Apple Alternatives

Kasey A. Christian
National Center for Home Food Preservation
October 2013

After a season of fresh tomato salsas, you may be curious to try our sweet, zesty Peach-Apple Salsa. This recipe was developed with a preference for the sharp, tart flavor of Granny Smith, but if you don’t have Granny Smith apples, that’s okay. Just keep in mind that the flavor of the salsa will vary according to the variety of apple you use, and be sure to use 2 cups, chopped of whichever variety you choose. 

Sweet Apple Relish is another canning option for apples that produces a tangy result. White vinegar, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice combine with apples into a relish that pairs well with savory meats and cheeses. This relish is likely to come in handy throughout the upcoming holiday season of potluck buffets and family-style meals, and makes a great gift for the hosts too.

For the young and the young-at-heart, making fruit leather with apples is a great fun activity, producing delicious results. You can start with fresh apples, or you can save time by starting with already made applesauce. Store bought applesauce will work just fine, or perhaps you have some Applesauce that you’ve already canned. If you are beginning with fresh apples, then follow these directions for Drying Fruit Leathers.

Add spices to the puree if you like – 1/8 teaspoon for each 2 cups puree will usually balance nicely, but you can experiment to achieve your preferred taste. Cinnamon and nutmeg are popular favorites with apples. You may also add toppings like chopped nuts or spread like melted chocolate once the leathers have dried, just before you roll them (or eat them!).

Applesauce also works very well as an extender for other fruits that may not work so well on their own for making leathers. Adding applesauce to other fruit purees will sweeten up tartness and smooth out texture.