What can I do with too many apples?

Having too many apples can seem like a good problem to have. With bushels of fresh, crunchy apples, you can enjoy these tasty fruits straight from the tree. But once you’ve eaten your fill of raw apples, you may be wondering what else you can do with the surplus. This article will provide you with plenty of ideas for using up extra apples in delicious ways.

What are some quick answers to common questions about having too many apples?

Here are quick answers to some frequently asked questions about what to do with too many apples:

  • Can I freeze extra apples? Yes, apples freeze very well for future baking needs.
  • How long do apples last? Apples stored in a cool place can last for several months.
  • Can I give away extra apples? Absolutely – share with family, friends, food banks, or shelters.
  • Can I preserve apples by canning? You sure can! Apples work great in jams, apple butter, applesauce, etc.
  • What baked goods work well with apples? Pies, tarts, muffins, breads, crisps, and more!

Tips for Storing Your Apple Surplus

Before delving into apple recipes, here are some key tips for storing your extra apples:

  • Pick apples when ripe and free of blemishes or bruises.
  • Store unwashed apples in a cool (30-35°F), humid place like a basement or root cellar.
  • Place apples in perforated plastic bags to allow air circulation.
  • Check apples frequently and remove any that are spoiled.
  • Most varieties keep 2-3 months under proper storage conditions.

With ideal storage, your fresh apples should keep for several months. Now let’s explore what to do with all of those delicious apples!

Uses for Applesauce

Turning apples into applesauce is a classic way to use up a surplus. Besides enjoying homemade applesauce straight up, here are some other ideas:

  • Swap applesauce for oil or butter in baking recipes.
  • Make apple muffins, coffee cake, or sweet bread with applesauce.
  • Use as a topping for breakfast dishes like oatmeal or yogurt.
  • Make apple popsicles by freezing applesauce in popsicle molds.
  • Use as a sweet glaze for pork chops or chicken.

How to Make Easy Homemade Applesauce

Making applesauce is simple. Here’s a basic recipe:

  • Peel, core, and chop 10-12 medium apples (about 4 cups)
  • Place in a pot with 1/4 cup water and 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat and cook 10-15 minutes until soft
  • Mash apples to desired consistency
  • Stir in sugar, spices, or other flavorings if desired
  • Enjoy right away or refrigerate up to 2 weeks

Feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking by using different apple varieties, adding spices like cinnamon, and adjusting sweetness. Homemade applesauce is so fresh and delicious!

Dehydrating Apple Slices

Dehydrating apple slices allows you to preserve their sweet flavor to enjoy all year long. Dehydrated apples make great snacks and ingredients for recipes. Here are a few ways to eat them:

  • Rehydrate in water for pies, breads, or tarts
  • Make homemade fruit leather by pureeing dried apples
  • Add to granola, oatmeal, or yogurt for crunch
  • Chop and add to muffins, cakes, or quick breads
  • Snack on dried apples whole for homemade fruit chips

Instructions for Dehydrating Apples

Follow these simple steps:

  • Preheat dehydrator to 125-135°F.
  • Peel, core, and slice apples about 1/4-inch thick.
  • Lay slices in a single layer on dehydrator trays.
  • Dehydrate 4-8 hours until pliable with no moisture.
  • Pat off any beads of moisture with a paper towel.
  • Store in an airtight container. Enjoy for up to 1 year!

Freezing Apple Slices

Freezing is another excellent preservation method for surplus apples. Frozen apple slices retain their texture well for enjoying all year. Try them in these recipes:

  • Add to muffins, breads, pies to skip peeling and slicing.
  • Make homemade applesauce from frozen apples.
  • Add frozen apple slices to smoothies for natural sweetness.
  • Bake up apple crisps and pies in the off-season.

How to Freeze Apples

Follow these instructions for freezing apples properly:

  • Wash, peel, core and slice apples about 1/4-inch thick.
  • Place slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.
  • Transfer frozen slices to freezer bags or containers.
  • Remove as much air as possible and seal.
  • Label with the date and enjoy within 8-12 months.

