By now you’ve probably gathered an assortment of apples from one of the Garden State’s gorgeous farms. Maybe your legs are sore from roaming the grounds in search of the perfect Golden Delicious; or your back hurts from the heavy lifting of crates full of Granny Smiths. Your mind was definitely blown at the dollars you spent to take home your treasure. Now, those plentiful bushels filling your kitchen are mocking you.
The entire situation begs the question, “What should I do with all these leftover apples?” Well, Best of NJ is here to help you discover the (red) delicious possibilities, some of which don’t even require eating them:
Hygienic Bobbing for Apples
Gone are the days of sticking your head into a tub of water (and probably human fluids) to bite into a bobbing apple. Instead, tie one end of a string to a stem and the other end to a sturdy branch on a tree, or a rod. Assign each guest a dangling apple. Next, have party guests try to bite into the apples as they sway, without using their hands. You could even blindfold them to make the game more difficult/interesting.
Fall Fruit Pizza
Fruit pizzas are a fun way to get a party started. While many people turn to these pretty desserts in the spring and summer, they fail to realize they can have them during fall, too. Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe as a base. Instead of cutting out cookies, you make one big one. Then, spread on a cream cheese icing (store bought or homemade). Core and slice apples and decoratively place them on top of the thin layer of cream cheese icing. Finally, top the apples with a drizzle of caramel sauce and chopped honey roasted peanuts.
Apple Candle Holders
Cut the bottoms of these apples, so they lay flat. Then, remove the stem. Finally, carve a hole in the top, so a votive candle can fit inside. Your safest bet is to use electric votive candles to avoid fire. While these make for a great centerpiece at Thanksgiving, you can also incorporate apples in floral arrangements or cornucopia to make a statement.
Apples in Wreaths
Nothing says, “Welcome,” like a wreath on your front door. And the fall provides a bevy of options for this type of decoration. Since apples tend to have a long shelf life, they can be used in your wreath design. First, you can get a round wreath form at your local dollar or craft store. Then, attach greenery and ribbon in a decorative fashion. Finally, add the apples for bursts of color and to pay homage to the harvest. You can use wire or hot glue to attach the apples. Of course, these apples will no longer be suitable for eating, and the wreath will have to come down when the apples begin to rot.
Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Who can resist grilled cheese? Even for seasoned grilled cheese eaters, this twist on the traditional meal is a winner. Get a baguette and cut it in half. Put slices of either cheddar, American or brie cheese on both sides and top with apple slices. Then, melt butter in a frying pan and fry the sandwich until the cheese melts and the bread is lightly browned and toasted on both sides.
Apples and Onions
Primarily used as a side dish, this goes well with any kind of meat or poultry, including steak, pork or chicken. Melt butter in a frying pan and add sliced apples and onions, and salt to taste. Sauté until both are soft, and the onions are translucent. You might also add fresh thyme for flavor.
Before kale chips, there were apple chips. Parents trying to coax children into eating more fruits and veggies are always coming up with new ways to present them. Because many a kid likes the crunch of a potato chip, turning healthier stuff into chips is appealing. Thinly slicing apples and putting them on a baking tray is the first step. Then you can sprinkle them with sugar or both cinnamon and sugar. Bake them for up to an hour in an oven preheated to about 225 degrees Fahrenheit. You want the apples to get dried and crisp; that’s when they’re done. These dried fruit are great for eating, but they can also be used as decorative garland. Just string them up and they’ll look lovely on a mantel, for instance.