I have always been a fan of eating seasonally. Fruits and vegetables in season always taste the best because they are picked at their natural peak and are generally more affordable in their period of abundance. My fall internship at Saveur Magazine in New York means no homework — so taking advantage of my work-free weekend and the apple season, I decided to go apple picking upstate. At 65 cents a pound, it was hard not to go a little apple-crazy. I later realized that it would be virtually impossible to consume all of the apples that I had purchased raw before they turned rotten. And so, while I encourage you to take a road trip to one of the apple orchards listed here and pick your own, you should take a look at these recipes so that you have options for your harvest.
Quick and Easy Applesauce
Applesauce is not just meant for babies. I love making my own hearty applesauce and using it to flavor yogurt, oatmeal, or just to spread on toast. This recipe is simple and always comes out well. You can add other flavor agents like raisins, maple syrup, or nutmeg if you’d like, but I prefer to keep it plain and let the natural sweetness of the apples shine through.
What You’ll Need
- 6 firm apples (I like to use Honey Crisp, Braeburn, or Pink Lady), peeled, cored, and chopped into approximately ½ inch cubes
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Place the apples and water in a large pot and cover.
- Simmer over medium-low heat for approximately 25-30 mins, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
- Remove the pot from the heat when the apples are very tender but still have some shape to them.
- Stir in the cinnamon and allow the mixture to cool before placing into a sealable container.
- The apple sauce will last for a week in the refrigerator but can also be frozen and keep for months.
Potato and Apple Hash
This might sound a bit weird, but the apples and onions add a faint sweetness to this dish that makes it simply irresistible!
What You’ll Need
- 3 firm apples, peeled, cored, and finely sliced
- 2 white onions, peeled and finely sliced (the onions should be sliced the same thickness as the apples)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons oil (I prefer to use grapeseed, but vegetable or canola works well too)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Once the butter is melted, add the onions and apples and cook for approximately five minutes, until the apples and onions are slightly tender.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the maple syrup, and continue to cook, making sure to stir the mixture so that the entire mixture cooks evenly.
- While the apples and onions are cooking, place the potatoes in a large pot with enough cold water to cover and boil.
- Once the water has boiled, continue to cook the potatoes for another ten minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender when tested with a fork.
- Once the potatoes are tender, drain them and add to the apple and onion mixture. Raise the heat to medium high, and add the remaining tablespoon of butter and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.
- Cook until the potatoes are slightly browned, and serve.