Up in the Dandenong Ranges here in Victoria, many roads are lined with fruit and nut trees, particularly chestnuts, peaches and apples. I hate to drive past a tree heavy with fruit, especially when it appears to belong to no one and you can see that dropped fruit is already rotting on the ground.
Last weekend my little family and I filled up out boot with apples from a beautiful tree growing by a creek, and we came home with 5 kilograms of beautiful, tart, cooking apples to use!
There’s no shame in foraging; what would other go to waste can be happily collected and put to good use in your home, and all for free. Whether you have your own tree, love to forage, or are expecting some good prices for boxes of apples when the season truly kicks in very soon, here are many things you can make with them to extend their life, including several of the things I made from our apple forage!
Enjoy our apple recipes! x
10 apples (any kind will work)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
- Using a corer or a sharp small paring knife, remove the cores of the apples. Peel the apples. Reserve these cores and peels for the next recipe, apple jelly. If you have a mandolin, use this to thinly slice the apples. If not, just use a sharp knife and cut the apple as thinly as possible from top to bottom.
- Preheat your oven to 100 degrees Celcius. Line 2 baking sheets with silpats or baking paper.
- Combine cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl
- Lay as many apple slices as you can fit flat on the baking tray and scatter with cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Bake for about 2-3 hours or until apples are dehydrated. Once they reach a dry but not crunchy stage, they are fine to remove; they get crunchy as they cool. Keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. This amount filled a 1 liter container
Quick 4 Ingredient Apple Tarte Tatin
While this fancy French confection is often found on restaurant menus, in patisseries and in cafes, it’s actually pretty simple to make, especially when you’re more concerned with how it tastes and less so about the picture perfect arrangement of apples in an upside down tart.
It is basically apples, caramel and puff pastry first cooked on the stove and then in an oven. So for this you will need an oven proof frying pan or skillet. This is one of my family’s favourite desserts, so ignoring the braying voice of the pastry chef who I apprenticed under, I throw this together when all I have to concoct a dessert are apples, sugar, butter and that last sheet of pastry in the freezer.
This method takes half the time that than the traditional method which requires that you cook the apples in the caramel for an additional 30 minutes before the pastry is added on top; this is because the apples are halved rather than cut into wedges and you generally don’t use cooking apples because they cook too quickly.
This recipe is suitable for cooking apples.
100g caster sugar
1 sheet of puff pastry
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Peel and core the apples. You can use the cores and peels for the apple jelly recipe which follows. Cut the apples into a wedges.
- In a large ovenproof frying pan about 30cm in diameter, add the sugar and 3 tablespoons of water. Melt on low heat until the sugar begins to caramelise and turn golden brown. Don’t stir the caramel, rather just tilt the pan to swirl the ingredients around.
- Add the butter to the caramelised sugar and stir to combine. Add the apples and shake the pan to get them sitting evenly.
- Place the sheet of puff pastry on top of the apples, tucking and rolling the edges so it covers the apples completely and fits into the pan.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.
- Allow to cool before placing a large plate over the pan and flip it upside down to get the tarte onto the plate. Serve with cream or ice cream.
This is a brilliant way to use up the apple cores and peels which would otherwise go into the bin, compost or be fed to pets. Apple jelly is beautifully clear, flavourful and makes a lovely gift when presented in a pretty jar. This recipe works for whatever amount of cores and peels you have.
You will also need:
- Take your apple cores and peel and place in a deep saucepan. Fill with water until you can see the level of water just under the top-most layer of peel and cores.
- Place on medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil under the cores are soft. Remove from heat and strain the liquid into a new saucepan. Do not press the pulp through the strainer; you only want clear liquid.
- For every cup of liquid you yield from this mixture, add 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Bring to the boil and allow to reach 100 degrees Celcius or do the jam test with a ceramic dish placed in the freezer. Test the consistency by removing the dish and adding a teaspoon of jelly mixture. If it is not syrupy and and gels to the plate, then it is ready. Decant into a clean, sterile jar. You can use this jelly on toast or crumpets, in cakes and biscuits and it works really well as a cake or bun glaze when melted and diluted with a touch of water.
Also, try these other apple recipes: