Anna apple trees are one of my favorite fruit trees, perfect for mild-winter climates. Their apples have a delicious sweet-tart flavor and a firm texture that works well in various recipes. This article shares some of the best recipes to make the most of your Anna apples.
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If you are growing an Anna apple tree and are wondering the best ways to use the apples, you’ve come to the right place. We planted our first Anna Apple tree in our yard in 2009, and we look forward to the abundant harvests of sweet, crisp, flavorful apples each year.
No Anna apples? No worries! Substitute Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Jonagold apples in any of the recipes.
1. Make dehydrated apple chips with Anna apples
Although this is a simple way to preserve the Anna apples, it’s one of our favorites. One batch of apple chips is often consumed before the next batch is finished.
- Rinse apples.
- Remove core (I use this corer to make the job simple) and slice into 1/8 inch rings.
- Soak briefly in a bowl full of water with 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Layer on dehydrating trays. (I use this deyhydrator – it’s inexpensive and has lasted for years.)
- Dehydrate at 150℉ (65.5°C) for 10-12 hours (or until desired crispness is achieved).
Store in glass jars with good-fitting lids. Keeps well for 4-6 months. Crisper apples store longer than chewy apples.
2. Use Anna apples to make applesauce
Homemade applesauce is a delicious way to preserve Anna apples. The best part of homemade applesauce is the taste – it tastes so fresh! It doesn’t have the mushy texture and bland flavor of canned applesauce from the store. You can also adjust the sweetness level to your taste.
This is the recipe I use for homemade applesauce. It’s easier than you think with the right tools.
As with all canning, follow instructions carefully for food safety.
3. Preserve Anna apples by canning peeled apple slices
Having organic, peeled, and sliced apples in your pantry is so convenient. It simplifies adding apples to your favorite recipes and baked goods. Canning them is pretty simple too.
Use an apple-peeler-corer-slicer (I use this one) to prepare apples.
Add the cores and skins to your in-bed vermicomposting bins. The worms love them!
Once the apples are peeled, I follow this recipe for canning instructions.
So satisfying to see the jars of canned apples multiply.
Ready to use in my favorite apple recipes.
4. German apple pancakes – This is the best recipe for Anna apples you will find!
This is the recipe my kids request for their birthday breakfast more than any other. The rich flavor of eggs, cinnamon, and apples comes together in a delicious way. If you have canned apples, the recipe is even easier. No canned apples? Fresh is delicious too.
Makes a large batch – can be halved
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 6-8 fresh apples, peeled and sliced, or 2 quarts canned apples (juice drained)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 12 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Toppings: powdered sugar, maple syrup, and whipped cream
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a large oven-safe skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Cook, stirring constantly, until the apples are tender and the mixture becomes caramelized – about 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Combine the flour, milk, eggs, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth and well combined.
- Pour the batter over the cooked apple mixture in the skillet, ensuring that it’s evenly distributed.
- Place the oven-safe skillet in the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the pancake is golden and puffy and the middle is set (not runny).
- Remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
- To serve, slice the pancake into wedges and top with your choice of powdered sugar, maple syrup, and whipped cream.
5. Use Anna apples in apple pie
Anna apples’ flavor and consistency make them a good choice for apple pie recipes. Their sweet-tart taste and firm texture hold up well during baking, providing a delicious and satisfying filling for the pie.
The combination of spices, sugar, and the natural flavors of Anna apples creates a perfect balance for a classic apple pie. Use Anna apples in your next apple pie for a delightful treat.
- 6 cups thinly sliced and peeled Anna apples (about 5-6 medium-sized apples)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 package (14.1 oz) refrigerated pie crusts (or homemade pie crust)
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Roll out one of the pie crusts and place it in a 9-inch pie plate, gently pressing it into the bottom and up the sides of the plate.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the peeled and sliced Anna apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning.
- In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt.
- Pour the sugar mixture over the apples and toss until the apples are evenly coated.
- Transfer the apple mixture to the pie plate, arranging the apples evenly and mounding them slightly in the center.
- Dot the top of the apple mixture with the small pieces of unsalted butter.
- Roll out the second pie crust and place it over the apples. Trim the excess dough around the edges and crimp the edges of the two crusts together to seal the pie.
- Cut 4-5 slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking.
- Optional: Brush the top crust with a beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar for a golden, shiny finish.
- Bake the pie at 425°F (220°C) for 15 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C) and continue baking for an additional 40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender when pierced with a fork.
- If the edges of the crust start to brown too quickly, cover them with aluminum foil or a pie shield.
- Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving. This will allow the filling to set and make it easier to slice
Enjoy your delicious Anna apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream!
More ways to use Anna apples:
- Anna Apple Crisp: A warm, comforting apple crisp is perfect for showcasing the flavor of Anna apples. Combine sliced apples with sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then top with a mixture of oats, flour, brown sugar, and butter before baking.
- Anna Apple Muffins: Add diced Anna apples to your favorite muffin batter for a delightful breakfast treat. Spice it up with cinnamon and nutmeg for extra flavor.
- Anna Apple Salad: Toss thinly sliced Anna apples with mixed greens, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and dried cranberries. Drizzle with a honey mustard vinaigrette for a refreshing and healthy salad.
- Anna Apple Butter: Slow-cook peeled and chopped Anna apples with sugar, cinnamon, and cloves until they become a thick, spreadable consistency. Enjoy it on toast, pancakes, or stirred into yogurt.
- Anna Apple Chutney: Simmer chopped Anna apples with onions, raisins, ginger, vinegar, and spices for a tangy, sweet chutney, perfect for pairing with cheese, crackers, or grilled meats.
- Anna Apple Stuffed Pork Chops: Stuff thick-cut pork chops with a mixture of diced Anna apples, breadcrumbs, onions, and sage for an elegant and flavorful dinner.