Wondering what to do with an excess of fresh apples? These five easy recipes will have you planning another trip to the orchard.
Even if you're not heading for the local U-pick farms, your neighborhood farmers' market likely offers discounted boxes of apples at this time of year. Hopefully, you've picked a variety of apples, both sweet and tart. If not, you can always supplement with crisp Granny Smith or Braeburn apples from the grocery store.
1. Apple Crack
File this one under "seriously addictive Southern dips" in your recipe file. Combining cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and toffee chips (find them in the baking aisle) will produce a magical concoction people will be fighting over at your next potluck. Cut your apple slices just before serving and watch them disappear. Shout out to all of the sorority girls who have been keeping this recipe alive through the years.
Courtesy of Taste of Home
2. Apple Pie Filling
While fresh apples won't keep as long, prepared apple pie filling can freeze well for up to a year. Simply peel, seed, and chop a mixture of apples (approximately 6 cups' worth). In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt a stick of butter and saute the apples with brown sugar (I start with 1 cup) and cinnamon to taste. Add a half cup of water and stir constantly for 10 minutes until the apples are somewhat broken down. Cool and portion out into two freezer bags. Label and keep frozen for up to 12 months. When thawed, the mixture can be used for apple pies, cobblers, and strudels. If you prefer a goopier pie filling, try this recipe with more water and a cornstarch slurry.
Courtesy of Unsplash
3. Apple Chips
These crisp snacks are better than potato chips and much healthier, too. Wash fresh apples well, then thinly slice them about 2-3mm thick. Lay out the slices on foil-lined cookie sheets and dry in a 225-degree oven for an hour. Flip the apple slices and continue drying for another hour. If your oven runs hot and produces burnt spots, you may want to prop it open with a wooden spoon for the second hour. You can sprinkle these with cinnamon, sugar, or just have them plain. They'll disappear faster than you can say, "What smells so good in here?" Store in an airtight container for up to three days, though I've never seen them last that long.
Courtesy of allrecipes
4. Cinnamon Apple Pancakes
Peel and grate apples, dust with cinnamon, and drop into a batch of basic pancake batter. Use the larger hole on a box grater so that you see the shreds of apple in the final product. Spread with apple butter or butter and syrup.
Courtesy of allrecipes
5. Apple Spice Cake
This simple recipe contains no exotic ingredients but produces an amazingly moist, basic spice cake. Mix tart apples (Granny Smith) with sweeter varieties (like Empire or Rome) for the best flavor combination. Cream cheese frosting makes the perfect topping for apple spice cupcakes or slathered onto stacked layers. This cake freezes well, too, and can be served weeks after baking if wrapped well.
Photo by Sarina Petrocelly
Do you have a favorite apple recipe not listed here? Let us know if the comments below!