Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's Apple Picking Time!

I went to a local apple orchard and bought 1/2 peck of apples... what to do with them now. Well my kids love my Apple dumplings so that is a must. But the rest hmmm. When baking or cooking with apples you want to use a tart apple, if you use a sweerter apple you won't have much flavor in your final product.

The orchard I went to is owned and run by Tom and Cindy DeGroot. I have been going there for years, unfortunately I can't go pick my own apples and I love to do that. But the Degroot's have a really cool little store. It resembles a road side fruit stand, but when you walk in it feels welcoming and old fashioned. There is an array of Grandma's preserves , coloring books and honey. We got some of each and then there is Annie B. Caramels, we bought Caramel Apple, Butter Rum and the original flavors. Oh My Goodness both my husband and I agreed that we had never tasted caramels as good as these. We are going to go back and get more of them. Once we do I am going to get enough so I can share them with one of you.!

Apple Pickin Time Recipes:
Harvest Soup

Harvest Soup

  • tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • medium Golden Delicious apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Whole grain croutons
Make It
1. In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender and starting to brown. Add the squash, apple, and broth. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Cool slightly.
2. Puree the soup, in batches if necessary, in a blender or food processor, or with an immersion blender. Season to taste with pepper and serve topped with whole grain croutons. Makes 4 to 6 servings (about 6-1/2 cups).
Apple Pasta Salad
Pasta Salad

  • cups cooked mini wagon wheel pasta
  • small Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Make It
In a large bowl combine the pasta, apple, cucumber, pecans, raisins, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill until serving time (up to 6 hours). Stir in parsley, if desired. Makes 4 to 6 servings (about 4-1/2 cups).

Baked Savory Apples

Savory Baked ApplesIngredients
  • ounces sweet pork or turkey sausage
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • tablespoon olive oil
  • dash ground black pepper
  • large Braeburn apples (about 8 to 10 oz. each)
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
Make It
1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. In a large skillet cook sausage and onion until sausage is brown, stirring to break up sausage. Drain off any fat. In a medium bowl combine sausage mixture, rice, rosemary, thyme, oil, and pepper; set aside.
2. Slice the tops off of each apple and a thin slice from the bottom to allow them to stand flat. Core apples, starting from the stem end, using a melon baller or small spoon, going to but not through the bottom of the apple. Use the melon baller or spoon to scoop out the apple, leaving about 1/4-inch apple shell. Chop 1/2 cup of the scooped-out apple and add to sausage mixture.
3. Place the apples in a 2-quart square baking dish. Fill with meat mixture. Pour apple juice into the bottom of the baking dish.
4. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm in shallow dishes drizzled with cooking liquid. Makes 4 servings.

Sweet Baked Apples

Sweet Baked Apple

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • medium Gala apples
  • teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • Vanilla yogurt
Make It
1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. In a small bowl combine the walnuts, raisins, brown sugar, cardamom, and nutmeg; set aside.
2. Slice off a thin slice from the bottom of apples to allow them to stand flat. Core apples, starting from the stem end, using a melon baller or small spoon, going to but not through the bottom of the apple. Place apples in a 2-quart square baking dish. Stuff apple cores with fruit and nut mixture, mounding filling as necessary. Place 1 teaspoon butter on top of filling of each apple.
3. Pour cider and honey into the bottom of the baking dish. Loosely cover apples with foil.
4. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes more or until apples are tender, spooning liquid over apples occasionally.
5. Cool slightly. Serve warm topped with yogurt and drizzled with cooking liquid. Makes 4 servings.

Falling for Apples

Shush Kabobs
  • cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • egg, lightly beaten
  • medium apple, cored and coarsely shredded
  • tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pound uncooked ground turkey breast
  • tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Make It
1. In a large bowl combine bread crumbs, cheese, egg, apple, mustard, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add turkey and mix to just combine. Shape into 12 2-inch meatballs.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add meatballs. Cook about 15 minutes or until cooked through (165 degree F.), turning frequently to brown evenly. (Or, make 24 1-1/4-inch meatballs and cook for 12 minutes.)
3. Meanwhile, prepare glaze. In a small saucepan combine apple juice, maple syrup, and vinegar. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until reduced by about half and is slightly thickened,stirring occasionally.
4. Combine meatballs and glaze. Thread on skewers, if desired, to serve. Makes 4 servings.

I found these recipes in the on line Parent magazine.
For more great recipes using apples go here: