So, You Went Apple Picking…

Photo by Loved Up Light Photography

The weather is starting to cool. The leaves are beginning to fall. Everything is now pumpkin spice. Autumn has arrived here in Kansas City. With no shortage of fall adventures, our schedule has been packed with fun (and learning!). We have really enjoyed exploring the Kansas City apple picking scene. This year’s apple picking trip yielded 40 pounds, and I was determined to use every single delicious one!

We peeled, cored, and sliced our way through all but eight sad apples (who made their way to the compost bin). We got a little creative in recipes and projects this year. Here’s how we used forty pounds of apples!

Savory

Apples are a great ingredient in so many seasonal dishes and locally grown always tastes the best. I played around with recipes that I hope to include in our seasonal celebrations this year. Our two new apple dishes will be a yummy addition to our meal planning this fall.

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Sweets

I love baking with apples. The smell is divine and the warm cinnamony goodness is so comforting. These treats didn’t last long and we had so much fun baking together. 

Caramel Sauce
We all agreed that caramel apples were a must! I am new to the candy-making process but it is fun to learn. All of the recipes we tried from Pinterest had similar ingredients, so we just chose one based on what we had on hand. The key is to not overcook! Our first batch hardened way too fast and had a gritty (crystalized) texture. So, watch the heat and keep stirring, but other than that, homemade caramel is easy to make with simple ingredients. 

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Now that we had caramel, I was really looking forward to trying out caramel apple cinnamon rolls. We are a cinnamon roll loving family, so knew this would be a fun twist. Using my favorite cinnamon roll recipe I made the dough and filling. I added thinly sliced apples that were coated in apple pie seasoning before rolling. After they were baked and iced, I drizzled on the caramel sauce. So good! Can’t wait to make another batch. 

Apple Pie
We made a very simple apple pie. 
Sliced apples coated with apple pie seasoning and a couple of tablespoons of softened butter. Pre-made pie crust. I did a lattice top, but any fun way to add the top will do. Bake. That’s all. And then you have pie. 

Snacks

I loved having a big bowl of Honeycrisp apples on the table ready for my kids to grab and go. They loved eating ”their” apples. We love dipping in peanut butter, or just munching on them whole. Our favorite snacks were pretty simple to put together and crowd favorites! 

Caramel Apple Bar
Should probably be a sweet! Sliced and skewered apples, caramel dip, toppings. We had graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips, almonds, and marshmallows separated into cupcake liners. It was fun to try out everyone’s flavor combinations. This would be perfect for a party-sized crowd! 

Spicy Bacon Wrapped Apples
This was such a hit during the Chiefs season opener this year! I have been making Spicy Caramelized Bacon for a few seasons now and adding in the apple was a welcome addition. Another easy recipe! 

[yumprint-recipe id=’7′]I really had fun using all these apples in our meals and snacks the last couple of weeks. The kids also tried each dish because they all had a part in picking the apples and helping out in the kitchen. These will make some sweet memories and with many more recipes to try with our next apple picking haul. 

School

Our apples were also a great subject to use for a mini-unit study. We touched on all the subjects we are focusing on this season. When our Applepalooza day, as my seven-year-old called it, was here I had everything ready to go and we spent the entire day learning with apples. 

Apple Investigation

With clipboards and supplies ready we discussed different ways to investigate our apples. We all took turns describing the details, naming the parts, and looking at the inside. We practiced measuring while recording the circumference. Everyone also drew their own apples. This was a fun worksheet that is open ended for a multiple aged homeschool families. Each of my kids enjoyed working at their own level. 

Apple Stamping
After noticing the seed shapes in the cores we moved on to creating our apple prints. Mixing colors and creating patterns was another fun activity for all ages.

Apple Journaling
Using Julia Rothman’s Farm and Food Anatomy books as reference we sat down to have an apple snack and do our journaling pages. I made copies from the books for each person to cut and glue, the kids told me their favorite part of apple picking and I jotted it down. These pages are then added to a year-long journal to show our studies and progress.

Even if you’re not a homeschooling family, I highly recommend an Applepalooza to further enjoy all your apples. Now that all our apples have been used I need to start figuring out what to do after we go the pumpkin patch

 

Jessica
I’m Jessica! Married to my best friend and mother to some pretty wonderful little people. My family makes this life pretty exciting and I strive to do my best to make this world better for them. I grew up in rural Colorado but decided to trade it all in for a life changing move to the Caribbean islands. After 3.5 years of world traveling and beach bumming, I decided to plant roots in Kansas City. We now call the charming city of Lee’s Summit home and couldn’t be happier with this amazing community. I am the owner of Lee's Summit PLAY and work hard to promote learning and adventure in youth. I love to shop small and support all of our wonderful local business owners. My favorite parts of this area of Missouri are the fantastic local breweries, beautiful parks and outdoor spaces, and the passion behind all of the welcoming people. You can usually find me sipping a local brew, working on a community project to spread love and kindness, and experiencing all the Lee’s Summit and the Kansas City area have to offer.