My Dream of an Orchard { PLUS a Gluten-Free Apple Crisp Recipe }

Apple Trees. Pear Trees.  Cherry Trees. Plum Trees.  Did you know you could grow all these trees in the upper Midwest?

Ever since we decided to embrace country living, I have been dreaming of my very own orchard.  My husband and I have committed to buying at least 2 fruit trees per year, and we have found that fall is the best time to buy because the growers have marked them down 25-50%. 

Ever since we decided to embrace country living, I have been dreaming of my very own orchard. But for now we are foraging for free fruit and learning how to preserve the bounty! You will also find my gluten-free healthy apple crisp recipe! https://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/recipe/i-dream-of-an-orchard/

By: Sarah Koontz

Our first year on the property we bought two different varieties of apple trees.  The need each other in order to produce an apple crop.  I love that!  They are sort of like people, we need each other too.  And if you buy all the same variety of tree, they will not produce.

My mom planted 3 apple trees about 20 years ago, and she never had apples. So this year, we bought a crab-apple tree for her right when the trees were in bloom and…..BAM!!!!! She had her first apple crop.  Variety is the spice of life people!

Ever since we decided to embrace country living, I have been dreaming of my very own orchard. But for now we are foraging for free fruit and learning how to preserve the bounty! You will also find my gluten-free healthy apple crisp recipe! https://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/recipe/i-dream-of-an-orchard/

We added a pear and a plum tree our second year on the property, and plan on buying two more this fall.  Of course, growing an orchard takes time and patience!

So, until our trees mature, we will be forced to purchase or forage for fruit in our local community.

Foraging is easier than you might think!  Where I live, there are more than 200 apple trees planted on public property that anyone can pick.  If you live in a larger urban area, I encourage you to visit the Falling Fruit website to find trees near you.

And I highly encourage you to speak with your neighbors who have fruit trees!  Sammi and I have been picking apples from her neighbors’ tree for the past few years, as they have no desire to bother with it.  I am so glad we had the courage to ask, because I love having a pantry full of FREE applesauce, spiced apples and dried apples!

Ever since we decided to embrace country living, I have been dreaming of my very own orchard. But for now we are foraging for free fruit and learning how to preserve the bounty!

If you can’t find a source for free local apples, or it is not currently apple picking season, I highly recommend buying in bulk from Azure Standard.  Their apples are amazing!  They vary in price throughout the year, but I like to buy them when they are between 1-2 dollars per pound.

Azure gives you the option of buying 5 lbs or 20 lbs at a time.  It is often cheaper to buy a case, so I always find a friend to split it with. 

Another thing I love about Azure is that they offer seconds.  Seconds are the fruits that aren’t quite as pretty, but still taste delicious.  In the right season, you can get seconds for a fraction of the cost you would pay in the grocery store.

Our absolute favorite recipe for canning apples can be found at the Canning Granny web site.  It is a spiced apple recipe.  We like to make a medium syrup and generally add a lot more cinnamon than the recipe asks for.  Our kids love these apples nearly as much as we do.  {View Recipe Here}

Ever since we decided to embrace country living, I have been dreaming of my very own orchard. But for now we are foraging for free fruit and learning how to preserve the bounty! You will also find my gluten-free healthy apple crisp recipe! https://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/recipe/i-dream-of-an-orchard/

Being gluten-free, I have had trouble finding a simple Apple Crisp recipe that I love.  So this year, I decided to take a bold step and write my own.  I chose not to use a lot of sugar in this recipe, because I want the fresh apples to be the star of the show!

This apple crisp turned out gooey and crunchy and delicious.  My husband loved it, and was thrilled I actually wrote down the recipe (to share with you all, of course!) because one of my bad habits is making up my own recipes but then forgetting how I did it and never being able to recreate them.  Make it today, and your house will smell glorious!

Tell us, what are your best tips for finding affordable produce?

Healthy and clean eating dessert recipes ROCK. Not only is this dish healthy, but it is gluten-free and SO flavorful! Don't let the simple ingredients fool you, it is delicious. Ever since we decided to embrace country living, I have been dreaming of my very own orchard. But for now we are foraging for free fruit and learning how to preserve the bounty! You will also find my gluten-free healthy apple crisp recipe! https://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/recipe/i-dream-of-an-orchard/

 

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
Print Recipe
Healthy and clean eating dessert recipes ROCK. Not only is this dish healthy, but it is gluten-free and SO flavorful! Don't let the simple ingredients fool you, it is delicious. Find more recipes to impress at www.groundedandsurrounded.com!
Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
Print Recipe
Healthy and clean eating dessert recipes ROCK. Not only is this dish healthy, but it is gluten-free and SO flavorful! Don't let the simple ingredients fool you, it is delicious. Find more recipes to impress at www.groundedandsurrounded.com!
Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
Apple Mixture
  • 3 cups apples peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
Topping
  • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 3 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter softened
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Place sliced apples in a lightly buttered 8x8 glass or ceramic baking dish, making sure they are in a thin layer. 
  2. Combine apple juice, corn starch, honey, and cinnamon.  Mix the sauce mixture with the apples.
  3. In a bowl, mix the topping ingredients until well combined, then sprinkle over the apples.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.  Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
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9 thoughts on “My Dream of an Orchard { PLUS a Gluten-Free Apple Crisp Recipe }

  1. Gluten free apple crisp?! Yes, please! 🙂 I also have always wanted my own orchard and we hope to buy a farm in the next 10 years so we can have our own.

    Thanks for sharing this with us at Talented Tuesday Link Party last week, hope you join us again!

  2. Very nice artice, homegrown fruits have more taste, I have also lemon and orange tree in my backyard, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and tweeting.

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