Apple Recipes from New Orleans
Easy Recipes for Apple Pie, Cobbler, Applesauce Cake and Baked Apples
These are the stories and memories of my late husband, Al (aka rio1). His mother Dottie was a superb cook and she taught all of her boys to enjoy good food, especially dessert. I hope you enjoy both his stories and the recipes.
In the Fall of the year, there's nothing better than to bite into a big juicy apple. In New Orleans, where I grew up, all of our apples came from either the French Market or Schwegman's Supermarket. My Mom would always bring home the biggest and juiciest ones.
She would make apple pies and baked apples that were out of this world. My Mom showed me how to make the baked apples and my wife shared some good easy recipes for apple pie, apple cobbler and applesauce cake with me. We hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we have. Oh, and don't forget the Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream to top off the apple pie and cobbler.
All American Apple Pie
Apples in the South
When I was a kid, growing up in New Orleans, I don't think I ever saw an apple growing on a tree. I saw lots of other fruit trees, but because of the weather, apples don't grow well in the deep south. That's a shame because I really like apples and especially apple pie a la mode.
Even though I couldn't pick apples right off the tree, like I did peaches, pears, Japanese plums and when we had a mild winter, bananas, I still enjoyed a crisp, juicy red apple. It's a good thing that my Mom and other shoppers had the French Market and Schwegman's Super Market to buy apples and other delicious fruit that wouldn't grow in Louisiana.
New Orleans French Market
Fresh fruit from around the world for over 200 years
New Orleans French Market
In the nineteen fifties and sixties, the open air French Market was the hub for fresh fruits and vegetables and also for fish, caught in the nearby Gulf of Mexico. The big juicy apples that where kept in large bins at the French Market were brought in on trains that ran right close by along the river.
Local farmers would bring produce in horse drawn wagons or trucks that they would park behind the market. Each day the merchants would fill the bins with fruit and at the end of the day, the fruit that was too ripe or that didn't sell would be placed in a box for the animals at the Audubon Zoo.
The French Market has been in existence since 1791, when it was a trading post along the Mississippi River. It thrived and expanded in the 1800's when the merchants organized.
Before the 1950s, the train tracks which used to run right by the market, were moved to where they are today. It was renovated and updated in the 1970s and today it is a lot different than the one of my childhood.
Reference: French Market.org History
I don't get around in the kitchen much, but I really do enjoy eating. Here are some apple recipes that my friends and family make.
Last Thanksgiving, our friend who moved down here from Vermont, made an apple pie from scratch. Now that she lives down here, she has to buy the apples. She said that Mcintosh and Granny Smith apples make the best pies. She also uses Gala, when she can't find Mcintosh. We watched her make it and this is what she did.
Yummy Apple Pie
- 5 or 6 apples
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Few drops lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven at 425 degrees F.
- Pare (peel and core) apples, slice thin.
- Mix all ingredients in large bowl.
- Put bottom crust in pie pan.
- Place apple mixture in crust.
- Put on top crust and pinch edges to close.
- Put a few slices in the middle of the top crust so the steam can escape.
- Bake in a 425 degree oven for 50-60 minutes.
- Pie Crust
- You can make your own pie crust from scratch, but with all the ready made crust out there, it's much quicker and easier to buy one. Just make sure that you get a double one because you need crust to line the pan and to go on top over the apples.
Making Apple Pie
Apple Cobbler is delicious with a scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream on top. Here's my wife's recipe for a really easy apple cobbler. You can use the apple pie filling in a can or make your own filling. She tells you how to do that on Favorite Wild Fruits.
Easy Apple Cobbler
- 1/2 cup butter or shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- Sprinkle with Cinnamon
- Make the batter and pour it into a greased baking dish. Pour canned fruit over the batter. Bake at 375 degrees F for 35-45 minutes or until the crust is light brown. The crust will rise above the filling.
Two Red Beauties
Easy Old Fashioned Applesauce Spice Cake
This is the easy version and Yvonne says that I could even make it.
- 1 package Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Spice Cake mix
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups applesauce
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 13X9 inch pan. Combine cake mix, eggs, applesauce and oil in a large bowl. Geat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in nuts. Pour into floured pan. Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto cooling rack. Turn right-side up. Cool completely.
- For Frosting, combine canned ready made vanilla frosting with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Stir until blended and spread over cooled cake.
Mom's Baked Apples
My Mom used to make baked apples and I really liked them, so I got her to show me how she did it. She used big red juicy apples.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Core apples and remove a 1-inch strip of skin from the middle of each apple so that the skin won't split.
Place the apples upright in a baking dish. Fill the center of each apple with 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon butter and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon. Pour water (1/4 inch deep) into baking dish.
Bake about 30 to 40 minutes or until the apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Time will vary with the size and kind of apples. Spoon syrup in pan over apples several times during baking.
Apples in the North
As I said before, apples don't grow very well here in south Louisiana. The only ones that seem to grow without a lot of care are crabapples. The north is the place to grow delicious apples. While northerners are harvesting apples in nippy weather, we are still going around in shorts and T-shirts.
A good friend moved down here from Vermont a few years ago and she tells of old abandoned apple orchards near where she used to live. She and her children would go there each fall and pick the apples. They would have to make several trips. With the best ones, she would make pies, jelly, applesauce and other dishes. None would be wasted. The substandard apples would go into the root cellar. In winter, when deep snow covered the ground, they would bring them out each day and put them in feeding boxes for the deer and other wild creatures.
It would be great to live near an abandoned apple orchard, but though it is beautiful to look at in photos, I don't think I would like to have to live where there is snow for so many months.
Our favorite apples for eating are Gala and Red Delicious. Our Vermont expert tells us that Mcintosh and Granny Smith are the best for pies and Cobblers. We use native Crabapples for jelly and mix some real apple juice (not from concentrate) in if we don't have enough. Since we don't grow apples here in the south, we buy our apple juice and applesauce.
Here are some links to charts and other lists of the "Best" types of apples for different dishes.
More About Apples
- Picking the Best Apples for Your Pie - Dave's Garden
It's National Apple Month! Celebrate with a great apple pie. Here's a list of some of the best dessert apples for your fall pie.
- Apple varieties - which apple to pick and why; sorted by typical ripeneing date!
Apple varieties - which apple to pick and why; sorted by typical ripeneing date!