What to do with the Apple Harvest

by Veronica

I have found myself the recipient of several pounds of apples from friends' and neighbours' orchards. What was I to do with so many ?

HARVEST. The very word gives a warming glow, the thought of gathering in the food grown in sun kissed fields. Harvesting is the process of gathering a crop from the fields. But we harvest too in our gardens.

The gathering of the food was of such importance that many societies and religions have a feast or festival and a blessing.

The word "Harvest" comes from the Old English word hærfest, meaning the crop gathering season. The word has come to mean the entire process of gathering the product.

This year, I have been given a mountain of apples, far more than I could possibly use. I found an old farmhouse recipe book which was full of ideas.


Just some of the apple mountain
Just some of the apple mountain

What's an apple ?

A sweet or bitter fruit, the apple indeed was mentioned in very early times in the Bible and the tree is believed to have been  one of the first to be grown. They are traditionally picked in late autumn but they are grown throughout the year somewhere in the world nowadays. .

Apples were brought to America by colonists in the 17th century as the only native apples were crab apples.There are now many varieties of apples and apple products.

Frozen Apple Slices

With so many apples we decided to freeze some in slices. This is how we did it.

I had some help from my husband in the peeling. He peeled; I sliced. We then sprinkled them in lemon juice and put them on flat trays. We "open-froze" them for about 45 minutes and then quickly transferred them to foil dishes and returned them to the freezer.

These can be used at a later date for sauces, pies, crumbles etc.

a little help with the peeling
a little help with the peeling
perfectly peeled :)
perfectly peeled :)
Sliced and open freeze
Sliced and open freeze
ready to wrap up and back to the freezer
ready to wrap up and back to the freezer
quickly back to the freezer
quickly back to the freezer

Apple Sauce

1lb  cooking apples , peeled, cored and chopped

zest of 1 lemon,

2 tbsp water

8 ozs butter

1 tsp sugar 

Put apples, zest and water in a pan and soften . Add sugar and butter and blend until smooth.

Place in warm, sterilised jars. Seal with waxed discs and put the lid on .   

Apple sauce
Apple sauce

Apple and Marrow Chutney

Apple and marrow chutney; apple sauce
Apple and marrow chutney; apple sauce

Apple and Marrow Chutney

perfect for Christmas with hams, cheese, pates, etc

1lb apples  peeled and chopped

1lb marrow peeled and chopped

1lb onions

2 in chopped  fresh ginger

1pt vinegar

8 oz caster sugar

salt and spices to taste


Place all the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down and simmer slowly until all the vinegar has been absorbed.

Place in warm sterilised jars. Put waxed discs on and seal the lid tightly. Store in a dark place for about 4 weeks.


I still have plenty apples and will be adding recipes over the weeks.

Apple Crumble Oct 21st 2016

by Ali

Apple Crumble

This is a very old English favourite. My friend used her apple harvest to make these beautiful crumbles.


2 lbs peeled, sliced apples

4ozs caster sugar

8 ozs flour

4 ozs butter

4 ozs sugar

2 tsp cinnamon powder

a sprinkle of brown sugar


Place the sliced apples into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with sugar.

Rub the flour and butter together until they look like breadcrumbs .

Stir in the sugar and cinnamon.

Put the mixture on top of the apples. Sprinkle with crunchy brown sugar.

Bake in the oven on about 180C for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Apple Upside down cake

This is a recipe by Irish TV chef, Rachel Allan, my favourite Irish chef . I have adapted it to work with Apples

  • 50 g butter
  • 250 g brown sugar
  • 350 g apples sliced
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 ml buttermilk
  • 75 ml vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • whipped cream, to serve


Lay put the apples on the base of a dish and sprinkle with half the sugar and  some cinnamon

Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add the liquids and stir.

Pour the mixture on to the top of the apples and spread out  evenly .

Bake in a moderate oven 180C Gas 4 for about 30- 35 mins

Turn upside down so the fruit is on top.

Serve hot or cold.





Irish Apple Cake

My favourite of all the Irish Apple Cake recipes is this one from County Kerry.


