Five Favorites: Apples After the Orchard
Early orchard crops are beginning to ripen in our area, and we can hardly wait to go apple picking! We'll admit, though, we're sometimes guilty of picking far more apples than we can eat once we get out among the trees. If you're headed to the orchard this weekend, we've rounded up five ideas for using a surplus of our favorite fall fruit.
Lighted Apple Garland: If a few of your apples are on the small side, pair them with freshly-snipped branches and a strand of delicate string lights for a glowing autumn centerpiece.
Baked Apples: One of our favorite fall desserts, baked apples make a great last-minute treat since they need just a few pantry staples. We especially like to make them with tart apple varieties that balance their sweet filling. Preheat your oven to 350F, remove the core from an apple, and fill the hollowed space with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Bake for 15 minutes in a shallow pan, and enjoy the flavors of fall.
Apple Votives: Hollow the center of a few apples-- ones with flat, stable bottoms are best-- and tuck a votive inside or pour your own wax and add a wick. Choose a fall-scented wax for a double dose of autumn cheer.
Apple Cider Granita: If it's still warm in your region, pick up some apple cider while you're at the orchard for a summer-to-fall treat. Pour the cider into a baking pan, place it in the freezer, and stir once an hour with a fork until the cider is completely frozen. Afterward, scrape the frozen cider into a bowl or glass to serve. We like to spice up this treat with tart lemon juice, favorite herbs, or a hint of ginger.
Cider Simmer Pot: Welcome fall guests to a sweet-smelling home by simmering some leftover cider in a pot on the stove. Toss in cinnamon sticks, cloves, or orange slices for a more complex fragrance, and make sure the cider doesn't come to a boil.