I hope this never happens at your house; an apple is snatched, the snatcher takes a few bites, gets distracted and sets the apple aside, never to return to finish the fruit. It happens here. Especially when I display fruit in a bowl on the table. Displaying the fruit means that the whole fridge is not jammed with the 1/2 bushel of apples I just bought and that the kids see it and usually go there first when they want a snack. On the other hand, this is the occasional consequence: unfinished fruit. This is also one of my pet peeves: waste.
Wasted food is the most expensive stuff I buy; things we buy to only throw out. What is the purpose of that? There had to be some better way. Aside from trying to teach my children to finish what they start, I started keeping a stock bag to help cut down on wasted food. I mentioned it first here, with the recipe for carrot and red pepper soup, but I'll take you through the basics again:
Stock Bag 101:
Get a sturdy one gallon size bag
Add scraps: peelings and ends from carrots, celery, potatoes, apples, onions, herbs, melon, lettuce, greens and the like. Easy on the brassica (cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli) they will overtake the flavor of the finished product. You can also get more mileage out of meat scraps and bones by adding those to the bag if you have those. (Sometimes my bag is all vegetables and fruit, and sometimes it's not.)
Toss it in the freezer.
Pull it out every time you have scraps and continue adding.
When the bag is full dump the contents into a large pot, cover with water. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Drain through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth (I like no tiny bits left behind) and you are done- homemade stock using things you might have otherwise put down the disposal. Discard or compost the now exhausted scraps.
From that point I make soup or freeze the stock for another day. I have also experimented with boiling the stock down until it is super concentrated and then reconstituting it as I use it up. This is a great space saver- homemade soup base, and decidedly better than any bouillon cube.
Now, back to the half-eaten apples. I hate to throw them out. So here's what I do: I re-engineer them into something the kids will happily eat, because there is no way they will go back to an uber-brown apple they abandoned 5 hours prior. They do however clamor for this apple bread crumb pudding, and it has no sugar. Not a super treat, but an excellent anytime thing. This is a loose recipe- adjust it to fit your own quantities.
Apple Bread Crumb Pudding
4 parts apples (cut away any bad spots or old bite marks)
1 part stale bread
1-2 T. butter (divide into 4-6 pieces)
Mince or puree the apples in a food processor or chopping by hand, set aside, by placing into a baking dish sized to your amount of fruit. Crush the bread into crumbs in the food processor or by placing in a bag and smashing after removing the apples (no need to clean in between). Remove 1/2 of crumbs, stir into the apples. Add butter to remaining crumbs, and pulse to make crumbs or do it by h and by rubbing the butter and crumbs together with your fingers or melting the butter and stirring them together to form clumps. Sprinkle on top of the apples. Bake in a 375 oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
I topped ours with whipping cream beaten with honey (this works because the honey creams and stiffens and even helps stabilize the cream.) But you could go another direction and serve it with my favorite Romanoff Sauce (a sweet yogurt sauce), or whatever you wish or even serve it unadorned.
Another slightly sweeter option, since I can't seem to leave well-enough alone, is to dot the apple-bread crumb mix with your favorite jam before adding the buttery bread crumbs.
How do you avoid waste?