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 06/23/2017

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

Veronica on 06/23/2017

Thank you. I firmly believe that we should eat what is seasonal.

We are going to be doing the cordials soon ready for winter.

frankbeswick on 06/22/2017

Having a network for using apples is worthwhile. I have three apple trees and several homes ,each of which wants apples: my own, two of my children's houses , and some for Veronica. There should be no waste there.

katiem2 on 06/22/2017

Lovely article, I have a few apple trees, I do visit the local apple farms in the fall and ALWAYS buy way to many apples, this will come in handy then.

frankbeswick on 04/12/2017

Does he need two trees. It depends upon the apple tree variety. Normally there are so many apple trees around that there is enough free floating pollen, though Bramleys are more difficult as they are triploid, which means that they need a complex pollination from three sources. You must also realize that dessert apples fall into five pollination groups and baking apples fall into three. Each group can only be pollinated by its own members or members of the one besides it.

If it is a young tree in its first year, tell him to strip the fruit early and take nothing from it, for that way the tree develops roots better without having to use up energy in fruiting.

Does David know what variety the tree is? If he does, I can look it up for him; and remember, Andrew [my son] worked for many years in a fruit tree nursery and was well trained, so David can always ask his advice. Andrew knows more about fruit tree varieties than I do, it is his specialism. He has taken on the role of managing my [our] allotment fruit trees, that is after his success advising on the planting of a community orchard on the allotment site.

Veronica on 04/12/2017

The apple sauce has a lovely buttery texture and I use it with pork or even on scones .

Veronica on 04/12/2017

There is plenty to do with apples and the glorious food that is about us. I am very keen on preserving ad my two daughters in law have started preserving too.

My youngest son has now got an apple tree and I am wondering if he needs two to make them produce fruit. Can you let him know please ?

frankbeswick on 04/12/2017

When you have apple trees you need to monitor them daily during fruiting, as you can use the windfalls or the June drop, when the trees shed surplus fruit. An old recipe in England was for windfall pie, when the fallen apples were picked and baked. As the apples are not very sugary at this stage you need to add some sweetener.

Veronica on 04/11/2017

Thank you . I am a great believer in foraging for food and eating what is seasonally available to us.

The crumble is a massive British favourite and every household probably has their own way of making it. Any fruit can be used or it can be a savoury crumble put on a vegetable stew and without sugar in the crumble topping of course. We had some young German neighbours once and I used to make them a crumble. They loved it.

I am now on the last of my Marrow and Apple and chutney which has seen us trough the winter. Marrow tastes like a huge courgette ( or Zucchini in USA ) It can be used with many other flavours.

Castor sugar ...hmm I don't know what you call it in USA . I buy it and use it in my baking. It is very, very finely ground sugar so makes for a smoother blending and texture in the food. I shall try to discover for you what Americans call caster sugar if I can.

DerdriuMarriner on 04/11/2017

Veronica, Great recipes, particularly the crumble and the sauce! What do caster sugar and marrow taste like? Is the sugar something you make or buy or both?

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