite counter mounted right next to my sink, so the peels end up in the sink.
    I love Ida Reds & Paula a Reds for pretty, rosy applesauce. We like it chunky, & I often prepare a batch in the microwave as a side for dinner–easy as pie! (Sorry I couldn’t resist). We only drink the bottled Mexican cane sugar Coke, which is sold by the case at Costco. To me it’s the only pop that tastes like it did when I was a child. I just love your photos–I feel like I went on a lovely Fall outing today!

  41. I would love a visit to an apple orchard. I am so disappointed in grocery store produce. It is all becoming frankenfood. I was surprised by your admission. It never occurred to me that anyone would not like apples. I hate cantaloupe so I guess we all have our dislikes and we are the boss of our food. πŸ™‚ I just posted about Fennel and Pomegranate and Apple. It is so darn good and easy. As for your apple peeler I have seen where people use it to peel potatoes for curly fries if your apple project does not work out.

  42. Wonderful time You must of had.We have an area near where We lived called Oak Glen with the same type of fun.My favorite purchase the last few years besides Christmas gifts is pumpkin butter instead of My old fave apple butter πŸ™‚

  43. Susan,
    I enjoyed seeing pictures from your visit to Blue Ridge. We were there last year about this time and visited Mercier Ochard as well. We stayed in a cabin out of town a bit and fell in love with the beauty of
    the place. We didn’t eat at The Grocery but did eat at Harvest on Main…several times!
    Looking forward to hearing how the applesauce turns out.
    Carolyn

  44. The thread in the fingertips of the gloves is a special conductive material. It is also available to hand knitters. It allows your “touch” to travel to your mobile device.

  45. Sarah Kulzer says:

    Hi Susan,
    My mother and I both like Jonathon apples for apple pie and applesauce. We like apples for apple pies that get soft but not mushy. They have a fantastic flavor. We also use Jonathon apples for apple sauce. I have had a LOT of positive feedback on our apple pies and applesauce. After you try these you won’t use granny smith, which is what Martha Stewart recommends in her Pie cookbook. (sorry, Martha) She’s usually right, but not on this!!!
    We have a wonderful shop in Palos Hills called Mona Lisa. She sells those conductive texting gloves. I didn’t buy them, but now you’ve got me thinking about them again!! Love you, Susan!!

  46. Best Apples for Making Applesauce and Apple Pie

  47. Yes I been to Mercier Orchard and like you I loved that place. I wanted to buy everything “apple” in there. Thanks for sharing, I need to go again.

  48. I enjoyed this post very much! It looked like a fun trip. I am going to order some Frog Jam for my FIL – he will get a kick out of asking people if they want some frog jam. Loved all the reader’s tips on cooking with apples.

  49. When I got my Triple Action machine years ago, it was still called an Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer and they work great on regular shaped apples. The apples from my backyard tree were more of a challenge but I managed.
    The most important part about making applesauce or applie pie or apple butter is to enjoy the process. I’ve made applesauce and apple butter and prefer the latter, however I stayed at a B&B once and she served fresh, homemade applesauce every morning and it was wonderful. To keep the color I found it best to use Fruit Fresh, adding enough lemon juice to stop the apples from turning brown made the sauce too tart.
    After years of making apple pies for Thanksgiving, I found out most of my family didn’t really like applie pie, me included. What we do like is apple crisp and apple ckae – oh yummy apple crisp with the oatmeal brown sugar topping. I’ve always used granny smith apples for baking (pies, crisps & ckeas) and adjusted the sugar depending on the tarness of the apples.
    I’m sure whatever you make will be wonderful!

  50. Kathy Baker says:

    Hi! I grew up in Rome, Ga., and my grandmother lived in Blue Ridge, Ga. She had a florist shop near Mercier Orchards and she knew Mrs. Mercier as a friend. I loved going to the apple orchard operation and seeing and smelling all of the different types of apples. Also, buying apple cider. It was so great seeing your article and the pictures. Thanks!

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