Canning Apple Pie Filling

Enjoy the flavors of apple pie anytime by canning apple pie filling. It’s delicious on its own, as a topping, or baked into pies and crisps. Try these tasty ideas:

  • Top waffles, pancakes, or French toast
  • Fill crepes or croissants
  • Layer in trifles or parfaits
  • Swirl into yogurt, cottage cheese, or oatmeal
  • Spoon over ice cream

How to Can Apple Pie Filling

This classic apple pie filling recipe makes about 7 quart-size jars:

  • Simmer 24 cups peeled, sliced apples with 2 tbsp lemon juice, 4 cups sugar, 2 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp salt for 10 minutes until apples are tender.
  • Pour into cleaned, hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe rims.
  • Place lids and rings on jars. Process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes (adjust time for altitude).
  • After processing, allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours.
  • Check seals, label, and store in a cool, dark place up to 1 year.

Baking with Apples

When life gives you apples, it’s time to do some baking! Here are some of the best baked goods that highlight delicious apples:

Classic Apple Pie

What better way to enjoy a fall apple surplus than with a homemade apple pie? Fill your pie crust with sliced, peeled apples tossed in sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and a thickener like flour or tapioca. Top with an upper pie crust or crumbly streusel topping. Serve warm with ice cream.

Applesauce Bread or Muffins

Quick breads and muffins make great use of applesauce in place of oil or other liquid. Fold shredded or diced apples into the batter for bursts of fresh apple flavor. Top your muffins with streusel or a cinnamon crumb topping.

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

For a fun spin on pineapple upside down cake, arrange peeled, cored apple slices in brown sugar spiked with cinnamon and dot with butter. Pour on a vanilla cake batter and bake. Invert the cake after baking for a beautiful presentation.

Apple Cranberry Crisp

For simple fruit dessert, bake sliced apples topped with fresh or frozen cranberries and a crisp oat streusel topping. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a tasty fall treat.

Juicing and Cider Making

Apples are perfect for juicing and cider making. Enjoy the fresh flavors of apple juice straight up or use it in all sorts of drinks and recipes. When it comes to cider, go as simple or gourmet as you like.

Apple Juice Ideas

  • Dilute with water or sparkling water for apple spritzer.
  • Make popsicles by freezing apple juice in molds.
  • Cook down juice to make homemade syrup.
  • Mix with other fruit juices. Apple cranberry is a popular blend.
  • Use in smoothies, cocktails, or mulled cider.

Homemade Apple Cider Tips

  • Start with a mix of sweet and tart apples.
  • Add spices and flavorings like cinnamon sticks, star anise, or vanilla.
  • Sweeten to taste with sugar or honey.
  • Infuse with bourbon, rum, or brandy for an adult beverage.
  • Heat gently and serve warm garnished with orange slices.

Gifting and Sharing Extra Apples

Part of having an abundant apple crop is sharing with others. Look for ways to gift apples or donate to those in need. Some ideas include:

  • Give apples and apple treats to neighbors, family, or friends.
  • Donate to a food pantry for families to enjoy.
  • Connect with a women’s or homeless shelter to contribute apples.
  • Offer apples to daycare centers or community programs.
  • Check with local schools to see if they accept fresh fruit donations.

Creative Apple Gift Ideas

Make your gifted apples even more special by turning them into homeade treats like these:

  • Pack jars of homemade applesauce and include recipe cards.
  • Assemble baskets of different apple varieties with an apple facts sheet.
  • Make jarred caramel apple sauce for topping yogurt or ice cream.
  • Wrap individual apple crisps or turnovers in cellophane with ribbons.
  • Package baked apple chips seasoned with cinnamon and sugar.


With so many options for using up extra apples, you don’t have to let any go to waste. Get creative in the kitchen with recipes, preserve apples to enjoy year-round, press into juice and cider, and share the bounty. Soon you’ll be looking forward to apple surplus season and all the delicious possibilities it brings!

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