It’s apple season. My kids love going to our many local orchards and picking apples by the bagful. It takes only a few minutes to fill a bag, and we usually fill several bags. What to do with all those apples once we haul them home? Here are a few ideas:
- Eat them uncooked. Eat them on the back patio and throw the cores in the yard, pack them in lunch bags, or slice them and serve with peanut butter or caramel sauce for dipping. My favorite apples for just plain eating are Fujis and Honeycrisps.
- Make apple pie. Yes, this is obvious, but apple pie is a classic for good reason. And here’s an apple pie recipe from Mrs. Crocker herself.
- Make apple crisp. Crisp is much easier to make than pie (no fussy pie crust to work with), and it has a nice crunch. It’s even better topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Here’s my favorite recipe. The great thing about this recipe is that individual servings can be placed uncooked into foil packets and then cooked in campfire coals. Perfect for those cool fall nights spent outdoors.
- Make applesauce. It’s easier than you think. Peel, core, and slice your apples. Then dump them in your slow cooker or in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. For every four apples, add 3/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 cup brown sugar, and simmer until soft and mushy. Your house will smell terrific. Eat your applesauce warm or chilled. Applesauce also freezes well so you can eat it later. My favorite way to eat it is warm with a dollop of whipped cream on top. It’s like healthy dessert.
- Make applesauce cake. When I was in middle school, I played the narrator in a community theater production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and if you’re familiar with the play, it involves unruly children, a church pageant, and some burned applesauce cake in the church kitchen. Learn more about this fantastic play and get a recipe for applesauce cake here.
- Make pork chops and apples. If you’re in the mood for something savory and sweet, here’s a trusty recipe from Taste of Home.
- Make baked apples in campfire coals. Use a paring knife to cut out the stem and core of several apples, but don’t cut all the way down to the bottoms of the apples. You basically want to cut a plug out of the top center of each apple. Fill the apples with brown sugar and cinnamon, wrap them in heavy duty foil, leaving a “tail” of foil to use as a handle, and place in the campfire coals for 5 to 10 minutes or until apples are soft. Here’s a recipe.
- Make apple butter. My grandmother used to make apple butter every year and give out jars of it as gifts at Christmas time, so apple butter always reminds me of her. My husband loves it spread on toast. Here’s a recipe.
- Freeze them. Apples freeze easily if you peel, core, and slice them and place them in freezer-safe bags or plastic containers labeled with the contents and date. When you’re ready, you can use frozen apples in recipes for pie or crisp.
- Share them with neighbors and friends. The older couple who live next door to us often pick apples in the fall and bring over one apple for each of our family members. It’s a friendly gesture I appreciate, even if I’m already swimming in apples in my own kitchen. I can always find uses for a few more.
What are your favorite things to do with apples? Let us know in the comments.