Ok, not really 50. I exaggerate. I can’t help it. The Ladyfriend is even prone to calling me the Exaggeratress.
My friend and fellow garden mentor with the Community Harvest of SW Seattle, Amy, recently delivered me 3 enormous boxes of apples. And I mean ENORMOUS. She told me many times what variety they are were, but I haven’t managed to retain the information in my brain anywhere.
Needless to say, I’ve been getting my apple processing on. I didn’t can a thing either! Thank goodness, as canning that many jars of apples would have taken the better part of my life. And, while canning is great and all, there needs to be something more. Right? Yes, I am right.
So what to do with an abundance of apples? Here is what I did!
Applesauce. Unsweetened & unspiced. I figured I could add some sweetener and/or other flavorings if we wanted it later. I wanted to leave them versatile. Apple sauce is simple. Core. Cut into chunks. Cook in some water till soft. Run through food processor until you get the consistency you are after. Pour into jars leaving some head space. Freeze.
I ended up with 27 jars. Yes. 27 big jars. Of Applesauce. That is a lot of applesauce. Aside from just eating it though, we use to flavor plain yogurt and in baking. If I get a hankering later on, I could make fruit leather. And then there is the Babylady. Kids eat a fricking lot of applesauce.
Apple Pie Filling. Standard recipe from Ball. Nothing fancy, but it’ll come in handy. I think. I do like apple pie, yet have never been compelled to actually make one. Maybe I’m more of a berry or cream pie person. Or ice cream person. I don’t know. But with ready-made pile filling from some great pie apples, I figure I am set to give it a try! I can also use it in turnovers. Which I also have not made, but it sounds kind of fun. “Hey, come on over! I made fresh apple turnovers!” I mean really? You’d come over wouldn’t you? I know I would! I made 8 or 9 jars of that and froze them.
Dried Apples. Cored the apples and cut thick-ish slices ( about ¼”). Treat to prevent browning. Place on baking sheet in oven at lowest setting (ours is 170°F) and cook a long time until they are shrively, but still somewhat moist/pliable. I put them in late at night and they were done in the morning.
Once cooled, I placed in gallon size freezer bags and squished as much air out as I could and tossed them in the freezer. I’ll use them later in things like quick breads, scones, granola bars, etc.
Apple Muffins I followed Mark Bittman’s recipe for quick bread, but made muffins. And omitted the nuts. Because I believe nuts have no place in baked goods. Not now. Not ever. Period.
Apple Cheddar Rosemary Bread Amazingly yummy! Apples? Cheese? Rosemary? Yes, yes please. This bread was great with tomato soup. It made a mean grilled cheese. And, in a moment of ingenuity, I used it to make savory french toast and placed it on a bed of sautéed kale. And, it was fantastic. Make this bread.
Apple Coffee Cake. Lottie & Doof have a fantastic recipe for Sour Cherry Coffee Cake, but I use it as a master coffee cake recipe for any fruit. So, in went the apples. YUM! I know I have talked about coffee cake before but I will admit I think the Lottie & Doof cake is hands down the better. However, the other is a much kinder to your waistline. So, if I am after an everyday coffee cake, that is the one I use. Your call- they are both great! But if you are having guests or a brunch or some such thing- I say go for it and use this recipe. It will never disappoint!
Gingerbread Apple Upside-down Cake. Oh Smitten Kitchen. Is there anything you make I don’t love? I think not. You’ve not steered me wrong. Ever. This cake is moist and screams fall! Dot with a bit of whipped cream (ginger/maple whipped cream, if you are feeling fancy!) or a little scoop of apple sorbet. Yes!
Apple Sorbet. The recipe was for red skinned apples, which gave it a lovely pink hue. However, our apples were green-yellow so it was paler. But wow. So good. Sorbet! Where have you been all my cooking/freezing/making life? Could you be easier? You don’t even have to core, seed or peel. Just cook down some apples in some wine, run through the food mill and process in an ice cream maker. Voila! Frozen goodness!
You can also use apples as a natural source of pectin in jam/jelly making, but they need to be a bit underripe and I waited too long to do that.
What is your favorite thing to make with apples?