Well, not exactly "tons"—the new house we just moved to has two lovely apple trees bursting over with little green apples. I needed to prune it, and foraged a large mixing bowl of apples after throwing away the 90% that worms and spiders had gotten to.
The apples are nice by themselves, neither particularly tart nor sweet, and deliciously crunchy, but I'm wondering what I can do with the fifty or so left. I don't eat a lot of fruit, and my husband gets tired of fruit quickly (plus I don't want to spike his blood sugar either), so I'm at a loss.
The best thing for me would be if I can make hard cider from them. I bought an organic cider the other night which listed for its ingredients only apple juice and yeast. Recipes I've found, though, have all included lots of added sugar or fancy equipment. Ideas?
Another option: Would it be worth it trying to slice and dry these in my oven?
And on a related note, as we just moved in I don't know much about the soil around the house. Can you recommend a soil testing kit so I can see if we're inadvertently eating poison apples?
I like Matt's answer best. There are farmers near here who will trade meat for feed, and they will eat the apples with worms. I made hard cider for many years, it is very easy because the juice is so acidic, and when I forgot a carboy for too long I got myself five gallons of cider vinegar, all very healthy. But the press is expensive and cider mills will not let you press your own. Fruit leather is excellent with cider/tart apples, applesauce makes you happy in winter, but I suggest you find a way to try and preserve them. We eat mostly apples as fruit, six months a year. We keep them in a freezer controlled at 38F, and our apples (granted, excellent keepers) are still excellent in June. Your apples being so early likely are not keepers, but it is worth a try. See how long they last in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Start an applesauce factory in your kitchen. All it takes is time, a Foley food mill, and willingness to put up with a mess. I don't even bother to halve the apples but just stuff them in the biggest kettle and let them simmer to mush. Add very minimal water to keep from scorching, and no matter what you do you'll have a good kettle scrubbing session afterwards. The Foley is the best tool I've found to separate seeds, skins and stems from sauce. Look for them at yard sales.
If you ever make paleo baked goods homemade applesauce is super easy to make, and a good base for holding things together to prevent the crumbling you often get with almond meal and coconut flour. You can either can it or store it in the freezer if you have space in there.
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