Pick An Apple - Beyond Apple Pie

Published on Fri, 08/26/2016 - 12:06pm

AcreageLife September Issue

It’s apple season. And if your farm is home to a small orchard or if you’ve made a recent trip to the local U-pick orchard, it’s quite possible that you have bushels upon bushels of delicious apples that are waiting for you to use.

So of course you think: apple pie. And that uses up 8 or 10 apples and tastes delicious and then everybody is raving about how “the apple pie is awesome!” But you still have bushel upon bushel of delicious apples, so you make another apple pie…then another.

But you can only make so many apple pies before your family starts to groan at the very sight of this former family favorite. Don’t get stuck in an apple pie rut! Instead, branch out (get it? Branch?) and explore ideas for other apple-centric foods that move beyond apple pies.


This one is an obvious choice because it’s just so simple. I mean, you take apples and water and before you know it, you have applesauce, which is pretty amazing if you think about it.

Now that’s not to say that you can’t spice up your standard applesauce with a few tastefully added ingredients. Brown sugar is a smart choice if your apples lean on the sour side (as is sometimes the case with apples from heritage orchards), the sweetness can balance the possibly tart flavor of the apples. Cinnamon is another classic addition that adds an additional layer of depth and flavor. You can also experiment with adding raisins and/or orange wedges to your applesauce as it cooks: the cooking process works to rehydrate the raisins, leaving them plump and moist, while the orange wedges add a fresh burst of citrus that’s unexpected yet amazing.

Apple crisp

Why make an apple pie when an apple crisp is oh-so-much easier? (And, if you ask me, even tastier.) Just make a topping (key ingredients are oats, brown sugar, and butter) that you pour over your apples and bake to golden, crispy perfection. Or make the crisp even more delightful by including blackberries—another fabulous in-season harvest-time treat—along with your apples.

Apple fry bread

Okay, right now: Drop everything and make fry bread filled with apples. Why? Because it’s truly one of the most incredibly delicious things that you could ever hope to create in your kitchen. It’s easy, and it’s historically important (it’s a traditional Native American food with a long legacy in the United States). And while it’s definitely a dessert, don’t forget that fry bread is filled with apples, so it still feels like a natural, healthy choice that you’ll be happy to share with your kids.

Waldorf salad

So maybe I love mayonnaise just a little bit (okay, I love it a lot) and Waldorf salad—named for the famous Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City—combines mayonnaise and apples in a crunchy-creamy combination that makes my taste buds sing. Waldorf salad often utilizes celery, walnuts, grapes, and lemon juice, but you can mix and match ingredients to suit your family’s preferences. Swap the grapes for raisins, skip the celery, add marshmallows, swap the mayonnaise for yogurt—it’s up to you. Waldorf salad is yummy in any combination.

Apple cider

Here’s a surefire way to use up some apples and quench your thirst at the same time. Apple cider requires some time to make, but the ingredients are super simple (apples, sugar, cinnamon, and allspice) and the results are spectacular.

Upgraded apple pie

And of course, if all else fails, you can always go back to the good old fashioned apple pie and simply upgrade it to suit the whims of your audience. Make hand pies, or try a sweet-and-savory apple pie that pairs apples with pork, bacon, or sausage. Alternately, try for a New England-vibe and make a Cheddar cheese apple pie (so good!).

Other Things to Do with Extra Apples

Still have extra apples? Try these ideas for a mix of fun and practicality.

  • Have a harvest party and bob for apples
  • Make candied apples and satisfy that sweet tooth
  • Whip up a batch of apple butter (yum!)
  • Peel, core, and slice apples and freeze them for later use
  • Make dehydrated apples
  • Bake an apple cake
  • Eat one per day (it keeps the doctor away, or so they say)
  • Make an easy-peasy after-school snack with peanut butter served on apple wedges
  • Play the Apples to Apples game and eat apples as you play
  • Make apple-cinnamon muffins

Apple Idioms

Some of our favorite idioms are apple related, such as:

  • As American as apple pie
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away
  • In apple pie order
  • Comparing apples to oranges
  • The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
  • The apple of my eye

Enjoy the bounty of the apple harvest and the deliciousness you can share with your family!