Make the most of fall apple season


Fall has finally fallen and that means it is apple season. My family and I tried a few different recipes with apples in them and these two were the favorites. When I read the recipe for the apple butter pulled pork I was intrigued with the thought of all the spices that are in apple butter and then mixing it with barbecue sauce. I knew we needed to try it and it was delicious!

After the pork was shredded, I tasted the meat and seasoned it just a touch better and then decided I need to use a sweeter barbeque sauce. Perfection. Then we had dessert and let me tell you, I will never do an oat topped apple crisp again. The short bread cookie like topping and the caramel like sauce was so darn good. Plus, I’ve given you a great apple pie filing recipe. Enjoy!

Apple Butter

Pulled Pork

1 6-pound pork shoulder, bone in

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion

5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 cup sparkling apple cider

1 cup chicken broth

3 bay leaves

Apple Butter

Barbecue Sauce

1 cup apple butter

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

Season the meat generously on both sides with salt and pepper. If the meat is too big to fit into your Instant Pot, then cut it into pieces or trim off some of the fat so it will fit. Press the sauté button and set it to high sauté and wait until it is hot, add butter and then add the meat and brown each side for 5-8 minutes.

When both sides are brown, remove to a plate. Lower the sauté button to normal and add the onions and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes, gently scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the sparkling apple cider and allow it to bubble for a minute more. Press cancel.

Add the meat back into the pot, on top of the onions and garlic, along with the broth and bay leaves. Lock cover and set the vent to seal. Pressure cook for 70 minutes. When the timer goes off, allow to sit for 15 minutes. Then manually release the remaining pressure.

Remove the meat to a plate. Strain the juices from the pot and throw away the solids. You should have about 2 cups of juices. After the meat has rested for about 10 minutes, remove the bone and excess fat and shred the meat. Once shredded, put back into the pot.

Put the strained juices into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 mins to reduce a bit, then add the apple butter and barbecue sauce. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until it has thickened a bit. Add the sauce to the shredded meat and give it a good stir.  Serve on soft buns topped with more barbecue sauce or coleslaw.

Absolute Best Apple Crisp

Apple pie filling:

1.5 pounds of apples, peeled and sliced

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cups flour

1 cup water

Place all of the ingredients into a sauce pan and cook on low heat until apples are as soft as you like. For Instant Pot: push the sauté button and place the butter into the pot. Once the butter is melted press cancel and add the remaining ingredients. Close lid and seal the vent. Pressure cook for 2 minutes and quick release the rest of the pressure manually. Pour apple pie filling into an 8x8 baking dish.

Topping:

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 stick of cold butter, cubed

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and cubed butter. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, mix all ingredients until combined well. Making sure to “cut” the butter until it looks like butter pebbles. Stir in pecans. Spread the topping over the apple pie filling. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Should be a hint of golden brown. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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