Fall just isn’t fall without an apple-picking excursion. After all, there’s really no better time to get that perfect snapshot of peak foliage than while roaming an orchard Johnny Appleseed–style. The only problem is, you’ll usually end up leaving with more apples than you know what to do with. Maybe some of them will make it into a pie, but odds are you haven’t the slightest notion how to handle the rest. Even eating an apple a day won’t really make a dent in your supply.
The surplus of apples can be daunting, but it’s easy to incorporate them into virtually every meal—not just dessert. From snacks that you can enjoy right away, like apple chips, to full-on meals, such as savory curry, there are lots of creative and low-maintenance ways to use up what you picked. And your doctor will certainly be impressed, too.
Sweet and savory, this decadent pizza recipe from Foodie Crush is an ideal appetizer for the season. Crunchy apples and a touch of maple syrup keep the blue cheese and bacon feeling too rich. Best of all, it’s easy to throw together, especially if you opt for your favorite store-bought pizza dough instead of making it from scratch.
These chips from A Couple of Cooks are great whether you need a snack for yourself or for guests. You don’t need a dehydrator to make them, either. Simply set your oven to a very low temperature and bake the apple slices until they’re totally dried out. They’ll stay fresh for a pretty long time, provided that you pack them in an airtight container—your best Tupperware or a sealable silicone bag should do the trick.
If you want a way to enjoy the best apples of the season for months to come, this apple butter from Love and Olive Oil is exactly what you’re looking for. Keep the skins on when you cook the apples—they’ll give the final product a richer flavor and color.
For Side Dishes
Root veggies and tree fruit come together harmoniously in this herbaceous side dish from Spoon Fork Bacon. Prep it ahead of time and enjoy it all week long alongside your lunch, or cook it to serve with a decadent holiday dinner. It will be the perfect counterpoint to all the turkey and ham happening on the table.
This recipe from Cardamom and Tea proves that, yes, you can pickle anything—even apples. Choose the firmest apples from your supply so they retain their crispy texture even after they’ve been sitting in vinegar for weeks. Kick up the fall vibes a notch more by adding just a touch of maple syrup to your pickling liquid.
These blintzes from Bojon Gourmet wouldn’t be nearly as exciting without the cranberry-applesauce on the side. Make it in advance so you don’t have to divide your attention while you’re cooking the blintzes, and save it for later to eat with other recipes. Try it with grilled cheeses, flatbreads, sandwiches, and any other rich dishes that could benefit from a bit of acid.
Apples pair surprisingly well with rich, meaty dishes like this one from Brooklyn Supper. Their sweet-tart flavor lightens up the heaviness of the roast while also complementing its earthiness. Serve it over polenta as the recipe recommends, or, if you’d prefer to keep it easy, with something simple like rice or bread.
A small amount of apples goes a long way in this hearty curry from Stuck in the Kitchen. While the fruit may not be the star of the recipe, its tartness is one of the things that helps keep the whole shebang balanced.
With apples, butternut squash, and Cheddar, it doesn’t get much more autumnal than this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. It’s sweet and salty in equal measure, and even though it contains a lot of strong flavors, it’s never overpowering. If you want to make it less sweet, leave out the cinnamon-pecan crumble topping.
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