Apple Harvest
by Julie Badger Jensen

Apples, a favorite of the autumn harvest, come front and center as September arrives. Sweet or tart, they come in an appealing pallet of colors that can be compared to the turning leaves of the season.

“Autumn Day, Autumn Day, God gives richest gifts today. Look on every side and see, pleasant things for you and me. Apples red and yellow, round and juicy, sweet and mellow.” (Children’s Songbook, L.D.S. Church)

As good as apples are when they’re eaten simply out of hand, they’re even better in all the rustic main dishes, breads, and desserts people make this time of year; pies, tarts, baked apples, pork chops and applesauce, and muffins. Since all the varieties have slightly different flavors and textures, you can always find the perfect apple for whatever treat you’d like to make.

While sweet and juicy Red Delicious apples are great for the lunchbox, in a pie they turn to mush. So when you crave to cook or bake apples, choose varieties that can stand up to the heat. Cooking can disguise apples that are overripe or bruised; sauting and simmering bring out the best in hard, tart, under-ripened apples, too. Apples that don’t make the cut for pies are often best for sauce. The following guide may be helpful. Rejoice in the gifts of the season as you gather AROUND THE TABLE.

Rome Beauty: Cooking and baking accentuate the rich but mellow flavor of this medium-tart, deep-red apple. It’s called Queen of the Bakers, and holds up well when cooked whole. Enjoy this Beauty in bread puddings, pies, quick breads, and sauces, too.

Golden Delicious: This huge, sweet golden globe is delicious raw and great when cooked or baked. The fruit’s rich flavor and tender flesh is a boon in stir-fries, casseroles, cobblers, soups, stews, and sauces.

Granny Smith: This bright green fruit is on the tart and tangy end of the barometer. The Granny is firm when bitten into but won’t hold up to prolonged heat – yet its high acid content makes it a favorite. Also try Granny Smith sauted with pork.

Cortland: The agreeable, slightly sweet, slightly tart all-purpose Cortland is ideal for baking whole (especially in the microwave) because it maintains its portly shape. Chopped or sliced, this apple is fine to fill a pie, strudel, pancakes or muffins.

Newton Pippin: Another all-purpose fruit, the green-gold Newton Pippin is a good keeping apple. Its highly perfumed flesh is crisp and juicy and holds up well in the frying pan or oven. This apple’s sweet-tart flavor makes it a favorite for baked desserts.

APPLE CAKE

1 1 / 2 cup oil
2 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups delicious apples – cored & sliced
1 cup coarsely broken walnuts
3 / 4 cup currants (optional)
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and sugar a 9″ tube or bundt pan. Beat the oil and sugar together in mixer while assembling remaining ingredients. Add the eggs and beat until mixture is creamy. Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir into the batter. Add all remaining ingredients, and stir to blend. Turn the mixture into a pan. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done. Cool in pan before turning out. Turn out and sprinkle with powdered sugar. May serve with ice cream. Serves 10.

PAPER BAG APPLE PIE

Crust:

1 1 / 2 cups flour
1 1 / 2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 / 2 cup oil
2 Tbs. cold milk

Mix with a fork until well blended. Press into a 10″ glass pie plate.

Filling:

6 cups apples, peeled and sliced
1 / 2 cup sugar
2 Tbs. flour
1 / 2 tsp. nutmeg
1 / 2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix filling ingredients and mound into crust-lined pan.

Topping:

1 / 2 cup sugar
1 / 2 cup flour
1 / 2 cup butter

Combine topping ingredients until cornmeal consistency. Sprinkle over apples. Place in medium-sized brown bag, folding over edges. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1 / 2 hrs. Oven must be completely preheated to avoid burning the bag. Do not open or look in oven.

SUPER-EASY APPLE-CARAMEL

2 lbs. Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and each sliced into 8 pieces
2 Tbs. lightly salted butter
1 / 2 cup packed light-brown sugar

Cook apple slices in butter and brown sugar until tender, liquid is evaporated, and slices are glazed, 15 to 20 minutes. Great as a garnish or tasty snack

APPLE DUMPLINGS

Pie crust dough
6 apples – peeled and cored
sugar
cinnamon
1 1 / 2 cups boiling water
milk or cream, to pour over top

Cut square of dough large enough to wrap apple. Sprinkle apple inside with desired amount of sugar and cinnamon and wrap with pie dough.

