50 Things to Make with Apples
1. Dried Apples: Core 1 small apple; slice into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Arrange on an oiled baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees F until dry but still soft, 2 to 3 hours.
2. Apple Popcorn Balls: Make Dried Apples (No. 1); chop enough to make 1/2 cup. Boil 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup each butter and light corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until a candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees F, about 8 minutes. Mix with 6 cups popcorn, 1/2 cup chopped pecans and the chopped dried apples. Transfer to a buttered pan; cool slightly, then form into balls.
3. Apple Granita: Simmer 4 cups apple juice with 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves and 1 strip orange zest, 10 minutes; strain and cool. Freeze in an 8-inch-square pan. To serve, scrape with a fork; top with minced green apple and candied ginger tossed with lemon juice.
4. Boozy Apple Granita: Make Apple Granita (No. 3), adding 1/4 cup bourbon, Calvados or applejack brandy before freezing.
5. Apple-Salmon Crostini: Mix 2 tablespoons each creme fraiche and finely diced green apple with 1 tablespoon chopped chives. Spread on toasted baguette slices. Top with smoked salmon and julienned apples.
6. Scary Apple Mouths: Quarter and core a red apple; brush with lemon juice. Cut out a wedge from the skin side of each piece so it looks like a mouth. Fill with peanut butter, then insert sliced almonds for "teeth."
7. Applesauce: Quarter 4 pounds apples. Simmer with 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt, partially covered, until soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Pass through a food mill. Whisk in 2 tablespoons butter.
8. Herbed Applesauce: Make Applesauce (No. 7), adding 1 sprig each rosemary, sage and thyme before cooking.
9. Spiced Applesauce: Make Applesauce (No. 7), replacing the sugar with 1/4 cup brown sugar and adding 6 allspice berries, 1 cinnamon stick and 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice before cooking. Remove the cinnamon before milling.
10. Apple Butter: Cook 1/2 cup sugar in a large skillet until deep amber. Add 4 cups Applesauce (No. 7) and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 30 minutes.
11. Wine-Poached Apples: Boil 1 bottle red wine, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise pod and 3 strips orange zest in a medium saucepan. Add 4 peeled crisp, tart apples and simmer until tender, 30 minutes. Remove the apples; strain the liquid and boil until syrupy. Serve the apples and syrup over yogurt.
12. Apple Fritters: Whisk 1/2 cup each flour and seltzer with a pinch each of salt and apple pie spice. Slice 2 peeled and cored apples into 1/4-inch-thick rings. Dip in the batter and deep-fry in 375 degrees F oil until golden; drain on paper towels and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
13. Apple-Braised Cabbage: Cook 4 cups shredded red cabbage and 1 chopped apple in a skillet with 3 tablespoons each butter, cider vinegar and water over medium heat, covered, until tender, 20 minutes.
14. Witch's Candy Apples: Melt 1 1/4 cups cherry hard candies and 1 tablespoon light corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat (the mixture will be bubbly). Insert wooden sticks into 4 apples; dip in the candy coating. Set on oiled parchment paper to harden.
15. Caramel Apples: Cook 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat, swirling, until golden. Off the heat, stir in 1/4 cup cream and 1/4 teaspoon each vanilla and salt. Transfer to a 4-cup liquid measuring cup; cool slightly. Insert wooden sticks into 4 apples; dip in the caramel. Set on oiled parchment paper to harden.
16. Mulled Cider: Bring 6 cups apple cider to a simmer with 1 cinnamon stick, 4 allspice berries, 1 star anise pod and 3 strips lemon zest. To serve, add diced apples.
17. Apple Cake: Whisk 1 1/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon each salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Shred 1 apple and squeeze dry, then whisk with 2 eggs, 1/2 cup each vegetable oil and milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Fold into the flour mixture. Bake in a buttered 9-inch-round pan at 350 degrees F, 20 minutes; cool. Beat 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 stick butter, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon each lemon juice and vanilla, and a pinch of salt; spread on the cake.
