battered apple slices with dip of nutella

35 things to do with apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away goes the saying. Whether it’s part of a dessert, a complement to pork, or a snack, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy apples. Find my suggestions for things to do with apples below. 

Varieties 

Of course 1 apple isn’t the same as another.  There’s around 7,500 apple varieties being grown, originating from only 6 varieties that were cultivated by the ancient Romans. In the UK alone there are 2,500 varieties grown. 

Within those varieties, there are dessert apples (eating apples). And cooking apples, which retain their shape better, but do generally need more cooking than eating apples. We usually add some sugar to cooking apples too when making desserts, to bring out their sweetness as they can be a little tart.

Storage

Oh, and my top tip is to keep them in the fridge. They last for so long in there. Alternatively, if you’ve got a tree of cooking apples like we do, a glut of apples you can’t get through, then peel and chop or slice them. Then drizzle over some lemon juice to try and prevent them going too brown. Pop in airtight storage in portion sizes you’d use – we use bags because they’re easier to fit into the chest freezer and suit the amount of apples we want to freeze in a batch. Then simply freeze until needed. You can cook straight from frozen, but I’d usually take them out in the morning, then they’ll be defrosted by the afternoon when I’m cooking with them.

Apples are really versatile. Not just to eat raw or for dessert dishes, they can also be used for savoury too. Here’s some of the ways you can use apples.

things to do with apples

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What to do with apples

Apple desserts

Apple pie – use cooking apples to help hold some structure inside the pie, serve with cream, ice cream or custard.

Rustic open pie / galette – use a sheet of puff pastry, put diced apple (and blackberries for a great combination) piled in the centre, then roughly bring up the pastry edges to cover the sides and create a ‘bowl’ around the fruit. Bake til cooked.

Apple crumble – make a simple flour, sugar and butter crumble topping (add oats, nuts, spices for extra flavour variations) to top diced apples for an autumnal crumble.

Caramel apples – cook through sliced apples in a pan, adding a caramel sauce or making your own. Use to top desserts or ice cream.

Apple roses – core then thinly slice apples, microwave in some lemon juice for a couple of minutes to soften and make them pliable. Roll out puff pastry, cutting strips. Then line the apple slices along the length overhanging the edge, then roll up pastry and apples to make little flower shapes. Keep in shape in muffin tins, sprinkle with butter/sugar then bake until cooked.

Apple donuts – a lighter faster and easier alternative to making proper donuts, just create easy puff pastry shapes, then fill with apple sauce for apple ‘donuts’.

Tart tartin – Sliced apples, caramel and pastry for this french dish

Poached apple – peel and core, then cook the apple in boiling water (flavoured or not), until soft. Add some cinnamon in the later stages, then serve.

Go fancy with this apple peeler and corer*, or try a more basic corer*

Baked apples – I think of this as quite an old fashioned recipe, and it’s simple to make. Just core the apples leaving them whole, stuff the core with dried fruit, nuts and honey mix, then bake standing upright until soft and cooked through.

Apple plait or strudel – with or without sultanas, wrap the puff pastry or plait it around the filling.

Dutch apple cake – the apples make the cake really moist, and more like a dessert

Apple cupcakes – make simple individual cakes using apple sauce to replace the sugar.

Apple fritters / battered apples – coat in batter and deep fry

battered apple slices with dip of nutella
Battered apple slices

Savoury apple dishes

Pork chops with a creamy sauce and apples.

Sausage tray bake – add sliced apples for some sweetness alongside roasted veg and sausages

Sides and accompaniments

Apple sauce – cook down diced apples in a saucepan with until the texture you like, then serve with roast pork, add to a cold pork sandwich or use as a dip for pork crackling.

Apple and pear compote – top pancakes, ice cream, or use to make parfaits.

Stewed apple – cook down diced apple with a little sugar (and optional cinnamon) if needed until just holding some shape. Stewed apple is versatile. Use it stirred into yoghurt, rice pudding, on top of porridge

Apple and apricot stuffing for roast pork.

Apple coleslaw – especially good with pulled pork.

Braised red cabbage – adding chopped cooking apples helps with the texture and flavours.

Apple jelly – easily made with just 2 ingredients for a different toast topping.

Waldorf salad – add chopped apple to make a waldorf salad, or just add to a green leafy salad for sweetness and a crunchy texture.

Make a streusel mix with apples, salted caramel and oats mixture to top cheesecake or ice cream.

Puree – great for weaning babies if you’re going down the puree route rather than baby led weaning.

apple crumble in a white round dish against brick background
Apple crumble

Snacks

Apple and peanut butter snack – quarter apples and de-core, then slather with peanut butter. Slices would also work well in a peanut butter sandwich

Apple crisps – thinly slice apples (ideally using a mandolin) then bake at a very low heat or dehydrate. 

Toffee apples – make toffee from sugar in a pan, then drip a whole apple on a lolly stick in the toffee or spoon over the apple, and let harden before eating. These can be wrapped in cellophane for a gift at Halloween.

Candy apples – use candy melts (or chocolate) to coat whole apples on a stick to make an alternative to toffee apples.

Other options

Apple bobbing – a Halloween tradition. Tie apples on strings and hang up, people need to get a bite out of the apple without using their hands.

Apple vodka – easy to make, give it up to 2 weeks to steep, then strain into a clean bottle. Add a little cinnamon to the chopped apples before adding the vodka and this could make a nice Christmas gift.

Cider or apple juice. Villages often have apple harvest or scrumping days where you can take excess apples from your trees and have them made into juice or cider.

Pull apart bread – use a sweet yeast dough and add apple between the layers.

Apple leather – like fruit roll ups, these can be made at home. Easily with a dehydrator, but you can make them in the oven too, although it’s a longer process. Puree the apple, it shouldn’t be too sweet, smooth onto baking sheets lined with baking parchment then bake in a fan oven or bottom of an aga at around 80C overnight or possibly even longer until it’s like leather and pulls away easily from the parchment. Roll up, and store in an airtight container until ready to eat it.

Dried apples – slice apples, bake in the oven on low temperatures until dried out. They can be used to top cereals, porridge, add to granola or trail mix, or just snack on them.

Find out when apple tree blossom appears as well as other blossoms through the year.

What else would you make with apples?

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2 Comments

    1. Yes, we always have loads too. We eat a lot of apple pie and crumble in autumn, and usually have lots in the freezer too.

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