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 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!

Veronica on 11/08/2018

Some good tips here .

I love preserving food for the cold months . Lots of lovely jars on the shelves or boxes in the freezer.

katiem2 on 11/02/2018

I like freezing apples, slice apples as I would for apple pie, dust with cinnamon, which is a mild anti fungal, toss into a freezer bad. This saves time on Thanksgiving and Christmas when baking holiday pies. I always seem to run short on time, this helps nemeses and the apples still taste fresh. Yes, the freezing method is a good and handy one.

Veronica on 11/01/2018

How good is that !

I have added my favourite Irish Apple Cake from County Kerry to the page above for your to try if you so wish.

sockii on 11/01/2018

Great ideas! One of our local farmer's markets was just closing for the season yesterday and I bought a giant basket of end-of-the-season apples for all of $1.50. I've got to use them up this weekend so you've given me some great ideas (for sure the ones in better shape I'm going to slice and freeze them as you described, using my vacuum sealer to make air-tight packages.)

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

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