It is that wonderful time of the year for delicious multi-purposed apple recipes. Apples are so easy to use and go with so many recipes, it’s almost limitless. Everything from baked goods to main dishes and side selections work well with apples. Become creative and try some of your recipes with apples or just eat them as they are. Apples are very healthy for you and they may just keep the doctor away.
Fresh cider is available almost everywhere and can be used in many recipes or warmed as a tasty beverage.
½ gallon apple cider
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder or ground cinnamon
1 orange, thinly sliced and pitted
2-3 tablespoons honey
½ cup bourbon, if desired (Optional)
In a large pot pour cider and add cloves, Chinese 5-spice powder and cinnamon stick (2 pieces). Simmer on low until almost boiling, add honey and bourbon; stir thoroughly. Add orange slices and simmer for 3 minutes. Pour into mugs and add more cinnamon if desired.
Chinese Five-Spice or ground cinnamon may be added to this recipe.
3 apples, peeled, pitted and cut into small chunks, mix your apples
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons granulated or brown sugar
½ cup raisins (Optional)
In a saucepan add apples and water. Stir to mix thoroughly and simmer over medium heat until apples are soft. Add sugar and lemon juice; stir thoroughly and simmer for 4-5 minutes more. Add raisins if desired. Serve warm or cold.
Apple Puff Squares
1 package Puff Pastry sheets (I use Pepperidge Farm.), thawed for 30-40 minutes
2 large apples, peeled, grated or cut into small chunks or thin slices, Granny Smith green apples work well
1 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice or ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger (Optional)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cup raisins or dried currants
4 ounces cream cheese (half an 8-ounce package)
2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg plus 1- tablespoon water for pastry coating
1 tablespoon raw sugar
Confectioners’ sugar for garnish
Thaw one puff pastry sheet for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a saucepan melt butter, add apples, sugar and cinnamon. Cook about 5 minutes until apples are soft, stir frequently. Add raisins and simmer for about 3 minutes. Stir in cream cheese, beaten egg, flour, and ½ teaspoon lemon juice. Set aside.
On a lightly floured board roll out pastry sheet to a 12 x 12 inch square. Cut into 4 squares. Place about ¼ cup cooled apple mixture in the center of each square. Pull the corners of the pastry over the filling and toward the center twisting the corners together to hold the pastry together tightly. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
In a cup or small bowl stir together egg and water. With a pastry brush coat the tops of the puffs with the egg mixture.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Remove puffs from baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool. When ready to serve sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
4 pork chops
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice powder or ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 apples, peeled and cored cut into wedges
3 medium sweet onions, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup apple cider or apple juice
¼ cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub pork chops with olive oil and place in a roasting dish or pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl toss together apple and onion wedges with lemon juice. Stir in Chinese Five-Spice. Add apple mixture to pork chops, add ½ cup apple cider/apple juice or water to pan.
Roast 30-40 minutes or until thermometer inserted into thicket part registers 160 degrees. Every 20 minutes toss the apple mixture. Remove pan from oven and let the pork sit for few minutes.
In a small saucepan bring apple cider and brown sugar to a boil. Simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked apples and onions. Heat on low to medium heat until warm. Serve with noodles or rice and the apple onion mixture on the side.
Helpful Hint: (f you don’t like the apples and onions as whole pieces, you may puree the apples and some of the onions together then add to brown sugar mixture.
Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
2/3 cup Bisquick mix
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice or ground cinnamon
¼ cup cold butter
2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk or half-and-half
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 medium cooking apples, peeled and thinly sliced (2 cups)
½ cup powdered sugar
2to 3 teaspoons milk or Grand Marnier or Amaretto
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix 2/3 cup Bisquick mix, brown sugar, Chinese five-Spice. Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until crumbly; set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups Bisquick mix, 2/3 cup milk, the granulated sugar, and egg; beat vigorously 30 seconds with spoon. Spread half of batter in pan. Arrange apple slices on batter; sprinkle with half of streusel topping. Spread with remaining batter; sprinkle with remaining topping.
Bake about 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on cooling rack 20 minutes. In small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth enough to drizzle. Drizzle glaze over warm coffee cake.
2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of teaspoon
½ teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice or ground cinnamon
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold butter
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
6 baking apples, about 3 inches in diameter (such as Braeburn, Granny Smith, McIntosh, or Rome) cored and peeled
3 tablespoons raisins
2 ½ cups packed brown sugar
1 1/3 cups water
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Cut in the butter, using a pastry blender or fork, until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle with the cold water, 1- tablespoon at a time, mixing well with fork until all flour is moistened. Gather the dough together, and press it into a 6 x 4-inch rectangle.
Lightly sprinkle flour over a cutting board or countertop. Cut off 1/3 of the dough with a knife; set aside.
On the floured surface, place 2/3 of the dough. Flatten dough evenly, using a rolling pin, into a 14-inch square; cut into 4 squares. Flatten the remaining 1/3 of the dough into a 14x7-inch rectangle; cut into 2 squares. You will have 6 squares of dough.
Remove the stem end from each apple. Place the apple on a cutting board. Using a paring knife, cut around the core by pushing the knife straight down to the bottom of the apple and pull up. Move the knife and make the next cut. Repeat until you have cut around the apple core. Push the core from the apple. Or remove the cores with an apple corer. Peel the apples with a paring knife.
Place one apple on the center of each square of dough.
In a small bowl, mix the raisins and Chinese Five-Spice. Fill the center of each apple with raisin mixture.
Moisten the corners of each square with small amount of water; bring 2 opposite corners of dough up over apple and press corners together. Fold in sides of remaining corners; bring corners up over apple and press together. Place dumplings in a 13 x 9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish.
In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the brown sugar and 1 1/3 cups water (additional Chinese Five-Spice may be added to this syrup, if desired.) to boiling over high heat, stirring frequently. Carefully pour the sugar syrup around the dumplings.
Bake about 40 minutes, spooning syrup over apples 2 or 3 times, until crust is browned and apples are tender when pierced with a fork.
Serve warm or cooled with syrup from pan.
Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival — winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012; placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing and winning second place for her Sweet Blueberry Pepper Jelly in 2015; and winning first in 2016 for her spoon blueberry muffins with apricot sauce and second for her blueberry crisp squares — and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.