Many apple varieties store very well long-term, but sometimes you end up with a bunch you need to use right away. Here are five simple things to do with extra apples (and even apple scraps). We may have thrown in a few bonus ideas, too.
What Can I Do With Lots of Apples?
It’s a great question and the answer is, quite a bit! We have a few tutorials in this article, as well as several suggested recipes at the end. We hope they’re useful to you!
5 Things to Do with Extra Apples
We’re going to explain how to make a slow-cooker applesauce, apple pectin, and clove apples. We’ll also show you how to freeze apples
Make Slow Cooker Apple Sauce
Make apple sauce in your slow cooker if you would like to do just a small batch and don’t have a lot of time.
- Core, peel and cut up as many apples as it takes to fill your slow cooker insert.
- Add 1/4 cup of water to the slow cooker insert.
- Cook on low until apples become soft and mushy.
- Use a hand mixer or a potato masher to pulverize remaining apple chunks and make a sauce.
- Add a little unchlorinated water if your sauce is too dry (I’ve never had to do that, FYI).
- Cool your sauce to around 100°F/38°C, then add raw honey, and cinnamon to taste.
- Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to a week (if it lasts that long).
The best thing about using a slow cooker for making applesauce is that you don’t have to stir it all day!
Make Apple Pectin
Use young, green apples in place of commercial pectin in jams and jellies. Crabapples or quince work well for this, too.
- Wash and slice (but don’t peel or core) about ten standard-sized apples (or about 3 pounds of crabapples).
- Add at least four cups of water and boil the apples until they reduce in size to about half what they were. Strain your apple mixture through some cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve to get out all the seeds and stems, etc.
- If you’re going to use this homemade pectin for making jam soon, you can simply put it into any container with a lid and place it in your refrigerator. Use about 4 Tablespoons of apple pectin per cup of fruit for jams.
- Or you can preserve it by processing it in a water bath canner with 1/2″ headspace for ten minutes.
Make Apple Chips
<<<—Here’s how to make apple chips in a dehydrator or an oven—>>>
In brief, to make apple chips:
- Leave the skin on
- Slice and core with a rotating slicer
- Dehydrate in your electric dehydrator or your solar oven.
If you have a freeze dryer, this will produce a very crunchy, dry apple chip.
Make Clove Apples
Making clove apples is an old practice dating as far back as Medieval times when the fragrant apples and pungent whole clove were thought to ward of sickness and even bad spirits. You can use oranges for this project, too.
We have a very detailed post linked below to explain this process, but in brief, here are the steps to studding an apple with cloves:
- Wash a small, blemish-free apple and pat dry.
- Use a small nail or bamboo skewer to pierce holes in the skin, starting at the top of the apple.*
- Insert whole cloves into the holes, stem-first so the bulbous tops are resting against the fruit.
- This whole process takes 20 minutes for an adult. My eight year old can stud an orange in 40 minutes with help, which includes time to dance around the table and eat a snack.
*Plan to cover the whole clove if you’d like to preserve it for future use. If you would merely like to decorate an apple with cloves for a special dinner or event, you may create patterns that don’t necessarily cover the whole apple.
—>>>Click here for detailed instructions with photos for making a clove apple<<<—
Can I Freeze Apples?
Yes, you can freeze apple slices and apple chunks.
- Wash the apples and lay out to dry.
- Peel or leave the skins on. (We like the nutritional boost from the skin, so we leave it on.)
- Slice or dice and toss into a bowl.
- Sprinkle lemon juice over the bowl and work the juice around the apples with your hands. You may also fill a bowl with 2 quarts of water and and add 3 Tbsp. of lemon juice. Into this bowl, you can submerge the apples. This step helps prevent browning while in the freezer.
- Lay out on baking sheets lined with parchment paper to pre-freeze overnight. Make sure the slices aren’t touching on the baking sheet. This pre-freezing process helps prevent them from sticking to each other in their storage container.
- Fill freezer storage containers or bags with the slices/dices and date each container.
Apple slices should last about 12 months in a freezer storage, but it’s best to use them within 6 months for optimal flavor and nutrition.
Extra Things to Do With Apples
Break up the unwanted apple cores between your livestock (including guinea pigs and hamsters if that’s the only livestock you have) as a special fall treat. They’ll love you!
- Apple cores and skins may be composted.
- Slice in rings, dehydrate, and use as decoration during the holidays; when tied with red ribbon, apple rings are quite lovely.
- Cut apple rings and use raw or use some of your dehydrated ones to hang outdoors as a Christmas gift for the wild birds.
More ideas are linked below!