A Few Homey Recipes to Celebrate The Season

Momma Lucas' homemade apple pie. | Photo by Marry Pivazian.

Autumn is a season of sensation. From the brilliant colors of changing leaves to the hug of a comfy sweater against the chilly wind, it’s no wonder this is a season of memories. For some, autumn is also the time of a warm kitchen full of fragrant spices and baked goods. Apples and pumpkins are in season and can be made into all kinds of tasty treats. Below are a few yummy items straight of out of the family recipe book. They’re a great addition to any autumn memory–and a great way to make friends.

Momma Lucas’ Apple Pie

This is the “my mom’s apple pie” recipe. No other pie in the universe can ever live up to it. Filled with a gooey, fall-spicy mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice, it is a must for all pie socials, dessert parties and Thanksgiving spreads. Like all pie, it goes great with ice cream.

This recipe does not include a homemade crust, but it can spice up any store-bought crust by making it into a brown sugar crumble crust.

The inside is stuffed with chopped apples, cinnamon and nutmeg. | Photo by Marry Pivazian.

Cut up 5 apples for about 7 cups of apples. Put apples in a large bowl and add:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Place mixture into regular pie crust, and then put 2 tablespoon dabs of butter in across the apples (optional, but delicious!)

Place second pie crust on top (pie crusts almost always come in packs of two). Cut a few slits in the top crust and push the edges of the crust in with your fingers or a fork–this is what gives the edge of the crust that nice wavy look. Brush with a mixture of egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water (you will have some left over).

Cover the pie with foil and cook for 15 minutes at 425° and then turn down to 350°, taking off the foil and baking for another 40-50 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the apples are bubbling

Brown Sugar Crumble Crust

Mix together:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown and white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix in 1/2 cup butter until mixture is moist and crumbly and clumps easily together and then crumble over top of pie

Apple Butter 

For a long time, my mom would make gallons of this every year to give as Christmas gifts to teachers, co-workers and family friends. Every year, people would rave about how much they loved this saucy, apple-y treat. It’s a lot like jam and goes great on toast, desserts, pancakes and sandwiches.

Makes about 5 cups.

Cut up 12-14 (about 24 cups) of sweet-tart apples like Granny Smith, Winesap or a mixture of apples; just don’t use Red Delicious or any other dessert (i.e. sweet tasting) apple. Put apples into a Dutch oven or large, thick sauce pan. Cover with 2 cups of apple cider or juice and cook for about 1 hour until the apples are soft. Take apples and place in a blender or food processor with the cider and blend until smooth.

Return the mixture back into the Dutch oven, adding for each pint (2 cups) of fruit:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Stir well and cook over low heat for 4-6 hours, stirring every hour and scraping the bottom and sides (should be thick enough to spread). If canning, keep warm as you spoon into canning jars or freezer containers.

Pumpkin Bread

Who says pumpkins are only good for pie? | Photo by Marry Pivazian

This recipe comes from the trusted Allrecipes.com, not my mom, but the first year she made it, it lasted about 20 minutes. Its rich, nutmeg flavor really is the taste of autumn. Enjoy it with a hot drink or on its own. It’s especially good with Nutella and absolutely delectable with honey.

This recipe makes three loaves, which is a lot. It can easily be scaled down, but most cans of pumpkin puree are 15 ounces, so there will be some puree left over. Using pumpkin puree from scratch is fine, but it takes work. Directions on how to do this are easy to find online.

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Stick a knife or a toothpick in the center to see if it is done. If the knife comes out clean, it is ready.

Jake Lucas

Hi there I'm Jake. I'm a journalism major/environmental policy and analysis minor originally from the suburbs of Chicago. I'm interested in all kinds of science, politics and economics. I also like bears, singing and podcasts. If you have any questions, tips or just want to shoot the breeze, email me at jlucas@buquad.com. Or, find me on Twitter @JakeDLucas.

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