Tried and True Apple Recipies
Cooking with Apples
In rural upstate New York, apples are everywhere in the fall! We always end up with tons to use (Ginger Gold are my favorite variety, but you could use whichever you like in the following recipes!). While the following is by no means a complete list of apple recipes, it is an overview of some of my favorite recipes for autumn and throughout the year, with which I’ve had the most success. Enjoy!
Baked Apples: Core 4 large apples, leaving ½ inch of apple at the bottom of the core so the filling doesn’t leak out (I use a Pampered Chef apple corer, slice off the bottom, and pop it back in place. This way it can be easily removed before serving). Mix ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ cup chopped pecans, ¼ cup chopped dates, and stuff into apples. Top each with 1 tsp butter. Place apples in a baking dish, with ¾ cup water in the bottom. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, until apples are tender. Baste with juices from the pan before serving warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I like to chop up any leftover baked apple, to mix into oatmeal or pancake mix for a yummy breakfast the next day.
Crockpot Kielbasa: Place 3 cups sliced/peeled apples, 2 cups peeled / sliced sweet potatoes, 1 yellow onion (diced), 1 pound of kielbasa (sliced into 2-inch segments), ½ cup brown sugar, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp lemon zest, and 1 tbsp butter in the crock pot, toss to coat. Pour in 1 1/2 cup apple juice or cider. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours until potatoes are tender and kielbasa is swollen and flavorful.
Crockpot Pork Loin: Lightly brown a 3 pound pork loin in a large skillet. (Let sit 5 minutes before handling!) Slice and peel 2 apples (I prefer Ginger Gold, but you could use any type you have on hand for this recipe) to ½ inch thick. Cut slits in pork, about 1” apart, and stuff an apple wedge into each slit. Place any remaining apple slices in the bottom of the slow cooker (spray with vegetable oil first to prevent sticking for easier cleanup). Sprinkled with 1 large yellow onion (chopped). Place pork over apples and onions. Whisk 1 cup chicken broth, ½ tsp kosher salt, ½ tsp black pepper, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried rosemary). Pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until pork is done. (You could also cook on high for 4-6 hours, but I find it is more tender when cooked on low for the longer time). My husband loves the leftovers of this even more the next day.
Baked Apple Chips: Have a bunch of apple peels from making pie or some other recipe requiring lots of peeled apples? Bake the peels, spread on a greased baking sheet at 200 degrees for 1 hour. Flip them, and bake for another hour. Test for done-ness, if not crisp enough yet keep in for another 15-30 minutes. These are great plain, but are also amazing sprinkled with a little cinnamon before baking.
Quick Bread: Mix 3 cups flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp baking powder. In another bowl mix 3 eggs, 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, ½ cup unsweetened applesauce, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Fold in ½ cup chopped walnuts and 2 cups diced / peeled apples. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. I have taken this to an office luncheon as a dessert, by sprinkling the top with cinnamon/sugar before baking, and it was a huge hit!
Applesauce: Peel, core, and chop 8 large apples. Put in a large pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 25 minutes until soft. Mash apples, and stir in ¼ teaspoon allspice and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Mix well, and simmer 5 more minutes. If you prefer your applesauce completely smooth with no lumps, you could use an immersion blender, but I like it with more of a texture. If you prefer your applesauce sweetened, add ½ cup brown sugar when adding the spices. (I use unsweetened, un-spiced applesauce in place of vegetable oil when making banana bread!)
Cider Pork Chops: Sprinkle both sides of 4 center-cut pork chops with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat 2 tbsp canola oil in a large skillet, and cook pork chops for about 4 minutes per side, until browned. Remove from skillet. In the same hot skillet, add 1 ½ cup apple cider, 2 tablespoons brown sugar (packed) and 1 tablespoon grainy mustard, whisking until a thick glaze forms, and liquid is reduced by about half. Pour the glaze over the pork chops, and serve warm. This is excellent with some baked acorn squash wedges, which taste amazing with the pork glaze!
Baked Pancake: Butter a 10” cast iron pan or pie plate. In a large bowl, mix ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 ½ cup bisquick or similar baking mix, ¼ cup white sugar, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 2 eggs. Peel and dice 4 medium apples. Pour batter into prepared pan, and top with apples. Bake at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. This makes an excellent dessert, dusted with powdered sugar. My husband prefers this as a breakfast, omitting the brown sugar and white sugar, adding a third egg, and serving with maple syrup instead.
Rum Muffins: Shred 2 peeled apples. Toss with ½ cup spiced rum, 1 ½ cups sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, ½ cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Fill greased muffin tin to ¾ full, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.
Cranberry Pie: Toss 4 cups peeled / sliced apples, 2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries, ¾ cup brown sugar, ½ cup white sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecans. Place a pie crust of your preferred recipe in the bottom of a greased pie plate, and pour apple mixture into crust. Top with a layer of pie crust, sealing edges. Cut a few slits in the top crust, before baking at 425 degrees for 50 minutes, until golden brown.