Apples, apples everywhere! They are in the grocery stores, at the farmer’s market, and if you’re driving through a rural area, there’s a good chance you’ll see them hanging from the trees. When it comes to ways to incorporate apples into your cooking the possibilities are endless!
Although the best and most nutritious way to enjoy an apple is to simply take a bite of one, it is fun (and tasty) to explore all the different creations you can make with this delicious fruit. That’s why we’re having an adventure into the world of Sweet Apple Treats this month. We’ll look at several popular apple recipes. Whether you’re craving caramel apples, apple pie, apple dumplings, or even applesauce, we’ve got the recipes!
We’ll start things off with an easy, fun recipe that the entire family will enjoy making and eating. So gather the kids in your life and spend the afternoon making Homemade Caramel Apples. When you’re finished, you’ll not only have a yummy treat, but you’ll have created a memory!
1. Start by washing and completely drying red delicious apples.
2. Next, remove the stem and place a craft stick in the top of the apple.
3. For this recipe, you can use 1 pound of store bought caramels. After you unwrap the caramels, add 2 Tablespoons of milk. Then place them in a microwave to melt. Stir periodically.
4. After the caramels are melted, roll each apple quickly in caramel sauce until it is coated.
5. If you like, you can dip the top of the apples in peanuts, M&M’s or chocolate chips; however, this isn’t necessary.
6. Finally, place the apples on a baking sheet prepared with butter or cooking spray.
7. Place the caramel coated apples in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or until the caramel has hardened.
What a fun way to spend an afternoon! Think what a hit these treats would be at a children’s party or a fall festival. If you wrap them individually, you could create your own gourmet gifts. (Not a bad idea with the holidays sneaking up so quickly.) No matter how you choose to distribute these delightful treats, one thing is for sure: they will be enjoyed!
Here’s another apple recipe your whole family will enjoy: Apple Pie. Why, it’s an American icon! Here’s a secret: it’s really easy to make. For too long women have been buying pies at the bakery because we’ve thought it was too hard to make a pie. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Making pies can be simple and fun. In fact, I think it’s easier to make a pie than it is to make either cookies or a cake. So let’s get adventurous and throw off the myth that pie making is too hard. Together, let’s explore the wonderful world of making our own apple pies! Here’s the recipe:
Start with the Crust:
1. Mix together 2 cups of flour and ½ teaspoon salt.
2. Cut in 2/3 cups of Crisco.
3. Add ½ cup warm water. Mix with a fork until totally blended. Then use your hands to form the dough into a ball.
4. Take half of the dough and shape into a flattened round on a lightly floured board. Roll dough with a rolling pin until it about 1/4 inches thick.
5. Place the dough in an ungreased pie plate.
6. Roll the other half of the dough on a lightly floured board. Let it sit on the board while you put the pie together. This will be the pie’s top.
Next, let’s fill the pie:
1. Core and slice 5-7 tart apples.
2. Mix 3/4 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons of flour, and a dash of salt.
3. Put half of the sugar mixture on the pie shell that is already in the pie plate.
4. Heap apples slices into the pie shell.
5. Sprinkle remaining sugar mixture over the apples
6. Dot with margarine–about 2 Tablespoons
Then Cover the Pie:
1. Place the top of the pie crust that you let sit on the floured board and place it over the pie.
2. Pinch the bottom and top of the crust together.
3. Cut off any excess dough from the top and bottom crust. Use your thumbs to shape the edges so they look like a pie crust.
4. Brush the top of the crust with milk and sprinkle sugar on the top.
5. Cut little slits with a knife in the pie lid before baking.
6. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes then turn the heat down to 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool. Then enjoy your homemade apple pie!
Maybe you’re looking for more than an apple dessert. Perhaps, you’re looking for a way to incorporate apples into a meal. One of my favorite ways to do this is to make Apple Fritters.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get bored with the same old side dishes. Some weeks it seems like an endless parade of potatoes, pasta and rice. That’s why every now and then I throw apple fritters into the mix. They are absolutely delicious and they add a sweet, fruity taste to any meal. Personally, I like to serve them on evenings when I’m grilling steaks; however, you could use them as a side dish to any meal. The instructions are simple, and they don’t take much time to prepare.
1. Combine :
1 cup of milk 1 egg
1/3 cup of sugar dash of salt
2 cups of flour 1 teaspoon baking powder
Beat with an electric mixer
2. Heat ¼ inch of canola oil in a frying pan.
3. Peel and wash 2 red delicious apples. Cut into cubes and stir into the batter.
4. When the oil is hot, spoon batter into the frying pan using a tablespoon. You should be able to get 8-12 fritters in a pan.
5. Sprinkle sugar on the top of 1 side of the fritter while frying.
6. When the bottom side turns light brown, flip the fritter.
7. When both sides are browned, remove the fritters from the oil and place on a baking rack on a baking sheet.
8. Continue the process until all of the batter is gone.
9. Place the baking sheet with fritters in the oven at 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Finally, we’ve saved the best recipe for last! Homemade Applesauce. The best part about this recipe is that you can enjoy it during apple season, but you can also jar it and enjoy it all year long! In addition to the delightful taste, applesauce is healthy because it is all-natural fruit. It is great to serve with a meal, to grab as a snack, or to enjoy as a dessert. Best of all, you’re kids will love it!
