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Sweeter Than Pie: 5 Creative Ways To Use Apples

Sep 14, 2014 05:57PM ● By Erin Frisch

When autumn offers its bounty of apples, it seems a shame not to accept. But after near-daily servings of applesauce, apple slices, baked apples, and even pie, your family may be calling for a moratorium. You can spice up a bushel or two of apples with any of these creative ideas including recipes, crafts, and more. And with this newly found apple zeal, you’ll be sure to meet your apple-a-day requirement. Bite in!

• Crispy Apple Skins. You may have been throwing the apple peels to the pigs, but did you know you can enjoy these fiber-filled scraps as a sweet and crunchy treat? Just mix the thin peels in a bowl with enough lemon juice to lightly coat and prevent browning. Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 250° for about two hours. Remove to let cool and crisp. Enjoy with a chilled glass of cider, a surefire way to get refreshed after raking up that other fall bounty. (Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.)

• Apple Centerpiece. In a large, clear-glass vase or bowl, arrange layers of small red apples, bright faux or real leaves, cinnamon sticks, and walnuts. Surround your display with seasonally scented votive candles, like Apple Spice or Cinnamon. Light the candles to create a charming centerpiece that not only looks but also smells like autumn.

• Savory Apple Bites. These low-calorie appetizers make for an easy party food. Select four or five apples and slice horizontally with a sharp knife or mandolin slicer. Arrange on a serving tray and brush with lemon juice to prevent browning. Atop each, layer sharp cheddar cheese, a dab of brown mustard, and a pinch of fresh rosemary. Or add crumbled blue cheese, dried cranberries, and a walnut half. A small slice of smoked ham, Swiss cheese, and whole-grain mustard is also nice. In fact, make all three versions to please all the palates at your next get-together. The possibilities are endless.

• Apple Jack-o’-Lanterns. Make these scary Halloween decorations with apples instead of pumpkins! Choose a large apple and slice off the top. Core out the center, reserving the flesh for another recipe like apple bread. The apple should now have just a thin wall beneath the skin. Trace a face onto one side of the apple and cut it out carefully with a pairing knife. Place a small votive candle or other light inside the apple. Don’t let this scary decoration be lonely! Create a whole herd of apple heads and arrange them on your porch or windowsill.

• Apple Sundae Bowl. Make this healthy fruit into an even sweeter dessert. Remove the top and core an apple with a paring knife or corer, leaving the bottom in place. Fill with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Top with caramel sauce or maple syrup, chopped walnuts, granola, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy with a spoon or bite right in!

What inventive tricks have you created to use up apples?

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