When getting apples ready to serve, scrub them with a food-grade cleanser to remove any wax and residue from the peel. Because apples oxidize and turn brown when they are cut, they should be prepared just before serving. To minimize oxidation when using apples in dishes like salads, dip them in a bowl containing one part lemon juice and three parts water. Cooking apples stops the oxidation process.
Most apples hold their shapes and flavors and can be used in baking. With a little lemon juice to protect them from discoloration, apples add a crunchy texture to fruit salads.
Apple butter and applesauce are simple and delicious ways to use overripe apples. Simply cut apples into cubes and simmer on the stovetop with a little water and cinnamon. For variety, add raisins, rhubarb, or pears. Apples are a natural way to sweeten cooked cereals, such as oatmeal, and they make wonderful desserts when baked in pies, cakes, muffins, and cobblers. Dried apple slices keep well and make a fine snack.