4 Easy Apple Recipes

Fall is the time to collect nature’s bounty, and these four recipes will make the most of your harvest.


Pick local apples. It’s best to let apples ripen on the tree rather than picking before they are ready and then coaxing them to ripen on the kitchen counter. Look for apples whose color has mellowed from a green tinged background to a yellow undertone. Harvest easily with a twist of the apple to release it from the branch, leaving a small portion of the stem on the apple. Take care not to puncture or bruise the fruit.

Store Granny Smith or Fuji apples at 30°- 40°F in covered, but ventilated, containers. Proper storage in an unheated basement or garage could mean fall bounty on your holiday table.

Create by thinking outside the pie. Consider our heirloom farm recipes for lightly sweet, healthy and appealing ways to use apples. Savor fall’s harvest long into the winter by making applesauce, chutney and crabapple pickles. Or share the sweetness of fall’s bounty with a neighbor, a favorite teacher, coworker or coach by baking an apple crisp or creating a caramel apple.

Apple Charlotte Zurich Style

  • 6 green apples (peeled and cored)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 12 thin slices firm white bread

1. Cut apples into 1/2 inch slices and place in a pot. Add 1/4 cup sugar and raisins, then cover and simmer until barely tender.

2. Butter 8” square pan and sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar on the bottom and sides. Melt 1/2 cup butter and brush both sides of the bread slices. Line the pan with all but four of them.

3. Drain apple slices and pour over bread. Top with the four remaining slices. Dust with a bit more sugar and dot with butter if desired.

4. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Serve with ice cream.

Green Tomato and Apple Chutney

  • 1 cup green pepper
  • 4 cups ripe tomato
  • 2 cups green tomato
  • 4 cups apple
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 4 cups cider vinegar

1. Chop vegetables and fruit. Mix with rest of the ingredients and boil gently for 1 1/2 hours.

2. Pour into hot clean jars, adjusting caps and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

Crabapple Pickles

  • 6 cups sugar
  • 2/3 quart vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon

1. Wash firm crabapples and remove flower end, leaving the stem. Punch skin with fork in 3 places.

2. Make syrup: Boil ingredients for 5 minutes, then add apples. Boil 5 more minutes, taking care not to overcook.

Apple Crisp

  • 4 cups apple (cored, peeled and sliced)
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter

1. Spread apple in 9” square pan.

2. Combine remaining ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle over apples.

3. Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes until apples are tender and top is browned.

4. Serve warm with ice cream.

Lisa Hilgenberg is the Fruit and Vegetable Horticulturist at Chicago Botanic Garden.