I love to see the apples turning red on the trees. As the weather cools, it seems to encourage the final ripening of the apples. The tart green orbs turn to reddish and then to brighter red.
This year we have more apples than usual. Even the two trees in front of our sauna are both loaded with apples, which is unusual. Usually they alternate summers. First one tree is loaded. The next year the other has apples. I did put a couple of fertilizer stakes around their roots in early July, so perhaps that encouraged them to outperform their usual harvest.
Apple Roll Ups
Of course, it brings up the question of what to do with all these wonderful sweet apples. I love apple pie.
My granddaughter loves apple fruit roll ups, so my dehydrator is already humming. Once I get the apple sauce made, I pour it onto one of the fruit rollup shelves on the dehydrator. It takes about 48 hours for me to dry the apple sauce. Sometimes I sprinkle a little confectioners sugar on top first, because this particular granddaughter has a sweet tooth. Then I peel it off the plastic shelf and roll it up, wrap it in plastic wrap and
I dry lots of apples, too, for use in mid winter. I can take dried apples with me wherever I go, too. They are light weight and make great snacks. And they store easily in sealed jars or tins. Cinnamon added before I dry them makes them even tastier.
Apple Upside Down Cake
Apple Upside down cake is another of my favorites. I cheat and use Spice Cake Mix. Though you can use your own upside down cake recipe. I use a square cake pan and after lightly oiling it and shaking a little flour over the oil, I line the bottom with one layer fresh cut and peeled apples, pecans and 3 Tbs. brown sugar and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Then I pour the prepared cake mix over the top and follow directions for making the cake.
If you want it to look special, you can put colored sprinkles on the apples. Or, if you don’t like nuts, leave out the pecans. I usually serve it upside down with the apples on the top. You can always top it off with ice cream, too.
Plenty for Wildlife Too
The deer finish off whatever apples remain on the ground. The apples that are too high to reach, fall to the ground for them in November. Those little worms that overwinter in the fallen apples are consumed, so we are rarely bothered with moths in the spring. If the deer didn’t eat the apples, the moths would hatch in the spring and lay eggs on the blossoms. Then the little worms would hatch and crawl throughout the apples making messy brown trails. That’s what happened when we had apple trees in our back yard in Minneapolis. We didn’t know to pick them all up and dispose of all fallen apples.
Our apples will ripen in sequence, first the early ones and then, at the end, the late ones. It will be a happy fall of apple preparations. You may also find apples at the farmers’ market or a grocery. It is a real marker of the autumn season.