Recipes Using Apples

When I think of fall, my mind goes to new pencils and pumpkins and, of course, apples. If you are lucky enough to have an orchard near you, this is the time of year to go and get yourself a bushel of apples. You will need to set aside a weekend and gather some good friends but it will be well worth the work and effort that you put into your apples. In this article, I am going to give you directions for making applesauce and some other goodies. But first let's talk about apples.


Buy in Season

Modern refrigeration has changed the way that we look at fruits. Most fruit is available at any time in any area, and it is easy to forget that fruit is seasonal and is actually being grown somewhere. All fruit has an optimum season when flavor, freshness and nutritional value are at their peak.

Buy Locally

Every region of the country has its own distinctive varieties, and a visit to the orchard will help you discover which ones are best in your area. When you buy local produce, there are many benefits. Supporting local growers helps preserve family farms. Strong local agriculture is a check on sprawl. Buying locally is the best way to be sure you are putting the most nutritious food on your table. Buying fruit at the orchard is a lot more fun than pushing a shopping cart. Here is a website where you can go to find a local orchard near you:

When Buying:

Look for smooth skin with few bruises. Too many bruises mean the apple may rot. Apples should be stored in the refrigerator, not necessarily the crisper. Choose apples with a bright and sparkly color. Don't buy bagged apples on sale. Apples arrive at stores preserved with nitrogen. After the nitrogen seal is broken, produce managers know they have 23 days to sell the apples. They bag apples for a quick sale after they hit about the 20 day mark.

When Storing:

Apples keep best when refrigerated. Store them in a plastic bag or the drawer to keep them fresh. When you buy apples, put them in a clean plastic bag (a bread bag works well), close it with a twist-tie and make a dozen holes in the bag. That allows ethylene gas to escape but also helps the apples retain moisture. Check them often. Remove any decayed apples. One rotten apple can indeed spoil the whole barrel! Raw, cut apples may darken. Prevent this by dipping them in a fruit juice; lemon, orange, grapefruit, or pineapple, before adding other ingredients. If peeling a lot of apples, squeeze lemon juice on them or put them in a bowl of water with lemon juice added to keep them from browning. The higher the sugar content of the apple, the quicker the cut apple turns brown. Fuji apples brown less quickly than many others.

There are many varieties of apples. Some are great for making pies and some are great for just eating.

Apple Equivalents, Measures, and SubstitutionsApples are: fat free; saturated fat free; sodium free; cholesterol free; and an excellent source of fiber.

Here are some recipes to get you started on your apple adventure. Don't be afraid to substitute different types of apples in any recipe. Or to use 2 or 3 different kinds as long as you stick with all eating apples or all cooking apples.

Drying Apples

Select firm textured apples for drying. To prepare the fruit, wash and slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Pre-treat with a lemon juice/water solution (1 cup of lemon juice to 1 quart of water) or an ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) solution to prevent browning. Place slices onto drying rack. Dry fruit at 135 degrees F. When fruit is pliable and there is no sign of moisture it can be stored in air tight bags or jars. After proper drying, apples and pears will keep in a cool, dry place from six months to a year.

Iced Apple Tea



Add tea bags to boiling water. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove and add allspice, honey and apple juice. Simmer over low heat until honey is blended, about one minute. Chill. Serve over ice with lemon slices.

Baked Apples



Core apples without cutting through the bottom end. Peel about one third of way down. Place in baking dish. Mix sugar, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg and fill centers of apples. Dot with margarine and pour water into baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees F about 50-60 minutes or until apples are tender.

Apple Pie



Prepare your pastry for a two crust pie. Wipe, quarter, core, peel, and slice apples; measure to 6 cups. Combine sugar and cinnamon. The amount of sugar used depends on how tart your apples are. Arrange apples in layers in pastry lined pie plate. Sprinkle each layer with sugar and cinnamon. Dot top layer with small pieces of butter or margarine. Cover with top crust. Place on lowest rack in oven preheated to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer. Serve warm or cold.

Apple Butter



Cook the apples in the liquid until soft. Pass through a food mill. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar for each cup of puree. Add the spices, rind and lemon juice and cook over very low heat until thick and dark brown. This may take 3 to 4 hours. If not to be used within a week or two, pour into hot sterilized jars and seal tightly. This can also be put into plastic jars and frozen.




