We’re all sad to say goodbye to summer — and the endless supply of frozen drinks, fresh fruit, and beach time that comes with it. But saying hello fall does have its perks … like crisp, delicious apples! If you went apple picking last weekend and are now wondering what to actually do with all the ripe fruit that’s currently taking over your kitchen, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few sweet (and savory … and alcoholic … ) ideas that will help you make the most of your fall apple bounty.
Apple & Brie Crostini
People will put anything on toast these days. So why not fresh-picked apples? These are so versatile, you’ll be making them all fall, whether as a perfect cocktail party hors d’oeuvre, quick afternoon snack, or satisfying, healthy dessert.
8 slices ciabatta bread
8 (¼ inch) slices brie cheese
1 Gala apple, thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Honey, for drizzling,
4 sprigs fresh thyme, thick woody stems removed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the ciabatta slices on the baking sheet and top each with a slice of brie, a few slices of apple and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Remove from the oven and drizzle each crostini with honey. Top with a sprig of fresh thyme, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot.
Looking for the perfect gift to bring to the host of your next dinner party? Forget flowers. Turn you freshly-picked apples into this sweet, crowd-pleasing apple cake from Smitten Kitchen instead. The best part about this cake is that it keeps well in the fridge. It’s the apple gift that keeps on giving.
This might be the best (and simplest) way to enjoy the true essence of the apples in their prime season. All you need is an oven, an hour, and the willpower not to eat the whole batch right away once the sweet smell of apples, butter, and spices starts wafting through your kitchen.
Fresh Pressed Apple Cider
Nothing says fall quite like a steaming cup of fresh apple cider, and this recipe from Minimalist Baker’s new cookbook makes brewing your own cider at home so easy. If you want to really get the party started, add a dash of bourbon and voila! You have a boozy hot toddy.
9-10 medium apples (3 pounds), quartered, cored, skin on
2 cups filtered water, plus more as needed
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup, more or less depending on sweetness of apples
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 cinnamon sticks
Pinch sea salt
- Add apples and water to blender. Blend on high speed until completely smooth and puréed. Depending on size of blender, this may need to be done in two batches.
- Drape a large, thin dish towel over large mixing bowl, making sure bowl is completely covered to prevent spillover.
- Carefully pour apple mixture onto towel. Gather the corners of the towel and lift. Begin squeezing/twisting the towel to press out juice. Continue until all that remains is pulp. The result is fresh-pressed apple juice, which can be enjoyed as is, chilled, or made into apple cider.
- To make cider, pour juice into large saucepan or pot. Add maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until flavor of the cinnamon sticks has infused the juice—about 15-20 minutes.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon for acidity, more maple syrup for sweetness, or more cinnamon sticks for spice. Serve hot with cinnamon sticks for garnish.
Apple Pie Oatmeal
When it’s not acceptable to have a big slice of apple pie for breakfast, this is the next best thing. Dice an apple into small cubes, toss them in a bowl with a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon, and mix the whole thing into your morning oatmeal. Or, for a weekend treat, spread the same mixture on top of pancakes or waffles!
Homemade Apple Sauce
Forge the individual supermarket applesauce snack packs — try making your own! This hearty, homemade version from The Pioneer Woman is great on its own as a healthy snack, or as a topping for ice cream, pancakes, waffles… you name it! Even better: this easy homemade apple sauce comes together in less time than it would take you to drive the market and pick up the store-bought version.
Granny Smith Grilled Cheese
Admittedly, there’s not much that can make a grilled cheese sandwich even better. But trust us on this one — adding thin slices of a Granny Smith apple to your grilled cheese sandwich adds a tart, crunchy bite that takes this classic American lunch to the next level. If you’re really feeling luxurious, use goat cheese in place of American or Cheddar. Bon appetit!