Delicious Fruit Foods Are Waiting to Come To Life
October 10, 2011 11:49 AM   Subscribe

I get a box of fruit & veggies delivered to my house every two weeks. Let me tell you something. IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. However, I rarely finish all of the apples and pears and bananas. I stuff them into the freezer when I don't eat them, but... my freezer is overflowing with frozen apples and bananas, and I think a few pears. What can I do with them?

I need your ideas! Fruit compote? Some sort of delicious bread or muffin? I have made quite a bit of delicious banana bread in recent months. But the apples... apple bread? Applesauce? Are there things I am not thinking of (of course there are things that I'm not thinking of). Give me some ideas!

Also - I just got a food processor for my birthday. I feel like there is magic in my kitchen just waiting to happen and the only thing preventing it from coming to pass is my lack of a culinary imagination. Can you help me, mefites?
posted by pazazygeek to Food & Drink (33 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Apple Kugel!
posted by litnerd at 11:52 AM on October 10, 2011

Throw 1-2 of the frozen bananas in the food processor and process until smooth, adding a little milk-like-liquid if needed. In less than a minute you'll have a pretty tasty ice cream like treat. Add a spoonful of peanut butter for extra tasty. You may want to freeze the bananas in chunks (as opposed to whole) for this application.
posted by radioaction at 11:55 AM on October 10, 2011 [4 favorites]

Baked apples are yummy in autumn and winter.

Apples and pears can be poached.

Applestrudel, apple crumble, apple pie, apple cake, apple tart are all yummy.

Apples are very portable - you are taking them into work for lunch or a snack, right?
posted by koahiatamadl at 11:57 AM on October 10, 2011

Smoothies are delicious and you'll use up tons of that stuff superfast. You'll want to thaw the fruit enough that you can cut out cores or peel as necessary, but just throw any combination of fruit into the blender with a squeeze of honey, a glob of yogurt and some cinnamon if you like, and whiz away. My husband goes through periods of almost living on smoothies; he likes to blend carrots or dark greens like kale in with his.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 12:00 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Make chutney.
posted by holgate at 12:00 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Apple sauce and apple butter! Just core and slice the apples, cook until soft, then puree in the food processor; if you're making applesauce, I would just leave it there, but for apple butter, add some sweetener (white or brown sugar or maple syrup) and apple pie-type spices and simmer on low heat until thick. The simmering can be done in a crock pot with the lid ajar to let moisture escape. Lots of recipes online if you want one.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 12:04 PM on October 10, 2011

And you can use the applesauce just like mashed banana in bread, muffins, etc.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 12:05 PM on October 10, 2011

I invested in a slow cooker predominantly because that's the best way to make apple butter and pear butter. In fact, you can probably combine apples and pears together into one thing. (This is best attempted only if you have a whole ton.)

All you need to make apple/pear butter is: the slow cooker, a stick blender, a crapton of apples and/or pears, and some spices (your choice -- cinnamon, ginger, know, "apple pie" types of spices) and a little sugar. (You may not even need the sugar.) Slice the apples/pears into wedges, and core them; you don't need to peel them. Cut them into chunks, dump them into the slow cooker, and set it to "low." Put the lid on top, but leave it open a crack (try resting a chopstick at the lip of the pot on one side to hold the lid open a smidge). Add a sprinkling of the spices you are using.

Then...just wait. Give it a stir every so often, and if you can fish out the skins as they cook off you'll save yourself some trouble later. At some point use the stick blender to blend everything into a uniform puree (wait until you've gotten out as many skins as you can). Give it a taste to see if it needs any sugar; just add a little at a time, tasting after each addition. Then continue to cook it down until it's nice and thick; think a little thicker than baby food consistency. Then scrape it into a jar, stick it in your fridge, and you're done.

This uses up a LOT -- 3 pounds of pears made me about 10 ounces of pear butter. It took a few hours, but I was just puttering around the house anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:10 PM on October 10, 2011 [4 favorites]

Another note: the fact that you've frozen the apples and pears may mean that they're good candidates for the apple-butter/pear-butter treatment; I'm not sure how well apples and pears hold up after freezing, but in apple butter you're cooking them down anyway so it won't matter.

And applesauce is just apple butter that you didn't cook down as much; do that on the stovetop, becuase it'll only take a few minutes.

I do the same CSA type of thing you do and am starting to get all the apples and pears now, and I've started just automatically turning the slightly-overripe fruits into applesauce and pear butter as I catch them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:14 PM on October 10, 2011

Apple Crisp is a delicious and easy way to use a ton of apples. It's good warm right out of the oven or eaten in a bowl with cold milk for breakfast the next day. Substitute the pears and make pear crisp. Google for recipes. You'll want to use fresh fruit for this though, as frozen would just be a watery mushy mess.

Also nthing applesauce. If you have a crockpot you can make it in there with no constant watching and stirring.
posted by katyggls at 12:14 PM on October 10, 2011

Might consider a juicer as well; then reducing some of it. Make jellies, butters, etc. Apples will keep quite a while in your fridge (depending on variety [sugar content]), freeing up freezer space
posted by JABof72 at 12:15 PM on October 10, 2011

All three of those fruits are friendly to dehydration, if you like that sort of thing.

Dehydrate the apples and pears, and then re-hydrate (with apple juice) and chop coarsely is a great way to add soft fruit bits to anything baked.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:36 PM on October 10, 2011

This is my favorite banana bread recipe, not only is a great banana bread, it uses up twice as many bananas as the standard recipe.

Here's a decent looking Apple Bread recipe, I haven't tried that one, but it looks pretty similar to the one I use.