Core and quarter apples. Put in a heavy saucepan with a closely fitting lid, add water, and cook over low heat until very soft. Puree through a food mill and add sugar and cinnamon. This can be frozen in jars or plastic zip lock bags.

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these recipes. If you have made this recipe please submit a photo and let us know how it worked. Or, add your own recipe variation.

Quick and easy to make, healthy, and delicious. This is a great accompaniment to a pork roast, or add a little more sugar, top with whipped cream or ice cream, and serve warm or cold as a dessert.

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Coarsely crumble the graham crackers over the apples and fold in the whipped cream. This should not be fixed long before being served or the crackers will be too soggy.

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More Solutions

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Susan Sanders-Kinzel
September 27, 2003

Information about apples, what kinds are for eating, which for applesauce, for pies, plus lots of recipes.

Photo of red apples.

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16 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 27, 2008

Our local apple orchard has windfall apples free for the taking. What options are there for using these apples in recipes and does anyone have recipes for these apples?


October 27, 20080 found this helpful

Some people prepare the filling for apple pies, and then freeze it for making pies later; you could make a supply of apple butter, apple sauce, apple juice. Or just peel, slice, and freeze the apples for something you might want to make later. Or you could gather up apples that are past their prime and put them on your compost pile.

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October 28, 20080 found this helpful

I'm originally from an area close to you.
Just search the internet and see how many recipes there are for applesauce. I used to have a large family and went to old homesteads to find apples. So easy really to make and 'can' applesauce.Just cut out any spoiled or bruised spots in apples, slowly cook in large saucepan, then put through calendar, then freeze or easier still, can in pints jars for use later in recipes.

I also used to dry apple chips, great for healthy snakes in lunches.As mentioned before, peel, slice, season as you would for an apple pie, then line pie plate with tin foil.Place in freezer, when solid, remove ,put in a zip lock bag and instant pie filling for a winter apple pie.

I envy your access to 'free' apples. In this time of making ends meet, we need to go back to the 'good ol' days' and remember how it was and how we made do with the bounty we had access too.

Stay warm up north! I'm in the deep south now and miss the winters, how typical huh! HA

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By linda (Guest Post)
October 28, 20080 found this helpful

What are windfall apples?

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October 28, 20080 found this helpful

An apple's an apple, so whatever recipes you would normally use, just make them as sweet as necessary and of course cut out bad spots when paring them.

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By kalene (Guest Post)
October 28, 20080 found this helpful


2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/3 c. cooking oil
3 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
3 c. apples, chopped
1 c. nuts

Mix ingredients thoroughly, folding in apples and nuts last. Turn into greased and floured pan (9 x 13 inches). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool, cut into squares.


1/2 stick butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk

Combine all ingredients into a boiler. Boil for 1 minute. Spread on hot cake.

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October 28, 20080 found this helpful

After my wife makes apple pie filling {which she cans and not freezes} she cooks down the peels and the cores and makes great apple jelly, after running it thru a food mill. This she also cans. We have opened some of the canning she did back in '99 and they have all been great. Needless to say we have a bit of canned goods to use at times like this.

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October 28, 20080 found this helpful

Do various searches on different recipes such as: apple brown betty, apple cobbler, apple cake, apple dumplings, etc.

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September 8, 2005

I recently bought several bags of small apples (a really good sale or so I thought). They are a little on the tart side, and are quickly bruising.

Any advice on simple recipes to get them used up quickly? Also, how can I sweeten them? Thanks!


September 8, 20050 found this helpful

I was given about 5 bushels of apples. We will make apple sauce and I will do a few crisps, but I need more ideas of what to do with all of these apples. We are storing them in the basement so they will last for a while.


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July 6, 2016

Even after an apple has passed its prime for munching on, it can still be used in lots of ways. This is a page about uses for old apples.

Old apple isolated against a white background

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September 18, 2015

Sweet or tart apples combine well with pork chops to create a delicious meal. This page contains apple pork chops recipes.

pork chops with apple compote

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August 21, 2013

This page contains apple dessert recipes. There are many ways to use this fruit to create a sweet treat.

apple crisp

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May 18, 2013

This page contains sauteed apples recipes. If you are looking for a delicious side dish made with apples, try a saute.

Sauteed Apples

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January 18, 2013

Apple butter is a delicious spread you can use in place of other jams and jellies; it can also be used in cooking. This page contains apple butter recipes.

Apple Butter being Spread on Toast

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