What do I do with apples from my forest garden?

I am fortunate to have six ripe apples on my property. Since my wife and I moved here in 2014, I have worked hard to create other fruit trees in the surrounding forest garden and walled garden.

We have a wide variety of cooking, bread, and sweet apples, and it takes a lot of work each year to harvest. Most of the time, my wife and I do most of the work – processing prunes and other fruits from the forest.

Some of our apples are eaten right away, and some are stored for fresh food. Others are used in a variety of sweet and savory recipes. We like to add apples to salads and use them in pots, as well as eat them in traditional ovens, soups and stews.

I try to make sure no apples are wasted, but I had to think about how to prepare and wait because we could not eat them all fresh or we could not cook them right away. So, to encourage apples to make the most of their own trees, I thought I would share what I do with my own plentiful harvest.

Apple juice

Many of our apples make sweet syrup or non-alcoholic syrup. At first we squeezed some apples with family juice, but we soon realized that we needed something more efficient for our gardening. So we have invested in Apple Crusher and the press, and now I make many bottles of apple juice every year, some of which I post and I can last longer.

Apple cider and apple cider vinegar

We also tried to make an apple apple curry. My husband added yeast, camphor tablets, and sugar to apple juice and allowed it to boil. This drink refreshes on a hot day.

We use apple cider vinegar to make it. This is important not only for food purposes but also as a healthy addition to our home-grown diet. I like to use it in my natural hair care system and to clean our house. We give some to keep our chickens and dogs healthy.

Dried Apple Pieces

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I dry some apples. Drying air on my apple is not an option, but I put some in the oven to dry overnight. I like dried apples in muesli and other breakfast cereals, and eat them as a snack. I find that they hold up well in sealed pots.

Apple jam and apple butter

I use some of our apples like apple cider vinegar and apple butter. We love sweet and savory apple jams with a very acidic cooking apple, as well as a fruit jam mixed with ripe apples. I also make spicy apple cider vinegar in a slow cooker. It actually cooks into soft pasta, and I love it with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. It’s a delicious spread on homemade bread, but we also put it in oat pancakes and turn it into a muffin batter.

Apple Chutney

Another dish I would like to make is apple cider vinegar to taste with caramelized onions, vinegar, sugar and spices. This spice is paired with cheese and crackers, or curry. I spread it over almonds for a warm winter meal.

Canned apples

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I want to keep a simple, uncooked apple soup. I can add sugar or other sweeteners to sweet and savory foods, or I can throw the pot into a winter soup or stew, which is not sweet. We like to add apple soups and stews to carrots, parsnips, prunes, and other root crops.

When dealing with a large Apple product, you can go beyond eating fresh apples and making apple pie. The above ideas are some of the solutions that worked well for me when deciding how to use an abundant apple from my forest garden.

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