It’s officially fall, and apple season is in full swing here in Pennsylvania. Our trees have apples. We bought apples from an orchard. Our neighbors have brought us apples. My mom brought us apples. My friend offered apple picking from her tree. I think I’ve been dreaming apples.
1) Make apple pie! Naturally. On my honor, I will try, to get my most-awesome-ever apple pie recipe up on this blog before apple season is passed. In the meantime, you can try this easy apple pie recipe, or learn how to pressure can apple pie filling.
Update: here’s my famous apple pie recipe. By famous, I mean that everyone who’s ever tried it says it’s the best they’ve ever had. Though it’s not the prettiest pie you’ve ever seen, and you probably won’t find it in any magazines.
2) Make apple crisp. Don’t have the patience for apple pie? Top some apple pie filling with your favorite crispy-crunchy topping. Here’s one recipe from 10 Acres & 6 Chicks, and here’s another from Little Blog on the Homestead.
3) Make applesauce. Core and peel your apples, throw ’em all in a big old pot with a little water to prevent burning, and cook it down til it turns to mush. Make sure you’re using sweet apples that are good for cooking. Add cinnamon or sweetener if desired, and freeze it or process in a water bath canner. (1/2″ head space for 20 minutes.) You could make it without sugar, in the crock-pot, or make it with kids. You can even make it raw! There are so many variations to this healthy treat.
4) Make apple butter. My version of apple butter is usually just a really cooked-down, spiced-up apple sauce. I love canning it in jelly jars to give as Christmas gifts! Here’s a more detailed tutorial for apple butter. And yes, you can make apple butter in the slow cooker too.
5) Make apple chips. Slice those apples and dehydrate them for a year-round snack that’s much better than a fruit gummy. I haven’t actually done this yet, but I have a bag of apples that’s destined to hit the dehydrator this week. Here’s a basic tutorial from SchneiderPeeps, and here’s a recipe for dehydrated honey-spiced apple rings. If you don’t have a dehydrator, never fear- you could make them in a regular oven, or even a solar oven!
7) Store them. If you’re lucky enough to have a root cellar or other cold storage, your fresh apples can last for several months.
8) Ferment them. Well, why not? Here’s an apple & radish sauerkraut that sounds delicious, and a lacto-fermented cranberry apple relish that is positively scrumptious. (Yes Mom, you have permission to laugh at how much my tastes have changed over the years. 😉 )
9) Make apple cider vinegar. This renowned health food is apparently pretty easy to make. Even though it seems like everyone has their own variation on how to do it (here’s one, two, three examples!), it’s always simple and frugal.
10) Make apple sandwiches. One of my favorites is apple, cheddar, and spinach. It makes for a very quick lunch. Or how about apple pie grilled cheese?
11) Bake them. I love baked apples, but haven’t made them in a very long time. Here’s a crock-pot baked apple recipe that we may need to have for dessert soon.
12) Make fritters. Apple fritters for breakfast, anyone?
13) Make apple cider. We attended an apple cider making party once, and the freshly pressed fantabulousness (is that a word?) was enough to keep us talking about it for years afterward. Literally, years. Here’s a recipe for homemade spiced cider without the press, but I think my husband wants to put together a press before the season is over!
14) Make apple crafts. This post from Family Style Schooling had lots of great craft ideas, among other uses for apples. We particularly like using apples as stamps!
15) Feed the bad ones to your animals. If your pets or livestock can eat apples, why not let them pick through the bad ones? Our chickens love the cores. That way, nothing goes to waste.
By the way, if you plan on doing any amount of regular apple peeling, coring, or slicing this season, you need to get yourself one of these apple peeler-corer-slicers. As long as your apples are fairly regular and not too soft, it will work. And man oh man, is it a time saver. Not to mention a child entertainer. Best invention ever.
What’s your favorite apple recipe?
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