Apple Harvest

Now I don't have many trees in my tiny yard (just two little spruce trees), but as I was walking around my neighbourhood, I noticed that lots of people have crab apple trees etc. that are just loaded with apples. Most of the time people don't bother doing anything with crab apples because they are very tart, so they are not much good for just eating. I, however, am rather good at baking, and it just so happens one of my friends had 3 large apple trees, with plenty of apple on them, and he was willing to let me take some apples. Of course I got really excited and took a huge recyclable bag from Walmart and filled my bag with three different types of apples (gala, green, and crab). Immediately I was thinking about all the pies, and jelly I could possibly make.

When I got home however, I was rather disappointed, no flour, hardly any sugar, no oats, no canning equipment. My options were limited, and with a quick peep at my bank account, my fears became real. I didn't really have extra money to go to the store and buy materials to make pie or make jelly. What on earth was I going to do with all these apples. There were way too many for me and my husband and my sister to eat, they would go bad long before we could eat them.

So, I started coring and peeling the gala apples, hoping that some recipe came to mind as I was doing this. Some of the apple were too mushy to do much with so I put those and the peeling into a container, the cores and bad apples into a garbage bag (reused grocery bags from Walmart), and started slicing apples. My idea at that moment was to put sliced apples into the freezer so that when I did have money for ingredients I could just use the frozen apple slices for pies. But, then I had what I thought was a good idea, I turned my oven to 350 F, let it heat up and put the slices on a baking sheet, and put them in the oven. I was hoping to make "apple chips", not sure if this is even a real thing, but it seemed like a good idea. It was just the apples and a couple dashes of my precious sugar. This might have worked better at a lower temperature, over a longer period of time, but I ended up burning them (I was too busy coring and peeling more apples), and the ones that didn't burn were mushy. So I scraped that idea, and another came to mind, this was a much better idea, and it turned out great.

Baked Gala Apples Recipe (and yes I did make this up)
Oven at 350 F, let it preheat
12 Gala Apples, peeled and cored, but left in the "whole apple" shape
Butter, Cinnamon and Sugar to taste (place mixture inside the "core" of the apple and on the outside)
Bake for 15 minutes, or until apples are soft

This worked fantastically, and they are rather delicious. As I'm sure you know, most of these baked apple recipes require and oats, butter, cinnamon, and sugar "stuffing", but since I was out of oats and low on sugar, I made do with this. I actually put these on a pizza pan, which worked well with the shape of apples. I had assorted sizes of apples, and if you do as well you might need to take the smaller apples out sooner than the large ones, but they were all pretty much done right around the 15 min mark.

Earlier I mentioned that I put the mushy apples and peels into a container, what I did with these was add them to a pot, with water and cinnamon (probably could have used some sugar, but by now I was dangerously low). I boiled this mixture until most of the apple had "dissolved" into the water. I then strained the liquid mix out. Keep both the liquid and the solid mix. I made applesauce (with the solid mix, just use a blender or food processor until smooth, and can). Keep the liquid mix if you like apple cider, very good to drink, but wait a while before you drink it because it's hot! You can also keep this in the fridge and heat this up whenever, probably good for a week max.

The cores and rotten apples went straight to the compost (check your cities website, sometimes they have a free composing collection).

As for the green apples and crab apples I have, I have yet to figure out what to do with these, I will update this post when I think of what to do with them. Right now they are just in my freezer.

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