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Johnny Appleseed and Apple Recipes

Updated on January 13, 2015

How Many Apple Varieties Are There?

When I was a small child, we had only three varieties of apples at our two local grocery store chains: red delicious, golden delicious, and the “new” Washington State apples – “With the bumps on the bottom,” as Flippo the King of the Clowns told us every afternoon on TV. Washington State apples and their distributors were sponsors of his cartoon and old-movie show and became very popular through this advertising campaign. This opened the apple market of Ohio to accept even more out-of-state varieties, even though the state grew many more of its own.

A few years later, the two The grocery chains added Granny Smiths and Asian Apple-Pears next for their apple rosters and we had 5 varies. As additional grocery chains came to town and Ohio famers delivered more produce to all of these chains, the apply population expanded to include about a dozen varieties. In the 21st Century, there is a growing trend to buy local and we’re finding several Ohio grown varieties in the stores today. In fact, I have not seen a Washington apple recently – and Flippo’s TV stage, costumes and other memorabilia are all in the museum now.

You’d think we’d have had more varieties of apples in Ohio, since Johnny Appleseed had come though the state from the east, crossed Ohio, and ventured on to Indiana and Michigan, crisscrossing back and forth for 40 years, planting several varieties apple trees. Actually, Ohio was home to multiple dozens of apple varieties at one point and orchard growers began to specialize in the most popular varieties.

Some excellent recipes and some more apple history follow.

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5 stars from 1 rating of Crab-Apple Slaw

Cook Time

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Serves 4 people

Crab-Apple Slaw

(not crabapple)

Serves 4


  • ¾ Pound cooked crab meat.
  • 1 Large green apple, like Granny Smith, peeled and diced
  • 2/3 Cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip (or store brand)
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar or honey
  • 1 Tbsp of rice wine vinegar
  • ½ Green cabbage grated coarse for slaw
  • 1/4 Cup red bell pepper, sliced
  • ¼ Cup red cabbage, grated coarse
  • 1/2 Cup carrot, shredded or grated
  • Salt & pepper, to taste.
  • Juice of 1 lemon, and half the grated zest (grate first, then extract juice)
  • Parsley springs for garnish


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine rice wine vinegar, cream, mayonnaise, sugar, salt, pepper, and lemon juice and mix lightly.
  • Pour in the prepared cabbages, carrot, bell pepper, apple dice, and then mix.
  • Add in half of the crab meat and mix lightly, careful not to crush ingredients.
  • Scoop a serving portion onto a plate with an ice cream scoop. Arrange the remaining crab meat on top of the slaw. Add a little lemon zest on top and add a spring or two of parsley.

John Chapman planting a nursery of apple trees (public domain).
John Chapman planting a nursery of apple trees (public domain).

Johnny Appleseed in Ohio

John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed [1774 – 1845]) was born in Massachusetts. As a youth, he became an orchard apprentice and at age 18, he took a younger brother and sister with him to Pennsylvania and continued to learn about raising orchards and performing nursery farming. His father was the head of the group of carpenters that had worked for General George Washington, so this was all very early in the history of the New Nation, USA.

Chapman lived in Ohio in 1800 -1801 in Licking County, having come through Guernsey County where my great-great grandfather (who may have met Chapman) and great grandfather owned two houses situated together on active farmland. My great grandfather and his descendants enjoyed the apples from the trees that Chapman planted from seeds in Eastern Ohio for a long while.

John Chapman continued to spread apple seeds in Southern Ohio, Kentucky, and back up to Northern Ohio and then over to Indiana, where he died. He planted scattered nurseries and gave authority over them to local residents to sell the trees and provide him with some income or bartered goods when he came back by every year or so to check on progress. As a member of the Swedenborgian Church, he believed that helping others by planting these apple nurseries as a source of food was a calling and that such good acts were required so that God could do them through people.

When he died, Johnny Appleseed left an estate of so many nurseries that they were worth millions of dollars in 1845 currency.

Cheesy Applecakes


  • 3 Large whole eggs, separated into whites and yolks in two dishes.
  • 1 Cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 Cup of grated apple of an eating variety (as opposed to a baking apple)
  • ¾ Cup all purpose flour.
  • 1 TBSP each of honey and chopped almonds
  • 1 tsp each of lemon juice and ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • Cooking spray


  • Do not use the egg whites in the next step – save them.
  • Beat egg yolks in a large mixing bowl; all other ingredients (not egg whites) and mix well.
  • Beat egg whites stiff and then carefully fold them into the batter – do not over mix or fluffiness will be lost.
  • Cooking spray a skillet or griddle top and heat it over medium high heat.
  • Scoop batter into skillet and cook first side until bubble form and break. Turn pancakes and cook until golden brown on second side.


Grilled Applecheese


  • 1 slice of Swiss cheese or Sharp Cheddar
  • ½ of an apple, sliced (with or without the skin, your choice)
  • 2 Slices of bread – Wheat or Multi-Grain are great
  • Sugar, to taste or use Sugar Twin)
  • Cinnamon or Nutmeg, to taste – I like the nutmeg with the Swiss cheese


  • Toast bread slices lightly, so that they do not spend a lot of time in the skillet soaking up fat.
  • Build a sandwich with cheese and apple slices on top.
  • Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg..
  • Cooking spray a skillet or use 1 TBSP butter and cook the sandwich on both sides until cheese melted and light golden brown.


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