Maybe the kids went crazy at the U-Pick orchard; or your CSA dropped off two five-pound bags; or you just bought loads at the supermarket, because with apples at their peak, prices are low. And despite your best intentions about an-apple-a-day, weeks from now there's a big bowl of not-looking-so-good fruit. Fortunately, apples are a forgiving fruit, and even a sad apple can easily become a delicious food item. Consider these options for peeled, cored and chopped fruit:
- Baked in crisps and crumbles. Unlike a pie, nobody cares about mushy, misshaped apple pieces in this easy dessert. Plus, apples make a cheap stretcher when combined with more expensive fruit like berries.
- Add small pieces of apple to a variety of baked and cooked items -- from coffee cakes and breakfast muffins, to oatmeal and butternut-squash soup.
- Applesauce: Put apples in saucepan with a little water, brown sugar and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves); simmer until it reaches desired consistency. Puree, or serve chunky.
- Baked apple: Leave skin on, cut in half and core. Top with a little butter and brown sugar, and bake on foil-covered sheet in oven until soft.
- Simple apple butter: Put apples (skins are OK) in oven dish, cover with apple juice. Bake at 350 degrees for a couple hours, mashing and stirring occasionally, until your neglected apples transform into a sweet spread.