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4 Creative Ways To Cook With Apples

4 Creative Ways to Cook with Apples main Salisbury Sherwood Park

Once harvest season rolls around, those of us with apple trees are always scrambling to find creative recipe ideas. One can only eat so many pies, tarts, and crumbles””as delicious as they are, you don’t want to overdo it with the buttery, sugary pastries. So, the Salisbury team has been on the lookout for creative apple recipes for Edmonton gardeners, to save you the guesswork of figuring out what to do with excess apples from this year’s harvest.

Behold, our findings! These four recipe ideas are all non-desserts, so you can enjoy these classic summer fruits in a multitude of ways, without consuming buckets of butter and sugar in the process.    

cooking with apples apple butter Salisbury Sherwood Park

Apple Butter

Don’t let the name fool you””there isn’t actually any butter in this recipe! Rather, it’s a sweet, sour, and slightly spicy spread that can be enjoyed on sandwiches, or used as a base for homemade barbecue sauce. There are a few steps to the process, and different recipes will call for varying amounts of sugar and other additives, but it pretty much boils down to these few steps: 

  • Slice up the fruit into quarters, keeping the cores and skins intact. The cores contain lots of natural pectin, and the peels are full of flavour! Boil them for twenty minutes in a pot of water with about a cup of cider vinegar. 
  • Once they’re cooked and soft, puree with a food mill or chinois sieve and a pestle. This will make sure the seeds don’t make their way in, but you still have a beautiful, smooth base.
  • Add in your sugar, lemon juice and spices (for savoury butter, we recommend cloves, allspice, and cinnamon) and then cook the mixture on low-medium heat for two hours, stirring frequently to ensure the bottom of your pan doesn’t get crusty. Once it’s reduced and thickened nicely, you can pop it into some sterilized jars for storage!

You’ll be amazed by the smooth and creamy consistency of this vegan, fruit-based spread. No wonder they call it butter! Add it to your favourite barbecue sauce, or search for a recipe to make it from scratch, for the juiciest pork ribs you’ll ever taste! 

cooking with apples hard apple cider Salisbury Sherwood Park

Hard Apple Cider

All my gluten-free pals agree, cider is by far the best beer alternative for summer sipping. This recipe requires some specific equipment, but once you’ve got it, you can keep brewing up cider batches every autumn to share with friends and family. You’ll need a fruit press or mechanical juicer to make this tart, bubbly fruit beverage, because those Granny Smiths aren’t exactly easy to squeeze like an orange or lemon. 

For small batches, you can use a one-gallon jar, but if you want to make lots, we recommend a 3 or 5″“gallon carboy. You’ll also need an airlock and a stopper in the correct size for your fermentation container. To begin the fermentation process, strain the juice and pour it into your containers with a funnel. And that’s it! You don’t need to add anything, because there is naturally occurring yeast living on the skin of the fruit (assuming they haven’t been sprayed with chemicals). 

The first couple of days after filling the jar, you might notice some foam and gunk clogging up the stopper, so try to keep that clean so that it doesn’t get too funky. After the first week, you shouldn’t have any more issues. Your cider will be ready at some point between a few weeks or a few months, depending on the sugar content in the apples and the temperature where it’s stored. Once the bubbling has slowed down and stopped, that means that most of the sugar has been eaten up by the yeast, and it’s ready to serve. 

cooking with apples bbq ribs with apples Salisbury Sherwood Park

Marinated Korean BBQ Short Ribs

For the ultimate fall-off-the-bone short ribs, marinate your meat overnight in an Asian-style marinade with one or two fresh, pureed apples. The acid in the apples will act as a meat tenderizer, so your ribs will be soft and succulent, never tough or chewy. For classic Korean BBQ short ribs, whip together this amazing marinade that tastes way better than the store-bought stuff:

  • â…“ cup sherry wine
  • â…“ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • â…› cup brown sugar
  • 3″“4 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste or sriracha
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Once you add your fruit puree, this should make enough marinade to coat 4 pounds of trimmed beef short ribs. Once they’ve sat overnight in the fridge, they’re ready to be tossed onto the barbecue! You’ll love the contract of tender, juicy meat coated with a sticky, crunchy char from the caramelized fruit sugars. 

cooking with apples chorizo balsamic apple Salisbury Sherwood Park

Roasted Chorizo And Balsamic Apples

I tried this dish at a fancy tapas restaurant a few years ago and spent a pretty penny on what ended up being a tiny ramekin with a few bites of food. What is this, a restaurant for ants?! Though the dish lasted me about two minutes, those were two glorious minutes, and I resisted the urge to order four more servings. Instead, I figured I’d try to recreate the dish at home, in a Rob-sized portion. 

Just chop up a bunch of chorizo sausage (the raw stuff, not the dry-cured kind) and fry it up in a pan to drain out some of that fat. Once you’ve poured out the excess fat, toss in some cubed apples, skins on, a bit of minced sweet onion, one bay leaf, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and a bit of garlic. Fry that up for a few minutes, then add a few ounces of hard cider. Keep cooking until the liquid reduces and creates a thick, sticky coating. Remove the bay leaf, season with oregano and chilli flakes, and it’s ready to eat.

Want to start growing your own fruit trees at home? Late summer and fall are a great time to plant because the soil’s temperature is nice and comfortable for the roots. Visit our greenhouse, order online from our Grow Store, book us for concierge shopping, or place an order over the phone to arrange curbside pickup or home delivery!

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Read through our Growing Guides for tips to enrich your garden! 

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