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.

Updated: 10/21/2016, Veronica
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Veronica on 10/21/2016

I have added my friends' apple crumble recipe which she made from her harvest. I hope you like it.

Veronica on 10/19/2016

The National Trust in Britain is doing much to preserve and revive apple varieties.

frankbeswick on 10/19/2016

Cooking apples can be used in cider, for this drink can be made with a mixture of cooking, dessert and cider apples, though the best ciders come from cider apples.

Some apple varieties have become extinct, but occasionally one is found in an old orchard and revived. Similarly, the new variety, Bardsey Island, was a spontaneously arising variety discovered by a visitor in the garden of a deserted cottage on that isle.

You need to propagate apples not from seed, but by cuttings. They call this vegetative [non-sexual] propagation, and it is the way that varieties can be preserved without having their unique genes diluted.

Veronica on 10/19/2016

Yes indeed. Some friends of ours owned apple orchards in the S of England but they were doing badly as they grew cooking apples as opposed to dessert apples. When people stopped making apple cakes, pies , crumbles and other home cooked puddings regularly, their business dwindled and so now they grow sweeter apples.

You are right about the number of varieties although many British apple varieties are now extinct, sadly.

Veronica on 10/19/2016

i am great believer in eating what nature has provided for us. The apple sauce is lovely with scones or as an accompaniment to cheeses, pates or hams

Today I froze another few tubs.

blackspanielgallery on 10/19/2016

It is amazing how versatile apples are, but the varieties are many and choosing the right variety is also important. Each has uses, and they are not interchangeable.

candy47 on 10/19/2016

I like your applesauce recipe, it's buttery. Looking forward to more apple recipes.

frankbeswick on 10/17/2016

The first biblical reference to apples! The fruit of the tree of knowledge in Eden is not specified. There are several candidates, but some scholars suggest that the writer was thinking of quince. It is possible that when the Bible speaks of wine and strong drink the latter was a form of cider, so it is suggested, but this is not certain, however psalm 17, attributed to David, speaks of the apple of thine eye. David was somewhere after a thousand bc, but well before 900.

Veronica on 10/17/2016

That's vey interesting especially given the early Biblical references to apples

frankbeswick on 10/17/2016

I have three apple trees, but one has biennialized this year, which means that after a bumper year it has decided to have a year off and so has produced few apples. This is a phenomenon common with apple trees. The fruit of the others I have shared between me and my son's family.

You mention the apple's being taken into America. It was an introduction to Britain also, as the original home of apples and pears was central Asia, where there are still very many varieties. It was taken westwards by traders and spread across the Eurasian landmass.

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