So, I’ve bought a lot of apples so far this season. 50 pounds and counting. At this time next week, I’ll be up to 70 and I’m not sure when I’ll stop. When the price goes up, I suppose.
You see, our produce co-op has ten pound bags for $7.70. That means these beautiful organic Granny Smiths are only $0.70/pound which in these here parts is a screaming deal. I know this price won’t last long; in fact, I’m surprised that they haven’t sold out yet.
So what do you do with 50 pounds of apples?
Let me count the ways.
1. Eat them fresh.
I love it when my kids ask for something to eat because now I have a good, healthy answer. Apples! I’m keeping the crisper filled with apples and the kids know that they can eat them whenever they want. They just can’t waste them.
Some get really jazzed that they can have a WHOLE apple, others prefer them sliced. And there are lots of fun ways to slice apples.
We also spread them with sunbutter or dip them in maple whipped cream. It makes for a lovely, nutritious snack.
2. Make applesauce.
My kids can go through applesauce in no time. The great thing is that applesauce is a no-brainer to make. Just peel and core the apples. (Or cook with the peels on like Amy does.) I use my handy dandy apple peeler-corer-slicer. Toss them in the Crockpot with a little water and walk away. Just walk away.
Well, after you’ve plugged it in and turned it on.
In a few hours, come back to mash it up and stir in some brown sugar and spices. I contemplated canning the applesauce, but not much of it has lasted to make it to the freezer! Maybe next week.
3. Make pies.
Apple pies are one of my favorite things to stock in the freezer. I’ve been doing this for over a decade. It is just so fun to go to the freezer and pull out a pie, especially once the weather starts to chill a bit. An hour later we have a piping hot apple-scented slice of heaven ready to emerge from the oven. Yum!
4. Make apple butter.
Hubby doesn’t like apple butter. It’s been years since I even tasted it, so I didn’t know how I would feel about it. My guess is the last time he had it, it probably wasn’t homemade. So, I made a small batch of apple butter and canned it in small jars.
Hubby cringed when he saw it, but accepted a bite when forced. He admitted that it had a nice flavor, carmelly, he said. It was actually the maple he was tasting. It’s so yummy!
I’m imagining all kinds of delicious uses for it, including using it for the jam in my Jam and Cream Scones (from my cookbook). I also picture using it on roast pork and on Baked Brie. I can’t wait!
Want to try your hand at apple butter? I made it in the Crockpot, basically taking the applesauce I made and cooking it further. It was an all day affair, which of course is how things are with a slow cooker. Next time I might just do it up on the stove and speed up the process.
Recipe: Maple Vanilla Apple Butter
- 12 Granny Smith apples, about 3 pounds, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place the apples and water in a 5 qt slow cooker. Set on high and cook for three hours.
- Puree apple mixture until smooth using an immersion blender or in a food processor.
- Stir in maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Continue to cook on high for another three hours. The sauce should thicken and darken and mound up on a spoon. It won’t spread out across the spoon when you scoop some up.
- Prepare jars for canning.
- Pour apple butter into hot, sterilized jars. Fit with metal lids and bands. Place in hot water bath and process for 10 minutes.
- Remove jars from water bath and allow to cool undisturbed overnight on a towel on the counter, spacing them at least an inch apart. Once cool, remove bands and check lids for seal. Store in the pantry.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 6 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 3 pints
How bout them apples?
What do YOU do with apples to enjoy the season to the fullest?