18. Bacon-Apple Dates: Stuff pitted dates with small apple pieces. Wrap each in 1/2 slice bacon and secure with a toothpick. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 425 degrees F until crisp, 20 minutes.
19. Apple-Onion Bruschetta: Cook 2 sliced onions in oil over medium heat until caramelized, 35 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons Calvados and cook until evaporated. Spread on baguette slices, top with apple slices and sprinkle with grated gruyere. Broil until the cheese melts.
20. Apple-Pork Burgers: Mix 1 pound ground pork, 1/2 pound uncased fresh breakfast sausage, 1 small grated apple, 1 grated garlic clove, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper to taste. Form into four 1/2-inch-thick patties and cook in an oiled skillet over medium-high heat, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve on buns with Swiss cheese, bacon, mustard and sliced apple.
21. Sausage-Apple Skewers: Thread 1-inch chunks of apple, bratwurst and red onion on skewers; brush with oil. Grill over medium-high heat, turning, until lightly charred, 10 minutes.
22. Apple Chutney: Combine 2 chopped apples, 1/2 chopped red onion, 1 teaspoon minced ginger and 1/4 cup each chopped dried apricots, dried cranberries, sugar and red wine vinegar. Cook until the apples are tender, 15 minutes.
23. Apple Sauerkraut: Cook 1 diced apple and a large pinch each of caraway seeds, ground allspice and sugar in 2 tablespoons butter until slightly soft. Stir in 1 pound drained, rinsed sauerkraut and warm through.
24. Apple-Sausage Sandwich: Grill or pan-fry your favorite chicken-apple sausage links. Serve in a hot dog bun with mustard and Apple Sauerkraut (No. 23).
25. Pork Chop Choucroute: Brown 2 smoked pork chops in oil in a large skillet. Meanwhile, make Apple Sauerkraut (No. 23); add to the pork with 1/4 cup white wine and 2 cups each chicken broth and water. Simmer 30 minutes.
26. Big Apple Cocktail: Steep 2 chopped tart apples in 2 cups whiskey overnight; strain. For each cocktail, shake 2 ounces of the apple whiskey, 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth and 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice in a shaker with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an apple wedge and maraschino cherry.
27. Potato-Apple Pancakes: Peel and shred 1 apple and 1 small russet potato; squeeze dry. Mix with 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a pinch of nutmeg. Fry heaping spoonfuls in butter in a skillet over medium heat, turning, 4 minutes per side.
28. Apple-Horseradish Sauce: Whisk 3/4 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup each grated peeled apple and sour cream, 2 tablespoons horseradish, and salt to taste.
29. Apple-Brie Polenta: Bring 3 cups water and 1 cup apple cider to a boil. Whisk in 1 cup instant polenta and 1/2 cup grated peeled apple and simmer, whisking, until thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon chopped sage, 1/2 cup brie (rind removed) and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt.
30. Apple-Mustard Chicken: Cook 1 each chopped onion and apple in butter in a skillet until soft. Add 1 cup chicken broth, 1/8 cup prunes and 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard. Add 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts; cover and poach over low heat until cooked through, 15 minutes. Add 1/4 cup cream, and salt, pepper and chopped dill to taste; bring to a simmer to thicken.
31. Cider Doughnuts: Simmer 1 cup apple cider until reduced to 1/4 cup; cool. Mix with 1/2 cup grated peeled apple, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and vanilla, and 2 cups dry pancake mix. Roll into 1-inch balls and deep-fry in 375 degrees F oil. Drain on paper towels and roll in cinnamon sugar.
32. Chicken-Apple Crepes: Prepare Apple-Mustard Chicken (No. 30); dice the chicken. Fill prepared crepes with the chicken and shredded gruyere. Roll up, top with the sauce and bake at 350 degrees F, 12 minutes.
