My mum's just given me 6lbs of cooking apples, and I honestly have no idea what do do with them. If anyone's got any ideas for recipes involving apples, I'd be really grateful.
First of all, apples keep pretty well in the refrigerator in a bag to keep them from drying out. You could make apple butter, it's essentially apple preserves, but made with apple puree rather than chunks. Like any other jam or jelly, it's equal parts by weight of sugar and fruit. In this case, peeled, cored, and mashed or pureed. In my opinion, any apple dish tastes better with cinnamon, and a dash of ground cloves. Cook the apples and the sugar until it's reduced to a thick spread. It should turn brown. Stir occasionally.
Then there's that all American standby : Apple Pie.
line a pie plate with your favorite pie crust recipe or use a pre-made pie crust.
Peel and slice up enough apples to fill your pie plate (at least two or three layers high)
Use the juice of a small - medium lemon to keep the apples from turning brown.
sprinkle the apples with light brown sugar, cinnnamon, and a little ground cloves,
you can also add raisins and walnuts if you choose.
layer the apples neatly in the pie plate. The thicker the better. Three or four layers is a good idea.
cover with a top crust, crimp the edges together, and slash or prick the top in a pattern, or use a woven top crust. Bake in a moderate oven about 325 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 - 200 Celsius.
The pie is done when the crust is golden brown.
You can also make apple sauce - Peel and core and cut up your apples until you've filled a small pot.
To make sugarless applesauce, just cover and cook the apples in their own juices until they're mashable. Use a little lemon juice to keep the apples from turning brown. Good apples are sweet on their own account and cooking them breaks down the sugars even more so that they seem sweeter.
Mash or puree the apples and serve or Jar them for future use. Jars should be sterilized, and the fruit poured in when still hot. Follow the instructions in your canning kit. If you don't know how to can, just make the amount you can eat within a few days.
If you like pie filling but are trying to avoid eating pie crust, in order to avoid gaining weight, you can make baked apples, or apple casserole.
Core and partially peel apples, one per person.
set each apple in a custard dish
Sprinkle with cinnamon
(Brown sugar is optional - only for certifiably tart baking apples.)
another option is to fill each apple with raisins.
Bake in a medium oven for about half an hour until done.
Slice apples and line a casserole dish with them.
sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and a little cloves. (ginger is optional, but good)
scatter raisins or grapes, and figs
cover with pineapple rings
layer more apples on top
sprinkle more cinnamon etc.
cover and bake alongside whatever else is in the oven. The temperature isn't critical, nor is the length of time. At least half an hour in a medium oven (350 F), but it can go up to three in a low oven (225 F)
Another dish you can try is Fried Apples:
I first came across this dish in a hotel in Virginia. It's ridiculously simple. Just slice and fry the apples until they're limp and lightly browned.
You can use apples in your fruit smoothies, or make apple juice, or cider.
If all else fails, you can always make dried apples. peel, core and slice in rings for drying. Either sun dry or oven dry until they're leathery, String the rings and hang in a cool, dry, dark place until needed.
Dried apples can be used in cooking. The Amish make a dried apple pie called Schnitz pie. soak the apples to rehydrate them before use in pies, then continue as for any other apple pie.
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