You probably have numerous apple recipes of your own and want to try something delicious but different. See if you find something you like in this medley of apple and pear recipes.
Apples are flavor packed, versatile and are powerful disease fighters. There’s a lot to be said about “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” One large, raw apple with the skin has about 5 grams of soluble fiber and only 90 calories. There is no fat, cholesterol or sodium. They contain doses of flavonoids and polyphenols, mostly found in the skin, and are believed to be the most important antioxidants for heart and brain health and function. Remember to wash the apples thoroughly. Pesticides even penetrate the skin, so if you want buy organic apples for less pesticides.
Best apples to use for cooking because they retain their texture and flavor are: Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala, Janagold, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, McIntosh or Pink Lady. These apples work well in sauces, pies, crisps, turnovers or crumbles and are good for sautéing and roasting. Other apples are good for fresh snacking and preparation.
Apples turn brown quickly once they’re peeled or cut. Once they are cut, sliced or peeled toss them with a little lemon juice. Store apples in a plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator. They’ll stay fresh for weeks that way.
Pears are in season along with apples and are filled with fiber, nutrients, vitamins C and K, and antioxidants. They can be eaten fresh or cooked. Bosc pears hold their shape better than other pears. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Oatmeal with Apples and Raisins
Serves 4 to 6
4 cups water
1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
¾ cups steel cut oats
1 Granny Smith green apple, peeled, cored, and diced
¼ cup dark raisins
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
2-4 tablespoons brown sugar, to taste (optional)
Lightly spray a 5-quart slow cooker with vegetable cooking spray.
Stir water, applesauce, oats, apple pieces, raisins, cinnamon, and brown sugar into slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours. Serve hot.
8 cups apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
3 strips of fresh lemon, ½ inch wide and 2-inches long
4 half-inch slices of orange
In a large heavy pot simmer cider, cinnamon stick, cloves, lemon and orange slices for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Pork with Pears and Rice
1 cup rice, prepare according to package directions
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch thick rounds
2 tablespoons EVOO, olive oil
1 small sweet onion or Vidalia
3-4 ripe pears, cored and cut into eighths
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Prepare rice according to package directions. Cover with lid, set aside and keep warm.
In a large skillet heat 1-tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat, add pork slices in a single layer. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until browned. Transfer pork to a plate and keep warm.
In the same skillet add sliced onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly browned and just tender, stirring frequently.
Add pears, cinnamon, and ¼ cup water. Cook 5 minutes or until pears are just tender and water evaporates, stirring occasionally.
While pears cook, put rice in bowl and stir in sautéed onions, 1-tablespoon olive oil, and ground cinnamon. Serve with pork and pears.
Cinnamon Apple Sauce
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch chunks
¼ cup granulated sugar
1tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a 2-quart microwave safe dish with a lid, mix together apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
Cover and microwave on high about 10 to 15 minutes, until very tender stirring halfway through. Mash apples with the back of a spoon or keep chunky. May be eaten hot or cold. Refrigerate covered for up to one week.
Slow Cooker Apple-Pear Butter
Makes 6 to 8 cups
6 Anjou or Barlett pears, peel, quarter and core
6 McIntosh or Gala apples
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves (optional)
In a blender or food processor finely chop fruit in small batches. Blend until all the apples and pears are ground up, and then pour into a slow cooker.
Stir in sugar, cinnamon, butter, pinch of salt, and cloves (optional). Cover and cook in a slow cooker on low for 4 to 5 hours on high. Stir occasionally. Transfer mixture to blender or processor, in small batches, and blend until smooth. Return to slow cooker and cook for another 2 hours remove cover and cook for another hour or until it’s no longer watery. Let mixture cool and transfer to airtight containers and refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze up to 3 months. Great as gifts. Serve as a side dish or on toast, bagels, muffins or in yogurt.
Apple - Pear and Celery Salad
I like the Granny Green apple in this recipe. For an added treat I add ½ cup Mandarin orange sections.
1 head butter or Bibb lettuce leaves, gently torn into bite size pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 apples, quartered, thinly sliced, toss with 1 teaspoon lemon juice, set aside
1 green pear, quartered, pits removed, and cut into thin slices
1 cup pomegranate seeds or sunflower seeds, garnish
½ cup feta cheese or blue cheese crumbles, about 2 ounces
Vinaigrette, as desired
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced then mashed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup canola or grape seed oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Whisk vinegar, honey, garlic, and mustard in a bowl. Gradually drizzle in oil and whisk, season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a bowl toss apple and pear slices with 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Set aside. In a large salad bowl toss together lettuce pieces, celery pieces, pear and apple slices. When ready to serve toss in pomegranate seeds or sunflower seeds, and feta cheese crumbles. Let guests add their own vinaigrette as desired along with salt and black pepper.
Honey Baked Pears
Serves 4 to 6
4-5 firm-ripe pears, like Bosc, halved lengthwise (leave stems intact), and cored
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup honey
Vanilla ice cream, if desired
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large baking pan or a 9-inch pie plate pour melted butter. Tilt pan to coat with the butter. Arrange pear halves, cut side down in one layer, with the narrow part facing the center. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until slightly tender when pierced with a knife or fork.
In a measuring cup combine balsamic vinegar and honey. Spoon mixture over pears and bake another 5 minutes. Serve pears warm on dessert plates and spoon juices over each pear. Top with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Applesauce and Raisin Cake
2 cups raisins
3 cups apple cider or apple juice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup unsweetened* applesauce
3/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped
With flour and vegetable spray grease a 10-inch fluted tube pan. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine raisins and apple cider; bring to boiling. Reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed. Remove from heat and cool about 20 minutes.
In large bowl combine eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla.
In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually stir this mixture into applesauce mixture until just combined. Add raisin mixture and nuts. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove and cool completely. Wrap and store overnight before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before slicing. Makes 10 servings.
Farm-style Apple Dumplings with Caramel Sauce
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups shortening
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup cold water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
6 medium cooking apples (about 2 pounds), peeled cored and left whole
¾ packed brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
½ cup butter, cut up
2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are the size of small peas. In a small bowl, combine egg, the ¼-cup cold water and vinegar. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until all of the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Dough will be slightly sticky.
Divide dough in half. Turn one portion dough out onto a well-floured surface. Roll to form a 12-by-12-inch square. Using pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut into four 6-inch squares.
Peel and core apples. Place an apple on each pastry square. Fold corners to center over apple. Pinch edges to seal. Place dumplings in a greased 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. Repeat with remaining pastry and apples.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until apples are tender and pastry is golden brown. Cool at least 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, 2/3-cup heavy cream, and corn syrup. Bring to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to medium. Boil gently, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract. Transfer to a bowl; cover and set aside to cool slightly. Makes 8 servings.
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, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.