The ingredients are simple: apples and sugar. For an afternoon’s work, you and your family will be enjoying homemade applesauce all year long. Even if you’re not interested in home canning, you might want to try making one serving of applesauce for your family to enjoy. Whether you make a little or a lot, it’s a great way to give your family the fruit they need, with a taste they will enjoy. Here are the instructions:
HOW TO MAKE APPLESAUCE
1. Begin with tart cooking apples. We always use Cortland apples, but you can use whatever cooking apple you prefer.
2. Wash and peel the apples. Then remove the core. To remove the core I usually make four cuts—one around every side of the apple.
3. Place the apple pieces in salt water while you are peeling the rest of the apples. This will keep the apple pieces from turning brown.
4. After all the apples are cut and cored, use fresh water to rinse the salt off of the apples.
5. Next, place the apples in a pot with a little water on the bottom. Cook at a low to medium heat until the apples are boiling. Your intention is to steam the apples until they are soft.
Here’s a hint: If you are making a lot of applesauce, use several small pots to cook the apples. It makes the process go faster. Just be sure to cook the apples at a low to medium heat and stir frequently so they don’t burn.
6. After you have steamed the apples and they are soft, puree the apples in the blender or food processor for 1-2 minutes. The longer you blend it, the smoother it will become. A food processor will work better, but if you don’t have one a blender will do the job. Our family used a blender for years before we bought a food processor.
7. From the blender or food processor, pour the apple puree into a large pot and continue blending until the pot is filled.
8. When the pot is filled, begin adding sugar 1 cup at a time. How much sugar you add depends on how much you are making, how sweet you prefer applesauce and the tartness of your apples.
9. Stir in the sugar, and taste the applesauce. If you think it’s sweet enough, great! If not, add more sugar.
10. After you have added the sugar, place the pot of applesauce on the stove at a low temperature for a few more minutes. The purpose of this last step is to thoroughly dissolve the sugar and reheat the sauce to prepare it for jarring. Don’t forget to stir periodically until the applesauce boils. When it boils, it is done.
If you not going to jar your applesauce, you are finished. Simply allow the applesauce to cool, than place in the refrigerator. It is now ready to be enjoyed!
To jar applesauce, you need to follow a few basic procedures for home canning.
1. The first step in any canning process is washing and sterilizing the jars. Whether you are buying new jars or reusing old ones, it is absolutely necessary to wash and sterilize the jars to prepare them for the food. This process is very simple. Start by washing the jars like you would normally wash dishes. Then place them upside down in your oven. Set the temperature at 200 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 10-15 minutes. This process will dry up the moisture and kill any bacteria in the jars. It will also remove any unwelcome odors from the jars. When the cooking time is over, turn the oven off, but let the jars in the oven until you are ready to use them.
2. When you are ready to jar the applesauce, use a canning funnel to help you fill the clean, sterile jars with applesauce. Fill the jars to within ½ inch of the top of the jar ring.
3. Before placing the jar ring on the jar, wipe the outside of the jar with a paper towel. This removes any applesauce and helps the jar seal better.
4. Before you can place the jar lids on the jars, you need to sterilize them. You can do this by cooking them in boiling water for about a minute. Boil both the jar lid and the ring.
5. Take the jar lid and ring out of the boiling water and place it on the jar. Make sure it is on tightly, but DO NOT PRESS THE CENTER OF THE JAR LID. After all the jars are finished, place them in the rack that comes with the canner.
6. You are now ready to process cook your jars. We do this using a canner. To do this, you lift the rack into the canner. The water CANNOT BE BOILING when you put the jars into the canner. It can be hot, but not boiling. If it is boiling, take the lid off and let it cool down a couple of minutes. Then place the rack into the canner. The water must completely cover the jars. If it doesn’t, you should add more water.
7. When the water in the canner turns to a rolling boil, turn the stove temperature down to a medium heat. Set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer is done, carefully lift the jars from the canner and place on a glass cutting board to cool.
8. After a few minutes, carefully remove the jars from the rack. Remember, they are very hot. Also, don’t accidentally touch the inside of the jar lid. You want the lid to pop by itself.
9. Allow the jars to cool overnight. The next day, tighten the jar lid and wipe the jar with a damp cloth.
10. Finally, you need to test the seal on the jar. To test a jar that has a flat metal lid, press the center of the jar lid; if the lid is down and will not move the jar is sealed. It is ready to be stored in a cool, dry place. If it didn’t seal properly, you will hear a little “pop”. You can still eat the food; you will just need to store it in your refrigerator.
(To consult the experts with a question about jars, jar lids, or process cooking contact KERR at www.freshpreserving.com )
Even though it seems like a lot of steps, once you start the process it is really very simple. If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I’d love to hear about your adventures in applesauce or any of the other recipes you’ve tried on your own apple adventure. Hopefully, at the end of apple season, you’ll have enjoyed some delicious foods make from fresh, nutritious apples!