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Can mealy apples be saved?

I'm so disappointed. I bought these gorgeous Empire apples from the orchard and they're sweet but mealy. I hate to through them away. Is there anything I can make using these apples that will save them from my trash can?

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  1. Sure! Sauce them and make applesauce cake or any old cake that could benefit from a little moisture; dice them up and throw them in pancakes or oatmeal; cut them in half and roast them with brown sugar and cinnamon for baked apples (or applesauce, if they fall apart); throw chunks around a roasting chicken with some delicata half-moons, onion slices and thyme...

    1. As long as they're simply mealy, but not rotten, you can chop them up, and simmer them down, covered, to sauce or puree consistency. Add a little butter and brown sugar and whisk them now and then once they get mushy. You can use that as a thick topping for pancakes, oatmeal, etc.

      And--I'm not sure about this, maybe someone else could tell us--but I wonder if you could cook them down for apple butter?

      Or, I often rough chop apples and slow braise them with onions, garlic, carrots, raisins, etc., and a complimentary stew meat. When I do that, the apples usually break down so far and get mushy, anyway, that I don't the mealiness would still be an issue. But you say they're sweet, so they'd still add to the flavor.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Steady Habits

        My main concern is that the mealiness will still be there even if I cook them. But like you said, if I cook them down enough I'm assuming that that wouldn't be an issue. ...And it just so happens that I'm making a pork roast for dinner tomorrow night ;-)

        1. re: krisrishere

          You know, I just happened to think...depending on where you are...if your orchards are still open and you bought the apples recently, and they haven't been hanging around for eight weeks, etc. ;-), you do have the option of taking them back and asking for replacements... (Wouldn't be an option for me in New England, because our orchards are closed now, but depending on where you are.)

          However, I have to say, I've often enough ended up with mealy apples from the supermarket, so I toss them into roasting pans with meat, or the braises. Maybe I wouldn't win any culinary prizes for those entrees, but I haven't gotten complaints from my family. And, of course, a pork roast makes *the* perfect best buddy for apples and onions. Can I come to dinner, LOL? ;-)

          1. re: Steady Habits

            Unfortunately, my husband and I traveled to SW Pennsylvania and brought these apples home (Norfolk, VA). Apples and pork are a marriage made in culinary heaven and (shame on me) I've never braised any apples with my pork roast before..how do you do it?

            1. re: krisrishere

              I don't braise apples along with the pork, but I do make an apple/onion sauté seasoned with salt, pepper, and allspice that I serve along with the pork. Quite tasty.

              1. re: jmnewel

                Reminds me of Pasadena Curry, as prepared by a college roommate's mother. Saute onions and apples along with some curry powder. Add chicken broth and thickener. Use this as a vehicle for leftover lamb or chicken.

              2. re: krisrishere

                Well, in this case, you're going to roast the pork, not braise it. When roasting, I simply quarter and core the apples, and rough chop them further when I want smaller pieces and put them in the pan with my chopped onions, and potatoes and carrots, when I'm using them also. I sometimes add some walnuts, and/or raisins . A drizzle of EVOO over the produce, toss it briefly to coat it, and seasoning and desired herbs or spices. I leave the peel on the apples sometimes, sometimes not. Then, let it all roast away. The apples will get mushy sometimes, but it just makes it saucy.

                jmnewel's idea does sound tasty, too.

                1. re: krisrishere

                  I put my apples, onions, sage, thyme, maybe some dried fruit, and a bay leaf or two under my pork roast and sometimes, when doing a bone -in center cut pork roast I lay sliced of apples and onions in the space caused by having the ribs cut from the back bone for easy slicing.

                  As this all cooks I toss the veg now and again, and sometimes add some port or cider or even a hearty ale to the pan...

                  When the roast is done we have a great "confit" of cooked apples, onions, raisins, or apricots, or prunes, etc.

              3. re: krisrishere

                The mealiness will altogether vanish in cooking.

            2. I use my mealy apples diced and cooked in my morning oatmeal.

              1. I'd probably make freshly squeezed apple juice (if you have a juicer). The cooked apple thing can work if you really cook it for a long time.

                1. As long as it's not a dish requiring strong stand-along apple flavor, any cooked use is fine. Mealy apples are too dry for anything juicy, and have weaker flavor. You wouldn't want to use them in pie, for example, unless you mixed them with some crisp, juicy ones. Empires are related to Red Delicious, which are notorious for being anything but. People usually pick the darkest colored Red Delicious in the bin, but in fact, those with lighter color, and some striation, are more likely to be juicy and crisp. Dark red Delicious apples tend to be mealy.

                  Use the mealy apples in the pan with pork or chicken. You can even wash, peel (or not),core, quarter, and freeze them for later use in roasts. They'll be mushy but it won't matter since you're cooking them into oblivion.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: greygarious

                    Your mention of freezing the apples for later use made me wonder about drying apple slices as another meals of preserving. How would mealy apples do in drying? I know kris said these were sweet, so the flavor would be there. What do you think about the texture?

                  2. You could do what my cousin, Ron the Engineer, does. Add shredded apple to your pancake batter.

                    1. Old Farmer Passadumbkeg here. Cut in thin sliced rings, string and hang over your wood stove to dry. Wicked got to just chew on on a cold winter's night (snowin' out now) or to use in cookin' or bakin'.

                      1. I would simply make some stewed apples, with butter and allspice or cinnamon, and a smidge of sugar. We have that as a side dish to accompany pork chops at my house, usually with fresh green beans, also. It's always disappointing to get mealy apples, but they'll be yummy when cooked.

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                        1. I've had the same experience. It seems like I can never get a good batch of apples these days. :-( One thing I do is chop them up and add them to my oatmeal. Just add some cinnamon, etc. and it's better than the packaged stuff. That's just one use among the many other good ones posted here.

                          1. I actually ended up making a warm applesauce to go with my pork roast. It was fantastic!

                            1. Another way I use mealy apples or pears is to slice them up (I don't bother peeling) and freeze them in small ziplocs. We then make apple or pear smoothies by adding milk, cinnamon (and a bit of granulated ginger for pear), vanilla, and sometimes a frozen banana. You can also make an "eggnog"-type flavor by using a bit of rum flavoring and nutmeg. A little goes a long way! I use a Blendtec so the texture is like a frosty milkshake. Really delicious and you won't feel at all as if you've had to "settle" with your apples or pears.