How to Eat a Lot of Apples, On the Cheap

September 17, 2014

Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, Gabriella Paiella shows us how to make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety. 

Today: How to handle cooking enormous amounts of apples, from apple-picking or general fall excitement.

Apple Chips

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Can you feel it? The air is getting crisper. You've traded in your jorts for jeans. If you, like me, live in New York, you've noticed that it's smelling less like hot garbage and more like regular garbage these days.

As the Earth observes the ancient call of the Autumnal Equinox -- the leaves changing color, animals preparing to hibernate -- so must we, by choosing a new seasonal activity to Instagram: Apple picking.

Apple picking, like playing shuffleboard and eating porridge and antiquing, is an activity that folks have been doing for ages but is experiencing a resurgence. Should you go this year (and you should; the fresh non-garbage air is good for you), you'll likely have more pounds of apples than you know what to do with. You'll be sick of eating them whole, but you know you have to power through the rest because a) c'mon, food waste is terrible and b) it's like burning money and then throwing it in the trash. (PSA: If you can afford to burn money and then throw it in the trash, click out of this column and consider becoming my personal angel investor.)

For those of you overloaded by apples, here's how to stretch them out:

Apple Bread

Eat them for breakfast.
Red Rooibos and Gala Apple Bread
Fresh Muesli with Apples, Currants, and Toasted Almonds
Teddie's Apple Cake (Yes, it's a breakfast food.)


Apple and Celery Salad

Eat them in salads.
Sweet, Salty, Crunchy, Zingy Apple and Celery Salad
Kale Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts



Use them in main dishes and sides:
Prune and Apple Stuffing
Apple and Fennel Soup
Autumn Celeriac (Celery Root) Purée
Farro Risotto with Caramelized Apples and Fennel
Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts, Apple, and Dried Cranberries


Pickled Apples

Turn them into snacks, spreads, and garnishes:
Quick Pickled Apples 
Roasted Apple Butter 
Apple Chips


Apple Pumpkin Galette

And, of course, add them to cocktails and desserts:
Autumn Apple and Pumpkin Galette
Apples Baked in Cider
Judy Rodgers' Roasted Applesauce (and Savory Apple Charlottes)
Apple Blow Fizz

How are you eating your apples this fall? Tell us in the comments!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Maggie Allen
    Maggie Allen
Yes, my name rhymes.


AntoniaJames September 17, 2014
I make applesauce most years, too. Last year I made it by roasting with pear cider. Best ever. I also make at least a dozen jars of apple butter, with cardamom, coriander and fresh ginger. I usually wait until late October to do it, however, as I need to get my remaining pickling projects (damson plums, and golden beets) out of the way, first. ;o)
Maggie A. September 17, 2014
I dehydrate apples every year and can applesauce. I add a bit of cinnamon sugar to apples before I dehydrate them, and spice up the applesauce with vanilla, cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg
AntoniaJames September 17, 2014
One of my favorite ways to celebrate the arrival of fall? This old-school but ever so slightly decadent muesli: The high ratio of apple to oats, with all that fresh lemon juice, helps get your morning off to a great start. ;o)