Other than that, Apple/pear butter makes a great gift (you just have to can it,). I like a ratio of 2:1, Apples:Pear on that, I'm pretty sure apples have more pectin than pears, so you get a thicker butter that way. (I could be way off base, but that's been my experience). There's a ton of good books on preserving, but I like Stocking up.
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:40 PM on October 10, 2011

nnthing *sauce, and frozen banana chunks for use in nearly instant smoothies or as an ice-cream substitute. Apple pie with a crust from scratch can't be beaten.

If you have puff pastry available at your local market you can thinly slice the fruit, set it on top sprinkled with sugar and spices, then bake for an easy dessert-type thing.

You might try canning the pears, and if you have a juicer, you could juice what you don't eat, either for cocktails, hot cider, straight drinking, cooking (reduced apple juice with a little apple cider vinegar & seasoning is great for pork chops), etc.
posted by Hylas at 12:43 PM on October 10, 2011

I want a box of fruits and veggies delivered every two weeks! How do I make this happen?

Sign up for a CSA!
posted by lunasol at 1:05 PM on October 10, 2011

posted by DoubleLune at 1:16 PM on October 10, 2011

Apple pie. Apple jelly. Dunk the bananas in melted chocolate and refreeze them.
posted by MexicanYenta at 1:44 PM on October 10, 2011

I am making this pear butter recipe as we speak! (Yes, I too had a plethora of CSA pears.)
posted by ocherdraco at 2:00 PM on October 10, 2011

Fruit butters make great presents if you learn how to can.
posted by bq at 2:03 PM on October 10, 2011

Baked applesauce is one thousand million times better than stove top applesauce. In my humble opinion. I don't use that recipe, I just peel and chop apples, put them in a baking dish with some brown sugar, cinnamon and a little apple juice or cider if I have it; then bake 'til it tastes good. You could do the same with pears.

My favourite breakfast is frozen bananas + peanut butter + chocolate soymilk whirrrrred up in the blender. Sometimes I add super soft tofu for the protein. Chocolate milkshake for breakfast! And reasonably healthy.

I get produce delivered, too, and have had my life similarly changed. It rocks!
posted by looli at 2:22 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Applesauce and apple butter and pear butter and banana smothies and banana bread with the currently-frozen stash..... as far as incoming supplies? A bunch of apple piesvwill put you on the fast track to becoming THE most popular person at work!
posted by easily confused at 2:50 PM on October 10, 2011

Mmmmm - I look forward to apple season so I can make apple dapple cake! Link:
posted by mightshould at 2:54 PM on October 10, 2011

You could get a dehydrator and make apple, pear and banana chips! Great snacks!
posted by sadtomato at 3:13 PM on October 10, 2011

Banana bread works well with once frozen bananas. Added bonus, if you can't eat the banana bread fast enough then you can freeze that too!
posted by raccoon409 at 3:40 PM on October 10, 2011

Banana bread!!!
posted by myShanon at 4:12 PM on October 10, 2011

The sort of basic/easy thing to do with left-over fruit isn't to freeze it but to boil it (with sugar). In very basic terms, fruit + water + sugar + slow boil = preserves (especially after it sits a bit).

Then it lasts for quite awhile and you can give it away or even sell it. Now, apples & bananas aren't traditionally preserved that way, but pears are: here's a recipe.
posted by reenka at 5:52 PM on October 10, 2011

Not the healthiest thing in the world, but you can make apple turnover-like things with crescent rolls. Dice up apples, place on one crescent roll triangle. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Cover with second crescent roll triangle. Bake.

You can also pick up a basic food dehydrator for around $40 and dehydrate both the apples and bananas. You may have to dip them in lemon juice first to keep them from browning. I don't think this would work well for the frozen ones, but for future shipments it might be an idea.
posted by Ostara at 6:36 PM on October 10, 2011

Frozen bananas work well for blended smoothies and frozen daquiris.

I've never tried it with frozen apples or pears, but it might work for them too.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:59 PM on October 10, 2011

Apples and pears can be poached.

Specifically, in a gluhwein-like syrup of red wine, sugar, and any combination of cinnamon, cloves, star anise & vanilla. Something like this. Add a dollop of rich creamery ice cream for added tastiness.

(not sure how well the cellular structure of apples & pears holds up to freezing, though. you might want to use your frozen ones for mushier recipes like the apple & pear butter mentioned above, but put some fresh ones towards this kind of recipe, especially in winter)
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:29 PM on October 10, 2011

put a layer of frozen apples or pears or both in a buttered pan. Top with the batter of an oatmeal muffin recipe (or a blueberry muffin recipe minus the blueberries....although cranberries would be nice). Sprinkle some chopped nuts on top if you like, and a bit of sugar. Bake until golden brown. Serve for dessert with ice cream, or plain with brunch.

You can whizz up your bananas in the blender with a bit of honey and cinnamon to make a kind of soft-serve ice cream (replace the honey with agave nectar or brown sugar if you want to go vegan). Drizzle some melted Nutella over the top.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:55 PM on October 12, 2011


Blend banana, peanut butter, plain yogurt, & a little honey until goopy. Spoon into clean ice cube tray or paper muffin wrappers. Freeze. Give to dogs and giggle as they try to turn their tongue inside out getting last little bit.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:06 PM on October 12, 2011

Also: check out cookbooks like Deceptively Delicious and The Sneaky Chef, geared toward slipping fruit/veggie purees into everything: mac & cheese, pancakes, whatever.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:09 PM on October 12, 2011

Response by poster: You guys are the best. Believe it or not, it completely didn't occur to me that I could make smoothies. I made one this morning and supercharged my workout. This weekend I'm going to bake and boil some fruit like there is no tomorrow. Thank you all so much for the excellent suggestions!
posted by pazazygeek at 7:43 AM on October 14, 2011

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