The Frugal Cook: Using the Whole Apple

I went to a harvest party last weekend where the hosts served hard cider, apple crisp and other baked goods, and sent everyone home with a big bag of apples. They'd gone apple picking the day before and trucked home 240 pounds of different varieties, which meant that I came home staring down my bag of apples wondering what else I could do with them besides apple sauce or apple butter.

Sheri Castle just wrote a piece for Gilt Taste highlighting all of the ways you can use the whole apple: "if eating the whole fruit out of hand isn't your thing, all it takes is a little bit of attention to turn the trim into apple vodka, apple-ginger syrup, zesty gremolata and more."

What I so appreciate about Castle's piece are her efforts to move far beyond applesauce or chutney in her suggestions of how to use up the whole apple, core and all. She details nifty tricks I can't wait to try, including a spiced apple vodka, an apple compound butter, and an apple broth to flavor couscous or cooking vegetables or potatoes.

She notes that thick peelings and sturdy cores deliver much more flavor, so leave some apple pulp on them. And if you are concerned about the barely-existent trace of arsenic found in apple seeds, she suggests just cutting the core in half crosswise and sliding them out with a knife.

Do you have a strategy for leftover apple bits after baking and canning?

Related: Waste Not! 5 Ways to Use Mealy Apples

(Image: Megan Gordon)