This year's crop has truly been Above & Beyond. We have soooooooo many apples. What you see here is well shy of half of what I harvested this week! I've made apple cake, apple pie, and have been eating about 3 apples a day for a few weeks now. The apple situation was getting overwhelming. Of course, I am also completely terrified by the idea of such delicious fruity-fruits going to waste... so I got to work.
First I set up two big batches of applesauce. 6 jars of a lighter, 100% apple recipe... and 5 jars of a slightly more cooked batch with a little touch of maple sugar and fresh cinnamon.
Then, I set up four batches of canned apple pie filling. Mmmm... it's nice to have these future pies all ready to go.
Finally, right when I was reaching my darkest hour of "how much applesauce can I really expect myself to eat this year?" and "how many apple pies will I really bake this year?"... my friend Jane saved the day with a suggestion to dry the apples! Bonus! What a great idea. So, I did a little research, and these came out great. We have a convection oven, which helped. For the first batch, I cut the apples about 1/4 inch thick, and convected them overnight (about 8 hours) at our oven's lowest setting: 170 F. They turned out crispy, which isn't what I expected, but was a welcome surprise - totally FREAKY GOOD. They are so sweet, they taste like apple-flavored candies. It's pretty crazy how sweet they are. Next, I did another batch sliced 1/2 inch thick and only convected them for about 5 hours, which resulted in a chewier dried apple. We got two big baggies per batch, and I love 'em!
Here's most of the bounty... You wouldn't believe how many hours I've spent washing, peeling, and chopping apples in the last week. But I don't want to be a complainer - I love our magical apple tree! I've got another 40-50 apples left - some good ones that I set aside for eating, and a box of uglies which I'll probably convert to dried apples sometime this weekend. The doctor shall be far, far away!