Place apples in a pan or casserole and sprinkle the whole with cinnamon. Combine 1 1 / 2 cups boiling water with 1 cup sugar and pour over dumplings.

Bake at 375 for 1 hour or until tender and a golden brown. Serve with milk or cream poured over them.

MORMON CHAMPAGNE

Combine equal part chilled apple cider and ginger ale. Serve as desired.

HOT CIDER

1 / 2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 qts. cider
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole allspice
3 in. stick cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

Combine brown sugar, salt and cider. Tie spices in a small piece of cheesecloth; add to cider, slowly bring to boil; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Remove spices. Serve hot with orange slice floaters and cinnamon sticks. 10 servings.

BAVARIAN APPLE TORTE

Crust:

1 / 2 cup butter
1/3 C. sugar
1 / 4 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla, then add flour.

Filling:

12 oz. cream cheese
1/4 C. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Topping:

1/3 C. sugar
1 / 2 tsp. cinnamon
4 cups peeled apples
1 / 4 cup slivered almonds

Press crust into a 9″ springform pan 1-inch up sides. Pour cheese mixture over pastry. Combine cinnamon, sugar and almonds and toss with peeled apple slices. Arrange apple slices on top. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake 25 more minutes. Top with whipped cream. Serves 8.

CARAMEL APPLES

15 to 20 small apples (Jonathan’s best)

4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup (scant) light corn syrup

2 2/3 cups evaporated milk

Select small apples free from blemishes; wash and dry thoroughly and stick in wooden skewers. Put sugar, syrup and 2/3 cup evaporated milk in large, heavy kettle; stir to blend well. Heat slowly until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Cook briskly to thick syrup, stirring all the while. Add remainder of milk slowly, keeping mixture boiling briskly. Cook to firm ball stage (242 degrees), stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat; let stand until caramel stops bubbling. Working quickly, dip apples, one at a time, in caramel, twisting to get rid of surplus coating and to make smooth. Place on buttered foil. If coating becomes too thick for dipping, add a little evaporated milk and reheat, stirring to keep smooth. The caramel should be kept hot during dipping so coating will not be too heavy.

NOTE: Candy temperature is for sea level. For high altitude you will need to make an adjustment. To determine temperature adjustment for your altitude, check the temperature registered on your thermometer when it is set in saucepan of vigorously boiling water for 1 minute. Without removing thermometer, record temperature. If you are at sea level, the thermometer will register 212 degrees. If you are at a high altitude, the temperature will be less than 212. Subtract the temperature registered on your thermometer from 212 degree. This will be your adjustment. Subtract that difference from each temperature given in the recipe.

APPLE CRISP

3 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 / 2 cup flour

1 / 2 cup butter or margarine

3/4 cup rolled oats

Arrange sliced apples in buttered 9″ round baking dish. Combine brown sugar and flour; cut butter into mixture as for pastry. Toss in rolled oats. Spoon over apples, pressing down lightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

APPLESAUCE MUFFINS

2 cups flour, sifted

1 Tbs. baking powder

1 / 2 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

1 / 2 cup shortening

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup applesauce

1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream sugar and shortening. Stir in beaten eggs and applesauce. Barely blend in sifted ingredients. Fold in nuts. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes. Yield: 30 muffins.

BAKED APPLES

Core 5-6 Granny Smith, Pippon, or McIntosh apples. Remove a 1 / 2 ” slice from the bottom of the apples so they will sit flat in the pan.

Combine:

1/4 cup cranberries (can use canned whole cranberries)

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 tsp. cinnamon

zest of 1 lemon

3 Tbs. butter

Stuff apples with mixture and mound on top. Bake, covered with foil, at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until filling is cooked and bubbly. Serves 5-6.

APPLESAUCE

4 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1 cup sugar

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

In large pan mix apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Let stand 30 minutes until juices start to form; stir once or twice. Cook, covered, over very low heat till quite juicy, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking over medium heat, to desired thickness, stirring often, about 20 minutes for chunk-style applesauce or 30 minutes for smooth applesauce. Makes 5 1 / 2 cups.

 


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