Monday, October 6, 2008

An Apple a Day ...

Apple season is in full swing here in New York, the second largest apple producing state in America. My husband and I took the kids apple picking Upstate a couple of weeks ago and they had a ball. Our “Fall” outing was trumped by 85-degree-plus weather but we had some great photo ops among the pumpkins, the kids enjoyed a pony ride and my husband had the pleasure of picking 25 pounds of apples.

We were able to gather what is my favorite of all apples, the McIntosh. The McIntosh is the most widely produced apple in New York State. Personally, I love its sweet yet slightly tart flavor and prefer it over any other apple. Being we picked more than we could possibly eat before they over-ripened, I set to work in the kitchen and used any apple recipe I could think of.

Apple Crisp
Serves 4 to 6

5-6 McIntosh apples, sliced
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oats
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
Splash of orange juice

Heat oven to 375° F. Toss apples with 2 tablespoons of flour and arrange in a greased baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle over apples. Bake until topping is golden brown and apples are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve warm topped with ice cream.

Apple Pie
Serves 8

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice

6 - 8 McIntosh apples
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut shortening into flour until mixture is combined and resembles peas. Combine egg, water and vinegar together to blend and stir into flour mixture with fork until all of the mixture is moistened. Divide dough in half and shape each into a ball. Flatten each into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill dough for 15 minutes.
Dust rolling pin lightly with flour. Roll dough out on plastic wrap to a circle about 1-inch larger than upside down 8-inch pie plate. Invert pie plate on dough and carefully turn plate with dough over; lightly press dough into plate.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel, core and slice apples. Combine with sugar, flour and cinnamon. Place mixture in pie shell. Place second dough round on top and form to the edges of the pie plate. Cut slits in the top crust. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, until crust is golden.

(My crust didn't exactly "look" perfect ... I'd like to think it was rustic.)


Apple Filled Crepes with Caramel Walnut Sauce
Makes about 8 Crepes

Apple Filling
6 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook until apples are tender.

Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring until the mixture is a deep caramel color and looks like syrup, about 8 minutes. Carefully pour in the cream (it will bubble up) and continue to cook for another minute. Stir in walnuts.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg beaten
3/4 cup milk
Pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

Whisk together the flour, eggs, milk, salt sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the butter to form a thin batter. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. I used a crepe maker otherwise heat a heavy 6-inch skillet over medium-high heat. If using skillet, brush with a light coating of butter. Dip crepe maker into batter or ladle a small amount of batter into skillet, tilting to evenly distribute. Cook until golden brown on the bottom and the top begins to look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully remove crepe and cover loosely with waxed paper to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.


Peter G said...

Oh wow! What a great selection of apple dessert recipes! I love that pie Maria!

Bellini Valli said...

What a delicious way to serve all those apples. We used to get them by the bushel when I was a kid, but could never eat all of them now:D

Sam Sotiropoulos said...

I think the apple filled crepe with the walnut caramel sauce would accompany my morning coffee just fine. :)

Ivy said...

I love all the ways you've used your apples but I love the crepes more.

Maria said...

Peter, Val, Sam and Ivy: I can't begin to tell you how many apples I had around my kitchen the last couple of weeks. I'm happy to say they went to good use however. I also tried to make an apple uspide down cake after being inspired by Ivy's Vanilla Apple cake, but it's appearance was less than acceptable! I'm not sure what went wrong ... it tasted great though and the kids enjoyed it.