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Wild Apple Recipes

Autumn in a Jar Conserve

Yield: 4 to 6 half-pint jars

This recipe can be properly canned for longer shelf life or simply added to clean jars, kept refrigerated and used promptly.

8 cups apples, peeled and chopped

1½ cups sweet red wine

1 cup honey

½ cup sugar

1 lemon, juiced

2½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

If canning, prepare 4 to 6 half-pint jars in simmering water.

Combine apples and wine in a large pot and simmer over high heat for about 15 minutes or until the apples are tender and the liquid has reduced.

Mash the mixture to the preferred consistency; some apple chunks are fine, or blend as for apple sauce.

Add the honey and sugar, let the jam cook on high around 220 degrees until it’s quite thick. When the jam has reached your desired consistency, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, cinnamon and nuts.

If using within a few weeks, funnel into jars and refrigerate.

If canning, funnel jam into jars leaving ½-inch headspace.

Wipe rims, apply lids, screw on bands and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (start timer when the pot returns to a rolling boil).

Remove from water and allow to cool for 24 hours. Use within one year.


Apple Pancakes

Yield: about 10 medium-ish pancakes, enough for four people; and leftovers are great reheated in a toaster oven or toaster.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat or mix of whole grain flours

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 Tbsp sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon 1-1/3 cups diced apples (about 3 small to medium apples

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

4 Tbsp butter melted, plus additional for the pan

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then mix in the apples.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and butter. It’s OK if the butter re-solidifies in clumps when you add it to the cold buttermilk.

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir just until there are no large pockets of dry ingredients, no need to mix it together completely. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

While the batter is resting, heat a pan over medium heat. Generously butter the pan, then drop in 1/3-to ½-cup scoops of batter and gently spread to a round-ish shape.

To get even browning on the pancakes, once bubbles set in the pancake towards the middle of the pan, carefully slide a spatula under the pancake and rotate it to brown the other half of the bottom. When the bottom is nicely browned, flip the pancake, brown, and repeat the rotating.

Set finished pancakes in a warm oven if not serving immediately.


Apple Butter

Yield: 1 quart

2.5 lbs apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1 cup apple cider

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup light brown sugar

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Zest and juice of ½ large lemon

½ tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp allspice

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive pot and cook on medium-low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the texture of applesauce; color will darken to a caramel color.

Keep pot covered for first 45 minutes, and take lid off for last 15 minutes to let moisture evaporate.

Puree until smooth.

To store: apple butter will keep in a refrigerator for several days; you may also process immediately in a boiling water bath or freeze.

To process in a boiling water bath: Ladle hot apple butter into warm, sanitized half-pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace.

Remove air bubbles with a non-metal spatula or stick. Wipe the jar rim with a clean, damp cloth to clean.

Place new two-piece lid on top and secure a two-piece rim, twisting on just until finger tight. Do not over tighten the rim.

Place into a boiling water canner, making sure each jar is covered with water by 1 to 2 inches.

Process 10 minutes.

After jars have cooled, test seals and remove rims for storage. Store up to one year in a cool, dark place.

Uses: spread on bread, toast, biscuits or muffins, pancake or oatmeal topping, with pork loin or pork chops, served with cottage cheese, substitute for jam in nut-butter sandwiches or grilled cheese, apple butter and turkey sandwich.


Recipes courtesy of Christina Bello, program manager, Community Cooking School/Kitchen Education at Peterson Garden Project. For more information, visit