Fall has arrived! One of the most enjoyable things to do on Long Island during the autumn season is to head out with the family for a day of apple picking. If you’ve ever gone before you’ll know that you intend to leave with just a small bag of apples and instead somehow your children talk you into a half bushel. The apples all look and smell so delicious, how can you turn them down?
The problem is what to make afterwards. You don’t want to let those fresh apples go to waste and the kids quickly tire of snacking on them every day. Remember, the fun doesn’t have to end once your day in the orchard ends. So after you go apple picking on Long Island, here are some suggestions on what to do with all those apples.
Start by getting the kids involved in the kitchen. If you don’t already have one, check into purchasing an apple peeler, corer or slicer. Pampered Chef sells a well-known one that is perfect for kids to use (with supervision). It allows them to simply turn a handle that cranks an apple through its gears and leaves it peeled, cored, and sliced.
Next, choose a variety of easy recipes that will allow your family to enjoy the apples for as long as possible without feeling like they are eating nothing but apples for days on end.
Always start with the crock pot. It makes for easy prep, less dishes, and frees you up to work on other recipes at the same time. A simple apple sauce is perfect for the crock pot and freezes well for use later on with a hearty pork chop dinner or as a snack. Simply add peeled, sliced apples to the crock pot with a cup of water, ¾ sugar, a couple tablespoons of cinnamon, and a teaspoon or two of lemon juice. The kids can help with measuring and stirring. Put on low until the apples are tender, then scoop into individual freezer-safe containers.
Of course you can’t pass up a great apple pie! Make your own pie dough (if you’re feeling ambitious) or you can use a refrigerated dough of your choice. Mix ¾ cup of sugar with two tablespoons of flour and a generous heap of cinnamon. Sprinkle half the mixture in the bottom of the pie crust, add sliced apples, then sprinkle the other half on top. Add the top pie crust and bake until golden brown. Once cooled, wrap in foil and freeze. One less thing to bake at Thanksgiving!
An easy way to make small apple pies is to use refrigerated tubes of crescent roll dough. Brush each crescent roll triangle with a bit of melted butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Add a slice of apple and roll up. Brush the outside with a bit more butter and sprinkle with a bit more cinnamon. Bake until golden brown, and sit back as your kids eat them before they’ve had the chance to properly cool! This is another fun recipe for kids to help out with.
Dice up two apples, add a bit of cinnamon as well as a teaspoon of vanilla, and stir into a package of yellow cake mix. Mix well and pour into a greased Bundt pan. Voila, you have an easy apple cake and a recipe in which your kids can lend a hand!
Have fun in the kitchen with the apples you’ve harvested and your kids. The yummy treats you all enjoy will last several weeks, but the memories you make will last a lifetime!
By Allison Profeta