Fuji Apple tree in yard loaded, now what?
So Fuji's are great eating, but I just can't eat that many. They are crisp, juicy, and sweet... we just bought this house this year, so this is our first harvest. What else can I do with them? Are they good for pies? Sauce? Juice? If so, is there a way to juice them without a real juicer? If not, is this worth the investment? TIA!
Juice juice juice! You have a live and tame and captive source of alar-free, non-sprayed (you didn't spray them, did you?) organically grown super-fresh apples! Get a Juiceman.
I've yet to meet an apple pie I didn't like, even using the apples people always say aren't good for pie (even red delicious makes a good pie in my book). Make those pies -- but taste the "raw" mixed apple filling carefully. You may not need to add as much sugar as your favorite recipe calls for. Also, since these apples have a high water content, I'd leave them in larger chunks than normal, just because they break down.
I'd do a few test pies -- but the great thing about pies is even if they aren't fantastic, they are still pretty darn good :) You may have to fiddle around witht he flour/cornstarch content to find what thickens these apples to your liking, since they probably won't thicken as easily as a Granny Smith.
Bake those pies (or turnovers, or apple roll -- whole wheat apple rolls are one of my favorite things about fall) and FREEZE THEM. They freeze well, as long as the pastry is well protected (I use cake boxes from the bakery), they will thaw and reheat beautifully. You can be having "instant" apple desserts up until Christmas!
I made sauce and apple butter from my apple surplus. The difference was I removed 1/3 the batch when it looked like apple sauce, and kept on cooking the rest for an hour or so longer til it broke down even more and carmelized a bit. I didn't bother to can it as my recipe said it would last in jars in the fridge for a month.
Here's what I do. Use them to make pie filling as others have said, but don't make pies. Also don't add too much sugar and actually keep it a little more runny than you would for a normal pie. You can actually freeze a lot of it in tupperware and it keeps for a real long time, plus just put it in the fridge for a day to defrost nicely. Have some with pork chops for dinner, and if you are in the mood for pie, simply make small crust rounds (instead of a whole pie) and serve a scoop of apples, a round of crust, with a side of vanilla bean ice cream. Perfect.
Fuji apples are also wonderful in apple cakes, (best being Apple Hill Vol.I apple cake). Start chopping, and baking, and use them as holiday gifts. (They freeze extremely well after cooking). The Fuji apples make for a very nice, very sweet cake.
If you don't have the Apple Hill cookbook Vol.1, respond, and I'll paraphrase accordingly, (with the "missing" ingredient).
This is really, really good, and really, really easy to make!
Here you go:
4 c. diced apples
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add apples to the sugar/egg/oil mixture.
Add dry ingredients to the apple mixture, and stir until everything is incorporated into a batter.
Pour the batter into a greased 9x13 cake pan, and bake for one hour.
Really good hot, warm, or cold; plain, or with whipped cream, ice cream, etc.
re: Andy P.
Thank you so very much for posting this recipe, Andy. I kept a promise to my Godmother and planted a Fuji apple tree for her late son, my cousin. I wouldn't have ever believed the apples that I've gotten from my tree. And this year, I have way too many so I will probably share them with family and friends.
But I am going to make your apple cake for me! Thanks again!
I have two suggestions. You can store them in a cool dark place, they keep really well. Additionally, they make wonderful gifts for friends and family around the holidays. A few years ago I sent fuji apples from Apple Hill to my parents in so. cal. and gave some away to other relatives. It was a real hit, they raved about the apples for months afterwards.
A friend of mine had a great grand aunt who still lived in the house her father built after they crossed the great plains in a covered wagon. Out behind the house they had 4 or 6 apple trees he planted shortly after the house was built. One year at the end of apple season my friend and I went to go visit her. She was so happy because she had someone to help her with the apple press. Let me tell you, until you have pressed your own fresh juice you don't know what a wonderful thing it is.
So it sounds like yes you should get a juicer, but more than that you need to learn to can fruit if you don't already, and you need a big deep freeze in the basement or garage or someplace for the things you are going to be making.