It's that time of year again that all true New Englanders embrace. Trees are crisping, cool air is creeping in, and sweaters are making their way out of the depths of our attics and into our closets. We welcome the October chill with open arms, knowing it won't be long until the chill turns to frost and the beautiful fall days are hidden under blankets of snow.
There are many ways to celebrate these magical months before they're gone, and one of the best ways is apple picking. Clutch a cup of hot cider, a scarf thrown around your neck, and stroll up and down the pathways of the orchard, trees of apples lining the way.
Once you're home, you may realize your excitement got the best of you and you've packed more apples into your bag than you can eat in a month. After enjoying as many fresh apples as you possibly can the first week, instead of letting the rest go bad, try some different recipes so nothing goes to waste.
1. Dried Apple Slices
Slice peeled (or unpeeled) apples thinly (eighth inch or even thinner). Place on a pan lined with parchment paper and bake for six hours (three hours on each side), making sure to switch halfway through. Sprinkle cinnamon atop pre-cooking, if you so please.
2. Apple Sauce
Peel about 8-9 apples and cut thinly. Toss in cinnamon and cinnamon sticks. Add a tiny bit of water and simmer till soft—the apples give off tons of water.
Once soft (after about 45 minutes), remove cinnamon sticks. Puree the contents in an immersion blender for the easiest and tastiest apple sauce you'll ever make.
3. Apple Cinnamon Granola
For a new twist off your favorite homemade granola, cut up those dried apple slices above into little pieces and toss into the granola after taking it out of the oven. Include cinnamon and a little nutmeg in the mixture before baking to incorporate all those fall flavors.
4. Apple Chutney
Combine diced apples with onion, ginger, vinegar, orange juice, pepper flakes, mustard seeds, brown sugar, and salt in saucepan and bring the mixture to boil over medium-high heat. Simmer for about an hour.
It'll be a great new addition to your usual cheese plate or grilled cheese sandwiches.
5. Baked Apple Slices
Try this dessert for a last minute dinner party you're throwing together for friends. Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.
Coat a baking dish with butter and layer apple wedges into the dish sprinkling with the sugar mixture after each layer. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream.
6. Caramel Apples
Melt butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt in a saucepan and cook over heat until mixture comes to a boil. Add in milk and cook longer, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Dip apples into hot caramel mixture and top with mini chocolate chips, crushed pretzel, granola, or whatever you can think of.
8. Apple, Brie and Walnut Salad
Apples are a great garnish for salads and taste especially good with wedges of Brie cheese and walnuts. If you don't have the cheese and nuts, they're a nice topping for any lettuces you're preparing. They add a sweet crunch alongside and and all savory contents.