My favourite; Kerry Apple Cake

Kerry Apple Cake

 6oz butter
 6oz caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
 8oz self-raising flour
2 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1tsp lemon rind finely chopped ( or use zest )
2tbsp demerara sugar
spice to taste

Preheat oven to 180 C, and grease and line a cake tin. Cream butter and sugar. Gradually add eggs and flour. Stir in apples and lemon rind. Pour into the tin and sprinkle with demerara sugar 

Bake for 1- 1 1/2 hours.

Autumn updates 2019

Spicy Apple and Parsnip soup

I have two more uses for the apple harvest. The soaking wet summer and autumn here in UK has produced a fine apple harvest . 

I have made Spicy Parsnip and Apple soup today. Here's how 


2 large apples peeled and chopped 

3 large parsnips peeled and chopped 

1 carrot peeled and chopped 

1 onion peeled and chopped 

salt and pepper 

1 tbs spoon of curry paste


Boil up all the ingredients until soft then add the apple pieces .

Blend it together until smooth

add a swirl of cream (optional ) . 

Apple juice- Norton Priory

This was a treat. 

Norton Priory Cheshire held its annual apple and quince day and visitors were invited to bring their apples along and have them juiced free of charge.

I took several pounds of apples along and they were juiced for us to take home in containers. Apple juice at its freshest with no additives. Liquid apple. 



Updated: 10/24/2019, Veronica
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Veronica on 03/10/2022

GOSH in a nutshell. NOTHING.

But reading this wonderful post, we should.

DerdriuMarriner on 03/10/2022

Lucky you!

Are you all doing anything regularly with apple peels?

Kelli Foster, in the article 7 Ways to Use Leftover Apple Peels published May 1, 2019, for TheKitchn, describes them as delicious as apple cider vinegar, roast chips, salad garnish, smoothies and tea; for cleaning aluminum surfaces (by boiling, simmering 1/2 hour and using the acid boiled from the peels); and in muffins, pancakes and waffles, particularly with cinnamon.

I've done the chips, garnish and muffin, pancake and waffle fillings, and they were all fine.

But I wonder what the other side of the (Atlantic) pond does.

Veronica on 03/10/2022

My next door neighbour has a beautiful apple tree and she does not use the apples so she keeps us freely supplied with apples throughout Autumn /Fall.

DerdriuMarriner on 03/09/2022

Thank you!

That means that if the price is even higher now for caster and superfine sugar, then I can make my own apple crumble and sauce again this year, soon, since apple prices are remaining steadily nice.

Veronica on 03/09/2022

Derdriu, Yes spot on. I blend granulated to get caster / superfine sugar.
However, for my husband, I often use demerara sugar which is crunchy and works well with the texture of apples. I would not use demerara with a soft fruit but rhubarb or apples can take demerara in the crumble. My husband likes the flavour of demerara sugar with apples and rhubarb.

DerdriuMarriner on 03/09/2022

Re-visiting this wizzley called to mind two questions that I intended to ask you.

But first, Americans -- at least the ones who operate the grocery stores that I frequent and who shop where I do -- apparently call caster sugar superfine sugar.

At the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 and toward the end of 2021 and the beginning of this year I made your applesauce and apple crumble.

The grocery store put out superfine sugar that was a bit more expensive than I'd expected. So I substituted the caster sugar in the crumble with granulated sugar, in other words, it received a double dose!

Would you happen to know how to make caster sugar? Corey Williams with allrecipes wrote an online article, What Is Caster Sugar and What's a Good Substitute?, March 16, 2021, in which she suggests putting granulated sugar into a blender, a coffee grinder or a food processor for two to three fast pulses.

Veronica on 10/24/2019

Autumn 2019 update
I have added a recipe for a soup I tried today and also a comment about Apple juice.

frankbeswick on 08/06/2019

It could be a great apple crop this year. I will give you some.

Veronica on 11/12/2018

Yes, I believe in eating what is in season. We had the Irish apple cake yesterday for Sunday dinner. I hope you enjoyed your apple dessert.

jptanabe on 11/09/2018

I do enjoy apple crisp - that's what we will be having for dessert tonight!

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