7 Ways to Use Up Apples + Favorite Apple Pie Filling Recipe!

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Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!


These past few weeks have been AAALLLLL about apples! I’m swimming in them. We bought 150 pounds of apples – gala and jonagold – and have been busy baking, dehydrating, munching, and canning!

Here are 15 ways to use apples and my favorite versatile apple pie filling recipe! Bonus: Processing apples is THE perfect way to transition to fall season! It’s a wonderful tradition your kids will love as they help in the kitchen.

Fresh Eating!

Of course 🙂 Snacking, with lunch, dipping in peanut butter, etc! A favorite snack is “apple nachos” – slice thin, drizzle with caramel, and add mini chocolate chips!

Dehydrating

I love dehydrating apples. We make apple slices about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick (I don’t even core them – just pop out the seeds) and process in the dehydrator for 8 hours until crisp at 135 degrees. You can also do this in the oven. Bake on parchment paper for 3 hours at 200 degrees, flipping over after an hour. 

Diced apples have been my new favorite thing to dehydrate. We just dice them relatively small and process the same as apple slices. They’re perfect for snacking, adding to trail mix, granola, or oatmeal, or tossing into muffins and quick breads before baking! 

Quick tip: The Food Saver jar sealer was a big help for me!

Applesauce

Of course, applesauce is a given, right? I make mine in a few different ways. I peel mine so I can use the peels for other things. Plus peeling them before cooking helps the applesauce not to be as gummy because you remove most of the pectin. Using our handy dandy apple peeler and corer really helps! 

You can use one variety but most people recommend adding a few types of apples or perhaps even some pears for the richest taste. This year I did all galas and some jonagolds because that’s what I could get at the best deal. 

  • Peel and core apples (set aside for other uses)
  • Slice or chop apples
  • Put in a crock pot or stock pot
  • Add a cup of water
  • Crock pot: cook on high for 4 hours
  • Stock pot: bring to a boil and then simmer until soft
  • Mash up to break them down a bit
  • For smooth sauce, use a food mill and grind all the applesauce through
  • Process in a water bath canner for 25-30 minutes for quart jars

For more information and recipes about canning, I recommend the Ball Blue Book and the OSU extension office

Apple Juice

Reserve the apple cores for making apple juice / cider. Put the cores and some cinnamon to taste (I usually do a tsp for a large pot so it’s just a hint) in a stock pot and add water until just covering the fruit. Simmer for 40 minutes and then strain. Your kids will love it! Serve it warm as a special treat. 

four bushels of apples to process - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Peeling apples - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Apple peelings for apple jelly - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

apples in crock pot - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Food mill for applesauce - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Canned applesauce - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Dehydrating apple slices - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Dehydrated apple slices - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Dehydrating diced apples - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Food saver jar sealer for dehydrated apples - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Dehydrated diced apples - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Chopped apple pie filling - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Canned apple pie filling - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

Homemade apple pie - Have a bunch of apples? Find 7 ways to use up apples with tips and recipes, including my favorite apple pie filling recipe that can be used as ice cream topping or syrup, too!

    

Apple Jelly

Use those peels and make apple jelly! I have made it both with and without pectin and prefer to add pectin to make it set better. But you CAN make it without and it still gels from the pectin in the apple peels. Here is a good recipe to try. If you want to try without pectin, here is a recipe for that. 

You can store them in the fridge or process them in a waterbacth canner for 20 minutes for pints. Makes a fantastic gift for neighbors at Christmas! Give them apple jelly and an artisan bread! (Bonus tip – if you have a dutch oven use this recipe for artisan bread – it comes out perfectly and presents so well as a gift!) 

Apple Cider Vinegar

This is something I really need to try. It’s on my list for this fall! Here’s an apple cider vinegar recipe to check out!

Apple Pie

I found this great recipe for making pie crusts in bulk. I totally messed it up and it still worked. My kind of recipe 😉 Make a lattice by using these instructions. (updated to add: I pulled the frozen pie crust dough from this batch recipe out a couple of hours before using and it was just right for handling and rolling. Baked up perfectly too.)

Here’s my favorite Apple Pie Filling recipe! The great thing is you can use this as ice cream topping or blend it a bit for topping pancakes and waffles. It’s delicious!  

Best Apple Pie Filling 

  •  10 cups apples, chopped into small-ish pieces and put them in crock pot.
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups water
  • 10 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cinnamon
  • Cornstarch or flour to thicken after opening jar

Add apples and lemon juice to a crock pot or stock pot and mix well to coat. Add water, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and mix well. Cook 3-4 hours on high in the crock pot or until softened. Or simmer on the stove about an hour until softened. Process in a water bath canner for 25-30 minutes for quart jars. After opening it, mix in 1-2 tbsp cornstarch or flour to thicken before adding to the crust. You could also add Clear Gel before canning or just let it be a little runny. 

Baking Your Apple Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 375. 
  2. Use the dough recipe above and put the bottom crust down in a greased pie pan. 
  3. Put a quart of apple pie filling in the pie shell. 
  4. Add a crust or lattice (if desired) and brush with egg white, then sprinkle with white sugar. 
  5. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 25 min. 
  6. Uncover and bake 20-25 min until top is golden. 
  7. Let cool and set a bit before serving. 

 

Do you have any other great uses for peels and cores? 

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I love that you use every part of the apple! That is so cool. I’ll have to remember that when I have a bunch of apples again (this was not a good year due to hail and late freeze). I found via Thriving Thursday!

  2. UGH! You make it look so easy! LOL I tried making applesauce and jelly. My sauce turned out GREAT! My jelly, not so good. I even re-cooked it twice! It still did not gel. I’m not sure what went wrong. Oh well. There’s always next year. (At least it still tastes good! It’s just syrup instead of jelly!)

    1. Did you refrigerate it? Even after using pectin, which I always do even when it says I don’t have to for apple peel jelly, it doesn’t firm up until refrigerated. Then it’s just right! either way, it would make an awesome syrup too 🙂

  3. Use the peels and cores to make ACV (apple cider vinegar) also. Just leave them to soak in water, covered but not sealed stirring once a week, for anywhere between 6 weeks and 6 months depending on the strength you are looking for, drain off the liquid and let continue to ferment for another few weeks lightly covered and jar it up. Mold growth on top is normal and can be scooped off.

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