Monday, September 22, 2008

Apple Recipes

Autumn is here and that means, around here anyway, lots of apples.  So here are a few recipes for all those delicious apples.

The Perfect Apple Pie  
Prep Time:
35 min   Total Time: 1 hr 25 min   Makes: 10 servings

2-1/4 cups flour
1 tsp.  salt
1 cup shortening
5 to 7 Tbsp.  ice cold water
6 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 4 large apples)
3/4 cup  sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp.  ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp.  lemon juice (optional)

oven to 400°F. Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, mixing lightly with fork until flour mixture is evenly moistened and clings together when pressed into a ball. Divide dough in half; shape each half into 1/2-inch-thick round. Wrap each dough round in plastic wrap; refrigerate 15 min.

toss apples with sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice in large bowl; set aside. Place 1 dough round between two large sheets of plastic wrap; roll out dough with rolling pin to flatten slightly, working from center of dough to the edge. Turn over; continue rolling until dough round is about 2 inches larger than diameter of inverted 9-inch pie plate.

off top piece of plastic wrap; invert dough into pie plate. Peel off remaining piece of plastic wrap; press dough evenly onto bottom and up side of pie plate, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim any dough hanging over edge of pie plate with sharp knife or kitchen shears; reserve trimmings.

with apple mixture; set aside. Roll out remaining dough as directed; place over filling. Trim top crust about 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold edge of top crust under edge of bottom crust; pinch edges together to form a ridge. Flute edge (see Tip). Cut several slits near center of pie to allow steam to escape.

45 to 50 min. or until juices form bubbles that burst slowly. Cool.


4 Granny Smith apples
2 McIntosh or other sweet apple
Juice f 1 lemon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of coarse salt

Peel, core and cut all apples into eighths. (I usually chop into smaller bits at this point rather than cooking big pieces of apple.)

Melt butter over medium high heat. Sprinkle sugar over; cook until sugar begins to brown.

Add apples; cook until they turn golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Stir in cinnamon and salt. Mash apples like you would potatoes, you can mash a  lot or leave it chunky, whichever you prefer.

Store refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Double-Dipped Gourmet Caramel Apples

4 or 5 medium apples
Wooden sticks
2 (14 ounce) packages caramels (96 pieces), divided

First Caramel Layer:
Wash and dry apples; insert stick into stem end of each apple.

Microwave 1 package of the caramels and 2 tablespoons of the water in a small deep micorwave safe bowl on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every minute. If caramel sauce is too thin, let stand about 2 minutes before dipping apples.

Dip apples into hot caramel sauce; turn until coated. Scrape excess sauce from bottom of apples. Place on greased wax paper. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

Second Caramel Layer:
After refrigerating, repeat microwave and dipping directions with remaining the remaining package of caramels and 2 tablespoons water.

See decorating ideas below for warm caramel apples. Otherwise, refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. See decorating ideas below for chilled caramel apples.

Store decorated apples in refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving to allow caramel to soften. Makes 4 to 5 medium apples or 2 large (3/4 to 1 pound each).

Decorating ideas for warm caramel apples:
Roll in chopped pecans or nuts of your choice; drizzle with melted apples.

Decorate with non-pareil covered semi sweet chocolate chips; drizzle with melted white chocolate.

Roll in graham cracker pieces and miniature marshmallows; drizzle with melted chocolate.

Roll in macadamia nuts or premium mixed nuts; drizzle with melted white and semi-sweet chocolate.

Decorating ideas for chilled caramel apples:
Dip apple in melted chocolate, several times, waiting for chocolate to harden a little between each dip. Use white or semi-sweet chocolate or marbleize.

Dip bottom of apple in melted chocolate; decorate with toasted coconut and slice almonds.

Decorate with melted white or semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkles.

Any of these apples can be decorated with anything you choose, such as raisins, chopped malted milk balls, peanut butter chips, chopped potato chips or preztels.

Mmm, if you've never made homemade applesauce before, give it a try.  It's really easy and it makes the whole house smell absolutely delicious. 

Have a beautiful week!
Jill Marie

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