Wondering what to do with a glut of apples? Lucky you! Here are some ideas and recipes for making the most of your apples in their short season. Apples are an incredible versatile fruit with lots of ways to use up that apple glut from your garden tree.
Our guide to the best ideas to use up that glut of cooking apples or eating apples will help you to get the best out of your crop. You can enjoy the fruits of your labours for many months after harvest!
Preserving Your Apple Glut
Here are some ideas for preserving your apple glut. These options will mean you can enjoy your delicious apples for many months after harvest, and throughout those winter months.
- Make Apple Jelly from Bramley, Crab, or other cooking apples.
- Make apple pie filling: Peel, core and chop your apples. This can be either eating or cooking apples. Toss them in lemon juice, then freeze in bags ready to make apple pies (keep some shortcrust pastry in the freezer, and you’re ready to go).
- Make apple crumble and freeze it – you can bake some crumbles in foil trays and store a few in your home freezer to enjoy later. Delicious dessert!
- Oven-dry slices of eating apples: Core and slice apples into rings, putting them into a solution of water and lemon juice for five minutes. Dry and spread the rings on wire racks, and put into an oven at 140 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes, turn if necessary, and bake for another 15, before switching off the oven and leaving the apples in there overnight to finish drying. Remove and keep in an airtight tin – they make a good snack.
- Make homemade mincemeat with grated apple, sherry, raisins and dried peel: It will keep in sterilised jars until Christmas.
- Make your own Apple and Vanilla schnapps: using cored, chopped apples and a real vanilla pod.
Making Apple Chutney or Sauce Preserves
Apple chutney is another old favourite for those wishing to preserve apples: the fruit provides the necessary sweetness to a pickle that’s laced with cloves and allspice.
For a recipe, look up Margeurite Paten’s book ‘Basic Basics’. You can also use apples in jam (try combining them with strawberries, blackberries, or elderberries) or jelly (add mint or rosemary to make a herb jelly for serving with roast meats).
Preserving Apples by Making Ketchup
What about tomato ketchup? You can make a fruity ketchup using apples combined with tomatoes. It’s not as strange as it first sounds – think brown sauce crossed with Heinz. Skye Gyngell offers a recipe that contains 1lb apples for every 2lb tomatoes for a sweet, long-keeping result.
Apple and Blackberry Crumble Recipe
For 4 people, you will need the following ingredients:
- 4 medium-large apples, preferably cooking apples
- 2tbsp brown sugar
- 1 generous handful blackberries.
- 6oz plain flour
- 2oz demerara sugar
- 2oz good butter
First, peel, core and chop the apples into medium slices.
- Take a large, ovenproof dish, and spread the apples in it.
- Sprinkle over the sugar and blackberries, tossing gently to combine everything.
- Put aside while you make the crumble (the fruit will begin to brown, but it doesn’t matter) and preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.
- Put the flour and sugar into a generous bowl, and cut in the butter.
- Using your fingers, rub the mixture until it looks like coarse porridge oats – you don’t want to rub the butter too much, as big lumps will make nice crunchy bits.
- You can also add some chopped nuts at this point – almonds are great with apple.
- Sprinkle the crumble loosely over the apple, and press very lightly to even the surface.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden on top. Serve with custard!
Making crumbles in foil containers is a great way to preserve apples in the freezer for later use. To freeze crumbles, you just have to pop on a lid and freeze. To use, simply defrost and bake in the oven for a delicious winter treat. You can read more about freezing apples in our freezer storage guide.
The question of what to do with an apple glut needn’t result in lots of labour intensive effort. Hopefully the easy options above have given some great ideas about how to use up those cooking and eating apples!
Our guide to using up a glut of pears has many ideas that also include apples, or could be altered to use apples instead of pears. Check it out for more inspiration!