It’s apple season! Sometimes nature provides us with an abundance of apples, and it can be hard to know what to do with all that bounty. Here are some apple recipes to give you some ideas.
1. Dried Apples
For generations, people have preserved their apple harvest by drying them. The results can be eaten out of hand, baked into pies, or soaked in water and cooked to make dried apple sauce. Here’s how to dry apples:
Core apples and slice them into rings (cross-wise). Place slices into a mixture of 1 quart water, 1 quart pineapple juice, and 1/4 cup lemon juice; let soak for 5 minutes. Then place apple slices on cheesecloth-covered window screens, and cover slices with more cheesecloth.
Place in the sun for two or three days, bringing the window screens in at night. It’s a good idea to place the screens on bricks or blocks so that air can circulate beneath the fruit.
When apple slices are dry (they will be leathery but pliable), store them in zip-top bags. Before placing them on the shelf, some sources recommend putting the dried apple slices in the freezer for several days to kill any bugs or their eggs.
This is a good recipe when you have too many apples, because it takes so many apples to make only a small amount of sauce! If you have a crockpot, this is especially easy. If not, you can simmer it on the stove instead.
In your crockpot, place 4 pounds of cored, chunked apples (peeling optional). Add 1/4 cup sugar (also optional) and 1 cup apple juice. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Pass through a sieve or food mill, or whirl in the blender to make it smooth.
To make apple butter, add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours.
3. Dipped Whole Apples
Whether you use chocolate, nuts, caramel, or a combination of ingredients, whole apples dipped in sweet coating make good gifts, party foods, and fun snacks. Use tart apples such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady. Poke a wooden stick into the base of each apple, and dip into various coatings, such as:
* Melted semi-sweet and/or white chocolate, then rolled in chopped nuts or mini chips
* Caramel (melt caramel candies in a double boiler or make boiled caramel); then rolled in chopped nuts if desired
* Melted chocolate, then rolled in peanut butter chips
* Melted peanut butter chips, then rolled in mini chocolate chips and chopped peanuts
You can use your imagination for this one!
4. Apple Skillet Pancake
This cooks right in the skillet and makes one big, apple pancake to be shared among 3 or 4 people.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a blender, combine and whirl:
* 3 large eggs
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup flour
* 1/2 cup milk
In a 12-inch cast-iron (or ovenproof) frying pan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over high heat. Stir in:
* 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice or brown sugar (lightly packed)
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Mix well, then stir in:
* 1 peeled, sliced apple, preferably a sweet variety such as Cameo or Fuji
Stir and cook until apple begins to soften. Then pour blender mixture into the pan and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes; top with powdered sugar.