Make Ahead Apple Desserts
Here’s an idea for a make ahead apple dessert.
Make a batch of your favorite pie crust dough. Don’t have one? Here’s mine. Or, you could buy premade dough.
Roll out your dough into a large rectangle, about 12 by 18 inches.
Cut the dough into 6 inch squares.
Place a peeled, cored apple in the center of each square. I used the apple peeler corer slicer; it makes the final dumplings a little easier to eat. As you can see, I am not too bothered by a little apple peel.
Fill with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. You can add raisins or nuts, too, but I don’t like to, so I left them out.
Bring up the corners and edges of the dough and press them together at the top of the apple. Place on a foil lined pan. Top with a sheet of plastic wrap and freeze.
Once frozen, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag until you want to bake them. You can thaw them in the fridge if you like, but I usually don’t think that far ahead. I put them on a ceramic dish and bake at 375 F for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and a sharp knife can be poked into it easily. Some juices may ooze out, but this just makes it extra yummy. I love this method because I can bake one or five dumplings as needed.
Here is another way to freeze apples for future pies and crisps.
Again, peel, core, and slice your apples. I did 7.5 pounds because that’s how much fit into my pot. Pour three or four glugs of apple cider into the pot, along with the juice of three lemons. I also tossed in 8 ounces of brown sugar and one teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
The key here is to simmer and stir very gently. You do not want a rolling boil; a gentle steaming is preferred. Also, you’ll want to use firm apples that will not turn into sauce when cooked. After about 20 minutes, your apples should have reduced in volume quite a bit. See that pot above? It was full to the top with apples when I started. You want the apples to be wilted, but still hold their shape. Then, gently transfer them into quart sized containers, leaving behind as much of the juice as possible.
Boil the juice you left behind in the pot until it’s thick and no less than 1/2 cup. You don’t want it to be candy, just the consistency of thick syrup to concentrate all those yummy appley juices. Divide the syrup evenly among your apple containers. I was able to fill three quart sized containers. Let them cool and then you can transfer them to the freezer where they can live for up to a year. One of these containers makes a nice pie or a small crisp; just thaw and dump into your dish or prepared pie crust and bake!
You may have noticed that I don’t add any thickener. This is because I boil a lot of the excess liquid out after the apples come out of the pot. In addition, I think the apples taste more like apples without the thickener, but you can feel free to add some if you think it is too juicy when you are about to use it. Also, keep in mind that freezing apples makes them soft, so if you like your apple desserts with crunchy apples, it’s best that you make them fresh.
Well, those are the two ways I freeze my apples for future desserts. I hope it comes in handy for you and your apple harvest! Don’t forget, I’m giving away a jar of apple butter in yesterday’s post. Leave me a comment for a chance to try my caramelized spicy apple butter.
Next: Apple cake made easier