Apple trees are a wonderful addition to many gardens. They can be an abundant source of food for those who live nearby. In fact, if you have a mature apple tree in your garden, you may find yourself with more fruit than you know what to do with! Organic gardeners should always attempt to make full use of the harvests they get from their gardens – waste is an anathema in sustainable, eco-friendly living. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of an apple tree harvest in your organic garden:
Make Apple Sauce for Sweet or Savoury Recipes
One of the easiest ways to use apples is to stew them to make a simple apple sauce – with or without sweetener. This apple sauce can be used as a condiment with pork or other meat, or with vegetarian loaves or nut roasts. You can also use this apple sauce in a range of sweet and savoury recipes. Apple sauce can be frozen in airtight containers for later use, so you could make a big batch to see you through the months to come.
Cook & Bake Apples
Though it is unlikely that you will be able to use up an entire apple harvest without preserving or storing any of the fruits, you should be able to use up a lot day-to-day by incorporating your apples in your meals in a range of savoury and sweet recipes.
For example, apples and potatoes can be sliced and baked in a gratin type dish, perhaps with some greens like kale, or with root vegetables like beetroot. You can also make a delicious stew with potatoes, apples, carrots, onions and other vegetables seasoned with thyme and other herbs.
Of course, when most people think of an apple harvest, they will think of apple pies and apple crumble. These are two common ideas. To ring the changes, you could also think about apple cake, apple muffins, or oat apple flapjacks.
Dry Apples & Make Apple Snacks
Apples can also be dehydrated to make dried apple snacks, or turned into apple crisps which are another delicious snack. You can air dry apples or use your oven or a dehydrator designed for the purpose if you have one.
Juice Apples, Make Apple Juice, Cider or Cider Vinegar
Making apple juice is one good way to use up a quantity of apples. You could also consider learning how to turn that apple juice into cider and/or making your own apple cider vinegar. If you want to enjoy the non-alcoholic juice for longer, you can pasteurise it my heating bottles in the large pan of water on your hob.
Preserve Apples as Jams, Butters or Chutney
There are plenty of different recipes to choose from, and when placed into sterilised jars and kept in a cool place, these preserves will keep for a long time. Add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, or other spices and seasoning, to add interest to your apple preserves.