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

Appe 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.





Updated: 09/19/2017, Veronica
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Veronica on 10/09/2017

Thank you Katie. Apples do last and your friend was right - ugly apples still taste good.

At the moment the upside apple cake is going down well as it uses up so many apples and is so easy to make. Good luck with your harvest. I think nature provides us with what we need at this time of year.

katiem2 on 10/09/2017

Lovely ideas as to what to do with apples in the fall. A friend just gave me a huge bag of orchard apples, he told me, "Now they are very ugly but I promise they are the best apple you will eat or one of the best." He was right on both counts but I can only eat so many apples so fast, give many away and share and still left with tons of apples, I thought of you and your ideas, so thanks again for this great guide to using apple harvest wisely

Veronica on 09/19/2017

As requested I have added the Irish Apple upside down cake recipe above.

Veronica on 09/17/2017

Yes indeed. There is a feeling of satisfaction knowing that we have provided all these lovely, wholesome things for our families.

It s interesting that you posted this today as I am doing an Irish apple upside cake with my Harvest today when my grandchildren visit. I am posting the recipe later after Church this morning.

I am particularly interested in your dried cherries . Care to share your recipe?

sheilamarie on 09/16/2017

We have three apple trees that we try to beat the deer in picking. Or the bears! Or raccoons! This year we had a good harvest. I tend to wrap each apple in paper and put in a cool dark place, which is my root cellar. That way I can focus on canning and preserving some of the other fruit that doesn't keep as well and keep the apples to use later. I dry my cherries and make preserves from pears and plums and blackberries. Like you, I enjoy looking at all the coloured fruit in jars on my shelves. Wouldn't it be fun to trade a few with each other?

Veronica on 08/22/2017

I just love doing preserves of any kind. Pickles, jams, sauces, cordials.
There is a great feeling of achievement when I look at shelves of my preserves in pretty pots. jars and bottles.

Guest on 08/22/2017

All of your apple to use apples is delicious! We do not have any fruit tress, I wish we did! My dad had all kinds of fruit trees when we were growing up. Great article, thanks for sharing!

Veronica on 08/21/2017

Thank you Kimbesa.

We are keen foragers. Close to here, we have community orchards and anyone can go and pick fruit for free! Yesterday my son's family picked pears and blackberries there. I made blackberry crumble for Sunday dinner in the evening.

The apples are just starting here also. I believe that Nature has given us what we need for our health at every season of the year. If we can preserve some of it, all the better.
My dad used to have blackcurrants, plums and rhubarb in the garden and Mum would have jams and jellies made and potted within 45 mins of the blackcurrants being picked. To this day my favourite jams are still blackcurrant jam and plum jam. Nothing however tastes as good as my mother's jam from freshly picked garden fruit. Bliss on the taste buds.

kimbesa on 08/21/2017

Thank you for these recipes! Apple season is just getting started here. We have lots of orchards in the general area, so plenty of choices for fresh apples.

Veronica on 06/23/2017

I made some delicious Apple and Marrow chutney last Autumn. I love doing preserves.

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