Happy Autumn Everyone! It's a pretty great time of year! Now, I know that everyone gets all excited these days over their pumpkin beers and pumpkin lattes, and pumpkin pies, and all, but let us not forget our apple friends who were longtime fall symbols! Besides, I don't know about you, but in my farm share there are usually several apples, and maybe 1 pumpkin, if at all!
Those gals know what I'm talking about! ANYWAY...I often find myself swamped with more apples and apple products than I could possibly manage to consume on my own! And maybe you don't get a farm share, but you've bought a bunch of apples to make a pie or a crumble or just snacks for a healthy kids party or something! Whatever the reason, here are a few tips on how to get through apple season without feeling like you're wasting those good cores, or mealy apples. And of course, as a New Yorker, apple love is in my blood, let us stop wasting and start enjoying!
1. Apple Bourbon. YUM!
his is super simple, and will surprise and delight your guests. You could just go ahead and buy some Jim Beam Apple, if you want. BUT if you've already got a bunch of apple cores hanging around from that huge vat of apple slaw that you made, why not just dump them all into a pitcher and pour over whatever bourbon you've got around...or go buy some bourbon to pour! That's it! Once you've combined those two ingredients just let them sit (somewhere covered in room temps) and marinate. The longer it sits the more infused it becomes. I would suggest at least a few days if not a week or so. Here's a very organized person's recipe for this thing I don't think really needs one. Please don't use dried apples for this (those are called apple chips), and I wouldn't use such a pricey bourbon--go with something mid-range, like Evan Williams. If you have a shitty bourbon you can use that too, but I would allow extra infusion time to help save the flavor. Then you can do with the bourbon what you please! Rocks for me :)
2. Apple Syrup. Good for Cocktails & Pancakes!
This is a great way to use all sorts of apple parts! Whether you have cores from making apple butter, or just some mealy apples that have been sitting on your counter judging you as you consumed chocolate cake and pumpkin ice cream instead of nature's dessert, you can use them for this recipe! But you will need a good strainer or cheesecloth to be sure you don't end up with a mix between a jelly and a syrup, like this guy. Now you can also use a thickening agent if you wanted to split some of this into a substitute for that Canadian syrup you're almost out of, but I prefer a lighter drizzle for both. When I did this the other day, I actually used some cores that I had frozen from last year! Half of them had even been from my bourbon solution--which is totally an option! Wherever you get them from, just dump them in a pot and start to cook them down--medium high heat. Then you can add the liquid and sugar or whatever sweetener you choose to use. Generally when making a simple syrup you want to use a 1:1 ratio sugar:liquid, but with the apples it changes it up a little, so keep that in mind. You can also throw in other spices if you want, like cinnamon or nutmeg, but I say keep it simple stupid! :) After about 45 minutes to an hour, if it looks like it's all cooked down a good deal then you can strain the liquid out and refrigerate--should keep for a few weeks to a month.
3. Apple Tea Party!
No, this is not a gathering for conservatives who like tea, however if they do and would like to try this out, then they should. If you ran out of your favorite fruity tea and you're craving something hot you can stick your apple cores and peels into some water and heat low and slow to get the max amount of flavor, and again if you want to add some spices to the mix, do it! This is a perfect application if you've only got like 1 or 2 apple bits.
4. Lastly, EAT THE DANG THANG!
Now, I personally am not into the texture of the core, however it's not going to harm you--as long as you don't choke on the seeds. But if you don't believe me you can take it from this guy. I'll stick to my bourbon though, thanks!
Now go ahead and make an apple latte and call your doctor in the morning. Cuz he called. Did I forget to tell you that? Yeah, said it's important. Don't worry I won't drink ALL of your apple bourbon.