Bruce received an apple tree as a symbolic gift from his class when he retired in 2005. The rabbits chewed off the tree bark during the winter, so its growth was stunted. This year it finally produced an abundant number of tasty red apples. In fact, the small branches are so heavy with apples that they almost touch the ground. I’ve made my favorite apple crisp recipe and apple sauce, and I’m anxious to try some new apple recipes.

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You can use a flour tortilla to make a delicious hot apple pie stuffed dessert that makes it’s own caramel sauce. I’ve also included an easy recipe for a homemade apple pie filling to use instead of a commercial canned pie filling.

Apple Pie Enchiladas

Homemade Apple Pie Filling or (21 ounce) can apple pie filling

6 (8 inch) flour tortillas

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ cup butter

½ cup white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup water

Spoon about one heaping quarter cup of pie filling evenly down the center of each tortilla. Soften the tortilla in microwave if needed to make them easier to roll. Sprinkle with cinnamon; roll up, tucking in edges, and place seam side down in greased baking dish. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour sauce over enchiladas and let stand 45 minutes. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 20 minutes, or until golden. Serve with ice cream. Serves 6.

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You can make the best apple pie filling from scratch. I like that you can adjust spices for personal taste as I don’t like nutmeg, and I add more cinnamon.

Easy Homemade Apple Pie Filling

5 cups apples cored, peeled and chopped

¾ cups sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. salt

2 cups water

1 Tbsp.s lemon juice

In a large saucepan, combine water, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. Stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Add the apples and bring to a boil again. Drop the heat to medium low and simmer for 10-12 minutes, Cool completely. Keep refrigerated in an air-tight container for 4-5 days. Makes 4 cups.

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If you like caramel apples and cheesecake, you can put the two together in this delicious dessert in about 20 minutes. Follow the simple steps make a perfect seasonal cheesecake.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Crust:

2 cups flour

½ cup brown sugar

2 sticks butter softened

Filling:

3 (8 ounces) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

Apple mixture:

3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into small pieces

2 Tbsp.s sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

Topping:

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup flour

½ cup quick oats

1 stick butter, softened

caramel topping to drizzle on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9X13 baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang on all four sides. Combine flour and brown sugar in a medium sized bowl and cut in butter with 2 forks or pastry blender until crumbly. Press mixture into prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time mixing to combine. Pour mixture into baked crust. In a medium bowl, toss apples, sugar and cinnamon until coated. Sprinkle apple pieces evenly over cream cheese mixture. Combine brown sugar, flour, quick oats and softened butter in a medium bowl until crumbly. Sprinkle topping evenly over your apples layer. Bake for 45-60 minutes until filling is set. (You can check it by just slightly jiggling the pan) Allow to cool and then place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. Remove from pan and cut into 16 even sized bars. Drizzle with caramel topping. 16 servings.

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Over the Labor Day weekend the neighbors at our cabin had an outdoor pot luck gathering. One of our neighbors brought a recipe for a unique bar his mom used to make. I’m glad he shared the recipe with me.

Glen’s Butterscotch Squares

12 ounce package butterscotch chips

1/3 cup butterscotch

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup walnuts, chopped

8 ounces cream cheesecake

14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

Melt chips and butter together. Stir in graham cracker crumbs and nuts. Press half the mixture into 9X13 pan and set aside. Beat cream cheese; add condensed milk, vanilla and egg. Spread over the bottom layer. Sprinkle remaining graham cracker crumb mixture on top. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

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