Sometimes it really sucks living so far away from family (ten hours from Grant’s, twenty from mine), and that can really get me into the dumps. But I need to remember how truly blessed we are – not only do we live in an absolutely breathtaking part of the country with mountains and wildlife in our backyard, but we also have loving families who remember and support us even though we are far from home. Not to mention, Grant and I are young and healthy, so making a ten-hour drive to spend a day and a half with family is well worth it.
Last weekend we made the long trek back to Northwest Iowa and were beyond pleased to find a healthy crop of apples on the DeRocher’s apple trees! All of our apples in Wyoming perished due to that freak winter storm a few months ago, which was definitely a bummer, as there is nothing better than fresh apples. The DeRocher’s have got Red Delicious and Golden Delicious on their trees (both notorious for being gross in the grocery store) that are absolutely to die for.
We had a great time this weekend enjoying the company of our family, but we also had a great time picking apples, and came home with nine whole bags. Which means – drumroll please – apple recipes galore! So here are 10 ideas for using up the hundreds of fresh apples that are possibly waiting to be picked on your own apple tree.
- Make applesauce. I’ve already done this. It is literally the easiest thing to do with apples. All it takes is peeling them, cutting them up, putting them in a dutch oven, pouring a few cups of water (depending on how many apples you use), and simmering on low for a few hours. And this applesauce is literally better than any store bought applesauce I’ve ever eaten.
- Make juice. Probably the second easiest choice. I have a juicer, so all it takes is coring and cutting. Be sure to save the pulp for brownies or soup!
- Include apples in your pureed soups. Especially squash soup. An apple gives squash soup just the right amount of sweetness without overpowering the flavor that should be highlighted. Try this Acorn Squash Chestnut Soup.
- Make cake. Apples are amazing in cake, especially this time of year. Try this Apple Green Tea Cake or this Pumpkin Apple Spice Cake.
- Make granola with apple. I plan on trying this delicious-looking granola in the next couple of days.
- Make apple butter. Apple butter really isn’t much harder than applesauce, especially when you make it in the crock pot. It does have added sugar, so it’s not as wholesome as applesauce, and it takes a little longer, but hey! that’s life, right? Try this crockpot apple butter recipe from Brown-Eyed Baker.
- Put them on your grilled cheese sandwich. Cheese and apples pair wonderfully together. This is definitely a must-try.
- Make apple pie. Obviously. This is something you must do if you have an explosion of apples. Try doing something a little out of the ordinary with your apple pie, such as this Cinnamon Roll Dutch Apple Pie or this Apple Gruyere Pie (again, apples and cheese rock).
- Add them to your salad. Apples do not belong solely to the dessert realm, people. They make excellent additions to any type of salad.
- Freeze them. If you can’t eat another thing with apples but still have a ton to use, fear not. Just slice them, sprinkle them with lemon juice, layer onto a cookie sheet, freeze for a few hours, and them transfer them into a plastic bag. Now you’ll have fresh apples all year!