Apples are not only delicious but also incredibly versatile. With so many ways to use them, taking full advantage of all your apple tree’s hard work is not only simple, but also incredibly tasty. Here are some of our favorite ways to use cooking apples:
As the saying goes, “as American as apple pie,” not much can beat the delicious flavor of apples accompanied by the buttery taste of a pie crust. The crisp flake of the crust accompanied by soft and spicy apples makes for the ultimate dessert that anyone can enjoy, and it’s easy to make! Place your pie crust in your pan and fill it up with a mound of apple slices tossed in sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place another layer of crust on top – or make it decorative with some latticework – and bake at 425℉ for 35 minutes (or until your crust is brown).
Homemade applesauce captures the delicious taste of your apples fresh off the tree, and has endless uses long after apple season is over. From a tasty condiment on pork dishes to a natural baby food, applesauce is a healthy homemade touch the whole family will enjoy. Simply boil some coarsely-chopped apples with lemon juice and a sprinkle of lemon zest, as well as some sugar, water, and a touch of cinnamon. Once the apples have softened, you can puree them into a sauce, adding sugar, salt, and spices to your desired taste.
Apples are naturally high in pectin, making them ideal for canning. They are delicious as an apple jelly or jam, and can even be substituted into many different kinds of fruit jellies and preserves instead of packaged pectin. There are lots of easy apple jelly and jam recipes to be found online and many of them keep it simple, with five ingredients or less, so you can enjoy the best flavors of your backyard without too much headache or hassle. We’ve even shared our delightfully delicious apple butter recipe on our recipes page that you will love!
There’s nothing as fitting for the fall and winter season as apple cider – and it’s a great way to make the most of a large volume of apples. When your tree is looking heavy with perfectly ripe fruit, this is a great way to make use of them all without a bellyache.
It can take 8-10 large apples to make just a half-gallon of cider. That might sound like a lot, but when you’re harvesting buckets of tasty fruits this time of year, it can be nice to have an easy way to make use of so many of them at once. Simply boil together apples, sugar, and water with your favorite mix of spices. Mash it together, let it cool, and strain – consider spiking for an adult twist.
For those of us lucky enough to have a dehydrator in our kitchens (or to know a friend willing to lend you one), you can use it to make tasty apple chips from your fall harvest. Slice up your apples thinly and toss them in a solution of lemon juice, water, and cinnamon until they’re well-coated, and place them in the dehydrator for 7 hours. If you aren’t lucky enough to have the fancy machinery, you can also dehydrate them in a conventional oven set at 160°F (65°C) for about 6 hours, but check them frequently.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Unpasteurized apple cider boasts an assortment of health benefits that have been touted by celebrities and health fanatics for years. The process for making vinegar is simple and very similar to cider, it just takes longer – letting it ferment, like homebrew beer, to get that vinegary taste. Luckily, making apple cider vinegar lets you use the whole apple, so it’s a great use for those peels and cores that would otherwise end up in your trash or compost.
No matter how you slice ‘em, apples offer deliciously crisp and juicy flavor that packs a punch in the kitchen. Take full advantage of all they have to offer with these delicious recipes that everyone in the family can enjoy or check out our apple recipes for more inspiration!