33. Apple Stuffing: Cook 1/2 cup each chopped onion, celery and apple and 3 tablespoons each chopped almonds and prunes in 1/2 stick butter until soft. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in 1 cup each chicken broth and cream, 12 cups stale bread cubes and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Transfer to a baking dish, cover and bake at 375 degrees F, 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes.
34. Apple Skillet Pancake: Whisk 3 eggs until frothy; whisk in 3/4 cup each milk and flour. Peel, core and slice 1 apple; cook in an ovenproof 10-inch skillet with 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon sugar until just soft. Add the batter and bake at 450 degrees F until puffy and golden, 15 minutes.
35. Apple Pancake: Topping Cook 2 chopped peeled apples and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup maple syrup and bring to a simmer.
36. Apple Turnovers: Make Apple Pancake Topping (No. 35), using only 1/4 cup maple syrup; cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in 1 tablespoon raisins; cool. Cut 1 sheet puff pastry into 4 squares; roll out each into a 6-inch square. Fill with the apple mixture and fold into triangles; crimp to seal. Bake at 425 degrees F until puffed and golden, 20 minutes.
37. Apple-Cheddar Fondue: Simmer 1/8 cup each apple cider and white wine. Whisk in 3/4 pound shredded extra-sharp cheddar tossed with 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Add 2 tablespoons applejack brandy and season with salt and pepper. Serve with cubed bread and apple slices.
38. Waldorf Salad: Toss 1/2 cup sliced grapes, 2 each chopped apples and celery stalks, 1/4 cup each mayonnaise, sour cream, walnuts and parsley, and lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
39. Cranberry Waldorf: Make Waldorf Salad (No. 38), replacing the grapes, walnuts and parsley with dried cranberries, hazelnuts and dill.
40. Creamy Apple Slaw: Mix 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard and 2 teaspoons apple cider. Toss with 1 cup each grated peeled celery root and apple, and salt, pepper and parsley to taste.
41. Sesame-Apple Slaw: Whisk 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 teaspoons each rice vinegar and soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon grated ginger. Add 3 cups each shredded apples and napa cabbage, and salt.
42. Apple Galette: Toss 3 sliced, peeled and cored baking apples with 2 tablespoons each brown sugar, apricot jam and melted butter. Lay an 11-inch round of pie dough on a baking sheet. Add the filling, leaving a 2-inch border; fold in the edges. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
43. Apple-Fennel Slaw: Mix 2 tablespoons each mayonnaise, lime juice and chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce and a pinch of salt. Thinly shave 1 small quartered fennel bulb, 1 small red apple and 1 small green apple. Toss with the dressing.
44. Apple-Ginger Galette: Make Apple Galette (No. 42), adding 1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger to the filling.
45. Caramel Apple Galette: Make Apple Galette (No. 42), replacing the apricot jam with jarred dulce de leche.
46. Apple-Cheddar Galette: Make Apple Galette (No. 42), pressing 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar into the dough before adding the filling. Halfway through baking, sprinkle the crust with 2 more tablespoons cheddar.
47. Baked Apples: Scoop out the core of 4 apples using a melon baller, leaving the bottoms intact. Mix 3 tablespoons each brown sugar and butter with 1/8 cup fresh breadcrumbs and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; stuff into the apples. Put in a baking dish with 1/8 cup apple cider and bake at 375 degrees F, 45 minutes.
48. Nutty Baked Apples: Make Baked Apples (No. 47), adding 3 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts or pecans to the filling.
49. Savory Baked Apples: Make Baked Apples (No. 47), reducing the brown sugar to 1 tablespoon, omitting the cinnamon and adding 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon each chopped thyme, parsley and shallot to the filling.
50. Apple-Sausage Patties: Combine 2 tablespoons shredded peeled apple and 1/4 pound uncased fresh breakfast sausage; form into 4 small patties. Cook in an oiled skillet over medium-high heat, turning, until cooked through.
Sure, you could enjoy it roasted plainly in olive oil or blended into soup, but why limit yourself? This kitchen superstar jumps from sweet to savory so effortlessly that the only hard part is deciding how to eat it.