5 GREAT WAYS TO ENJOY APPLES
Did you have a bumper crop of apples this year? Maybe you found a great deal and couldn’t resist buying a couple of bushels of apples. So what do you do with all those apples so you can enjoy them all year long? Try these 5 great ways to bake, cook and preserve that bounty and enjoy them all year long!
Apples make delicious dehydrated treats that can keep for up to 6 months if properly dried and stored. Options for dehydrating apples include:
- Dehydrator – This method may be a wise choice for those who plan to dehydrate many foods. The stacked trays allow air to circulate around slices of fruit, vegetables, and even meat. However, if you’re trying dehydrating for the first time, you may not want to make the investment.
- Oven – Since most of us already own an oven, this method is convenient. Lay sliced apples on a cooling rack and then set the whole thing in the oven. Set the temperature to 150°F and leave the oven door slightly ajar. Depending on the thickness of your slices, the apples will take 2-3 hours to become fully dehydrated.
- Convection Oven – A convection oven or air fryer offers a quick and convenient way to dehydrate apples. If you already own a convection oven, it is an ideal choice for making small batches. However, for a large volume of apples, another method might be better.
- Air drying – This method takes the longest (several days to a week), but it is cost-effective. It is a more efficient process if your heat source is a wood stove or fireplace. The dry heat helps the fruit dry. String the fruit on a cord or a rod with space between each piece to allow air circulation.
No matter the method you choose, be sure to soak the apples in lemon water or citric acid bath first to prevent browning.
Canning apples is a terrific way to preserve the fruit for later use. Different ways to can apples include:
- Pie filling – Who doesn’t like apple pie? By canning apples with a prepared recipe, you can have homemade apple pies all year long!
- Apple sauce – Apple sauce is delicious on its own, but it also goes well with many baked goods.
- Apple butter – Apple butter is the spicier, sassier version of applesauce.
- Jams and jellies – Making jams and jellies preserves that sweet apple flavor all year long.
- Salsas and chutney – Apple salsa or chutney brings flavor to many sweet or savory dishes. Think pork chops, pork loin, dips, and more.
- Cider or apple juice – Most people do not own an apple press, but they might own a juicer. That juice can be turned into apple cider, too.
- Winemaking – This preservation method takes a little bit of time and know-how, but the rewards are downright tasty!
You do not need a lot of tools to start canning. Jars, lids, rings, large stockpot or canning pot, and delicious recipes are all you need.
Can you imagine baking your 5 favorite baked recipes to enjoy those apples for days, weeks, or longer? Put those apples to good use by adding them to muffins, breads, cookies, and pastries. Then, freeze the finished product to be used year-round. Your baked goods will come in handy for special occasions, fundraisers, and gift-giving.
Almost every item in the canning section can also be frozen. Don’t forget the baked goods, too.
The last of our 5 great ways to enjoy apples all year long is cold storage. If you have a cool (a steady 32-34°F), dry space in your home or garage, you may be able to extend your enjoyment of fresh apples. When properly stored, they can last several months or even up to a year. Certain types of apples last longer in proper storage, too. These firmer, thick-skinned fruits hold up well for the long haul:
- Honey Crisp
- Red Pippin
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