Apple recipes to celebrate autumn

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It is a good thing when your favorite baseball team is still playing baseball in October. We love watching the Cardinals and love it even more when they are in the playoffs. So for now, we still have a few more days of baseball left. When baseball is over, we don't know what to do with ourselves. We just enjoy it while it lasts.

In keeping with our fall theme we have talked about the last couple of weeks, I have apple recipes for you this week. All of these recipes are among those I make often in the fall and winter, and I wanted to pass them along to you. I hope you enjoy them and have fun making them.

Apple Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping

Topping

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

1 cup chopped pecans

Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Cut in butter until course. Stir in pecans. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 1 recipe pie crust and fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edges. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Filling

3 pounds apples (Golden Delicious) peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons flour

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine in a large bowl. Spoon into prepared pastry shell, pressing down to compact and round top. Sprinkle topping over pie.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake 45 minutes or until apples are tender in middle when pierced with a skewer. May need to shield edges of crust with foil to prevent from over-browning. Transfer pie to wire rack to cool at least 45 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

This recipe was given to me by my cousin, Cindy Dude. I love to serve it during the winter months, and it is a nice addition to any buffet table.

Apple Pecan Caramel Brie

1 Granny Smith apple, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons butter

2 tablespoons sugar

Cinnamon, to taste

3/4 cup pecans, broken

1 teaspoon butter

3 tablespoons sugar

Pinch cinnamon

Pinch cardamom

Sauté apple in butter. Add cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.

Caramelize pecans in butter, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom over medium heat until sugar dissolves.

Caramel Sauce

1/4 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons cream

Combine ingredients. Heat until smooth.

Split a small wheel of brie horizontally. Press 1/2 of the pecan and apple mixture into one half of the cheese. Replace the top of the brie. Heat in oven or microwave until soft. Top with remaining apples and pecans. Top with caramel sauce. Serve warm with crackers.

Fresh Apple Cake

4 cups apples, peeled and sliced as for pie

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup oil

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

2 eggs, well beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour, spooned into cup

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

Mix apples, sugar, oil, nuts and eggs. Sift dry ingredients and add to above until blended.Turn into greased and floured 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Topping

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 stick margarine

1 small can evaporated milk

1/4 cup coconut

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Cook together sugar, margarine and evaporated milk for 5 minutes at a simmer. Then add coconut, pecans and vanilla. Mix together and pour over warm cake. Broil under broiler until browned and bubbly, being careful not to burn.

This recipe is also from my cousin Cindy Dude. It is an original of hers. She made it up from a dessert she had eaten somewhere and it is fabulous. Give it a try as well.

Caramel Apple Crisp Cobbler

Make a pastry for a double crust 9-inch pie. Place all of the pastry in the bottom and up the sides of a large deep dish baker. (There will be no top crust, but will use all of the pastry for the bottom and sides of baker).

Fill with sliced tart apples. Mix together 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. Pour evenly over apples. Mix 1 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar and cut in 6 tablespoons margarine or butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over cobbler. Bake at 375 degrees 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and top with caramel sauce.

Melt 12 unwrapped caramels and 1/4 cup evaporated milk in microwave until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over hot cobbler. Serve warm.

There are so many apple crisp recipes floating around and I have tried so many of them. I really like this one because the topping gets really crisp, which is what we like. You can adjust the amount of cinnamon in the recipe and do with or with out the raisins. Give this crisp a try; I think you will like it.

Apple Crisp

5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place sliced apples in deep baker. Combine the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over apples.

Topping: 1/2 stick margarine, melted 1/2 cup quick cook oats 1/2 box Jiffy yellow cake mix 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup raisins, optional Combine all topping ingredients. Crumble over apple mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until apples are tender.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at smcclanahan@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by the Southeast Missourian staff.

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