8 things you need for cooking apples this fall
So you went apple picking—here’s what to do with the apples.
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Growing up, my mom never brought me apple picking. This wasn’t a punishment for anything, but she never saw the point. “Why would we pay to do work?” she asked. “And besides, what would we do with all the apples?”
If you’re more fun than my mom and went apple picking this season, you’re probably asking yourself the same question. Apple picking can be a cozy activity to ring in autumn weather, but it results in you having pounds and pounds of fruit withering away on your kitchen counter for weeks.
Whether you’re determined to actually use all the apples you plucked from their branches or just want to dive into fall, here’s some of our favorite apple dishes and snacks to cook—and the products you need to prepare them.
1. Bake them into a classic American pie
If you read this headline and said “apple pie, duh,” you were correct. Apple pie is American as, well, itself, and it’s the first thing most people think of when it comes to celebrating the season’s bounty.
While there’s one million ways to make a nice pie, we love this simple, traditional recipe from Sam Sifton at the New York Times. Dusted with rough sugar and served warm with vanilla ice cream, there’s no way to go wrong.
Need something to bake it in? Our favorite pie dishes are deep enough to hold plenty of filling and made with edges to support that perfect, flaky crust you’re looking for.
2. Make an elegant French galette
While baking a rustic galette is a great use of fresh fruit all year round (I made both rhubarb-strawberry and peach-blueberry iterations this summer), an apple galette can be an elegant and light alternative to the typical American pie. This apple galette recipe from Lena Abraham on Delish can guide you through preparing this show-stopping dessert.
While galettes are free-form and don’t require a special pan, you’ll want to make sure you have one of the best baking sheets on hand to support your creation.
3. Crisp them into chips
With a food dehydrator or specialty air fryer, it’s easy enough to turn all your apples into chips or chewy dried snacks. Healthy snacking like this is great for those who want a break from the rich desserts of the season. We wrote a guide with everything you need to know about using a food dehydrator.
If you truly don't have the space for another single-purpose gadget like a dehydrator and you're also interested in air frying and pressure cooking, we recommend the Ninja Foodi Deluxe, which placed among our best multicookers.
4. Brew your own hot cider
Hot apple cider is definitely my favorite drink of the fall—sorry, pumpkin spice. It’s also not challenging to make at home. All you need is a ton of apples, the right spices, and a properly insulated vessel to boil everything in, like one of our favorite Dutch ovens. We love this simple recipe—it will make your whole home smell like fall.
5. Slice them for a snack
Revolutionary, I know—you can eat apples raw. If you want to eat more of your apples but hate crunching on them whole, this quick apple slicer will help. Not only does it core the apple, but it also cuts it into 16 perfect wedges—all in one swift chop. A great gadget for anyone who has apple picking on their minds.
6. Blend them into apple sauce
Apple sauce is probably one of the most obvious and space-efficient uses of all those apples you’ve picked. All you need is a solid hand blender to help turn your apples into a smooth (or chunky) sauce. This straightforward apple sauce recipe from Serious Eats is a great option.
7. Bake them into a bread
Sick of pie? A breakfast-friendly loaf of apple bread (which is more truly a loaf cake than bread) is a great alternative to super-sweet desserts. You’ll need a good loaf pan for this, but luckily, our favorite loaf pans won’t break the bank.
8. Preserve them for the future
If you’ve made everything on this list and you still have apples to spare, it’s time to start canning.
Whether you’re new to canning or it’s been a part of your family for a long time, you’ll find that canning and preserving apples is an easy process that guarantees you’ll have plenty of fruit for your future pies, breads, sauces and more. That means more delicious things when January’s gloom creeps in.
One thing you’ll definitely need to make canning happen? A good set of glass mason jars, which are useful all year round.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.
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