Apple season brings to mind fruit desserts

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

We are getting into apple season, which is one of my favorite times of the year. The never-ending possibilities for using apples make fall cooking a lot of fun. This first recipe today not only uses apples but also dried cranberries. Last week, there was a request for recipes using dried fruits such as cranberries and cherries. Jodi Thompson of Jackson, Mo., sent in these first few recipes. Each of these recipes uses dried fruit as an ingredient. Of course, as in many recipes, the fruits may be changed to suit your own taste.

Apple Streusel Cake

For the streusel:

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup chopped apples

1 cup chopped pecans

3/4 to 1 cup dried cranberries, regular or orange flavored

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter, melted

For the cake:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup orange juice

For the glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- or 10-inch tube pan. To prepare the streusel, in a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, apples, pecans, dried cranberries, flour and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter. Set aside. To prepare the cake, in a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda; mix well. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition. Add vanilla. Set mixer to low then alternately beat flour mixture and orange juice into egg mixture. Spoon half of batter into tube pan. Sprinkle with half of streusel. Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel, spreading to make an even layer. Swirl batter with a knife to create a marble pattern. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove cake from oven; sprinkle top with remaining streusel. Return cake to the oven; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely. Combine powdered sugar and orange juice. Mix well. Turn cake out onto a serving plate; invert so streusel is on top. Drizzle glaze over cake; serve.

Stir Fried Wild Rice with Apples and Sun-Dried Cherries

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons finely minced onions

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1/4 cup sun dried cherries

1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat sauté pan. Add olive oil and sauté minced onions and curry powder until onions are translucent. Add chopped apple, mushrooms and sun-dried cherries and cook until mushrooms are cooked through. Add cooked wild rice and stir-fry until rice is hot and tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Yields 2 servings.

Chocolate-Covered Dried Cherries

2 cups dried cherries

16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, tempered

Place the dried cherries in a coating pan attached to a stand mixer. Spin at low speed. Using a ladle, add the chocolate to the spinning cherries. Add one ladle-full at a time until the cherries are coated to the desired thickness. (Use a 50/50 ratio: 50 percent chocolate, 50 percent weight of the cherries.) If a thicker coat is desired, use more chocolate.

Russian-Style Mixed/Dried Fruit Strudel

Sour cream pastry:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter cut into pea-sized bits

1/2 cup sour cream

Put the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer. On slow, mix in the butter until it looks like coarse meal. Mix in the sour cream until it masses together to form a dough. Pat into a rectangle, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

Dried fruit filling:

1 cup pitted prunes (half of a 12-ounce box)

1/2 cup prune juice

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup dried cherries

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

1 egg

2 tablespoons water

Coarsely chop the prunes. In a small saucepan, cover the prunes with the prune juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer for 3 minutes. Place in a food processor with the vanilla and puree to a paste. Mix in the raisins, cherries and walnuts. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a square 16 by 16 inches. Place the filling in a log running along the bottom and roll up. Pinch the ends closed. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, seam side down. Mix the egg and water together to form a wash and paint the strudel. Bake for 30 minutes until crisp and golden. Let cool on a rack, then slice into 1-inch pieces.

Helen Hunt of Cape Girardeau shares her recipes for fruit curry and a couple of her favorite snacks. The snacks would be great to have on hand during the upcoming baseball World Series.

Fruit Curry

1 No. 2 size can cling peach halves

1 No. 2 size can apricot halves

1 No. 2 size can pear halves

1 large can pineapple chunks

1 can sweet black cherries

3 sliced bananas

Cut fruit halves in half. Drain all fruits then mix:

1 cup finely packed brown sugar

3 rounded tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon curry powder

Combine with fruits. Dot with 4 tablespoons butter. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

TV Mix

2 cups Wheat Chex cereal

2 cups Rice Chex cereal

2 cups Cheerios cereal


1 box Cheez-It snack crackers

1/2 pound mixed nuts

1/2 pound margarine

1/4 teaspoon onion salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon celery salt

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Bottled hot pepper sauce, to taste

Combine all cereals, pretzels, snack crackers and nuts. Next stir together margarine and the salts, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Add to dry ingredients and stir to coat well. Bake on a cookie sheet in a 250 degrees oven for 2 hours; stir every 15 minutes. Cool well and store in airtight container.

Bea's Spiced Pecans

1/2 cup butter

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 scant tablespoon garlic salt

4 cups pecan halves

Melt butter and add spices. Coat the nuts in mixture and roast in a 375-degree oven. Stir after 10 minutes. Roast a total of 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels and cool. Store in an airtight container.

I hope you enjoy the recipes readers have sent in to share with you. Please send in your favorite recipes so others might enjoy them, too.

We have one request this week. Mrs. Sterns of Perryville, Mo., would like recipes for your favorite chicken salad, or even a pasta chicken salad that she could serve at a luncheon. Coming up soon, she will be helping with a luncheon and chicken salad is on the menu, but she would like to try something different. If you have a favorite, especially if it has some type of pasta as an ingredient, please send it in to help her out.

That will do it for this week. So until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at 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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