So you’ve gone apple picking and don’t know what to do with all those apples you’ve brought home! Having a bagful of fresh apples is a great excuse to whip up sweet treats and savory meals for your family and friends. I’m here to share some of my favorite recipes utilizing apples (and apple cider) in a variety of unique ways – apple crisps, apple butter, apple cakes, apple crumbles, apple muffins, apple pie, salad utilizing apples and of course my personal favorite – donuts.
While you can buy apples in the grocery store year round, fall is when they are at their peak. I love a fall activity, and there’s just something about visiting an apple orchard once the chill of fall sets in. The town I grew up in, Long Valley, NJ, is famous for their orchards and farms. People flock out of New York City just to go apple and pumpkin picking. I make my friends and family take a yearly trip to our favorite orchard to stock up.
You can’t generalize apples when it comes to baking. Not all varieties will create the same dessert. While thin-skinned varieties like Gala, Fuji and Pink Lady are great for snacking, tart apples are best for baking.
While a small paring knife is all you truly need for peeling apples, a vegetable peeler can often be quicker when working with numerous apples. As soon as apples are peeled they quickly begin to brown. So to slow down the process I recommend adding them to a bowl of cold water with a tablespoon of lemon juice. The citrus helps to slow down the oxidization.
Classic apple butter is made from semi-tart apples like Gala, mixed with a little bit of sugar and spice and is the perfect topping to a nice golden brown piece of sourdough toast with a pat of butter. Add to a jar and tie it with a bow for a great seasonal hostess gift.
In this apple recipe, sliced apples in cinnamon sugar are served topped with a crumbly, oat topping baked until golden brown. It uses simple ingredients found in any pantry to create a delicious fall dessert. Top with scoops of vanilla ice cream just before serving.
Basic yeasty donut dough is combined with spiced cooked apples and fried until golden brown and crisp before being dipped in a sticky apple cider glaze.
This apple recipe is basically a hybrid of a classic apple pie and a pop tart with the surprise addition of cheddar cheese on top. The baked apple filling is added to rectangles of simple pastry dough.
Slices of deli-sliced turkey are piled on top of toasted crusty bread with crisp apple slices and creamy Brie cheese. The light flavors pair perfectly with the rich Thousand Island dressing.
This gooey apple cake with just a hint of almond is layered with tart apple slices for an autumn confection. Top each slice with a scoop of salted caramel or vanilla ice cream.
Pancakes are a staple weekend breakfast food and instead of resorting to a pre-made mix take an extra few minutes to whip up this batter. The addition of tart Granny Smith apples adds a satisfying crunch to the fluffy pancakes.
Crostini topped with tender baked chopped apples cooked in brown sugar, blue cheese and chorizo for a flavorful appetizer for a crowd.
While slightly messy to make, these apples are coated in a bourbon caramel sauce and chocolate drizzle “spiderweb”. They’re delicious to eat for a Halloween treat.
This juicy and light sangria filled with fresh slices of apples only takes a few minutes to assemble in a large pitcher and is perfect for holiday parties.
A refreshing, bright, Thai spin on classic crab cakes. The tangy apple slaw perfectly offsets the sweet and slightly spicy mango chutney and crisp crab cakes.
Reduced apple cider is mixed into a simple batter and added to molds for simple baked apple cider donuts. Getting a dozen cider donuts may just be my favorite part about apple picking! I always pick up a jug of fresh apple cider and make more donuts at home.
This recipe uses apple cider (another favorite to buy when apple picking) as a glaze for the pork chops. Serve alongside Cheddar mashed potatoes and baked apples or applesauce.
This recipe also uses apple cider. The cider is combined with spices and salt to brine the turkey breast which is perfect for small Thanksgiving gatherings or dinner parties. Pair with mashed or roasted sweet potatoes for a complete dinner.
Seared sea scallops sit atop a bed of fresh and crunchy green apple slaw with roasted potatoes topped with a lemon butter pan sauce. The crisp and tart apples compliment the buttery sauce for a filling, yet light, autumn entrée.
This twist on classic cinnamon rolls includes an autumnal favorite: baked apples which naturally complement the cinnamon sugar filling in this recipe.
Homemade spiced apple cider can be served hot or cold (or with your favorite whiskey) for the perfect seasonal treat.