Timeless Appeal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2000

Apple of my eye? Here’s your one a day. Slowly but surely fall is creeping into the Miss-Lou. Even though the afternoons are still hot, there is a little coolness in the morning air. With the relief of coolness in sight there are other changes also. In the produce department grapes, kiwis, peaches and plums are being replaced by pomegranates, citrus fruits and my favorite, apples. The best part about apples is their versatility. They are perfect paired with pork in a main dish, chopped in a side dish of slaw or salad, or where they shine best, a baked dessert.

While some apples are better for eating out of hand such as Gala, Fuji, Yellow and Red Delicious, others are better for baking. The ability to hold their shape when baked makes these varieties perfect for you fall dessert baking: Pink Lady, Braeburn, McIntosh and Granny Smith.

These next recipes will get you in the fall spirit and give you a new love for apples.

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Baked Apples

6 large baking apples

6 tablespoons butter



1 cup maple syrup

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and core apples. Starting from stem end, peel apples one third of the way down. Arrange apples, peeled end up, in a 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Place one tablespoon butter in the cavity of each apple and sprinkle a little cinnamon and nutmeg into each. Pour the syrup over and around the apples.

Bake apples one hour or until fork-tender, basting occasionally with syrup in baking dish. Serve apples hot with whipped cream.

Mom’s Apple Dumplings

Sauce ingredients

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup red cinnamon candies

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Dumpling ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening

1/2 to 2/3 cups cold milk

6 small baking apples, peeled and cored

5 tablespoons butter

1 egg white, beaten

1 tablespoon sugar

In a medium saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Set aside

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using two forks, knives or your fingertips, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle flour mixture with milk while tossing and mixing lightly with fork, adding enough milk until you have a soft dough. Shape dough into a ball. roll on lightly floured surface into a 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle into 6 squares. Place an apple in center of each pastry square; dot with margarine. Bring corners of squares up to top of apples. Place in ungreased 13 by 9-inch pan. Pour sauce evenly around dumplings. Brush dumplings with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with the sugar.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until dumplings are light golden brown and apples are tender. They are delicious served warm with light cream.

Adapted from Good Housekeeping

Apple Cranberry Crisp with

Almond Streusel Topping

1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup currants or raisins

1/4 cup dark rum

6 to 7 medium Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick, 6 cups are needed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Topping ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1f/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds

1/4 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss cranberries with 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine currants or raisins and rum in a separate small bowl. Set aside. toss apples with lemon juice in a large bowl. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup sugar, orange zest and cinnamon. fold in cranberries and currants. Stir in flour until mixture is combined. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish, set aside and make topping. Mix butter, flour and brown sugar in a large bowl until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in almonds and oats. Sprinkle topping over apple mixture. Bake for 45 minutes and let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Stop and Smell the Rosemary


Caramel Apple Cake

Cake ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups firmly packed grown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup butter, softened

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups finely chopped peeled apples

1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, pecans or walnuts

Frosting ingredients

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

4 to 5 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 by 9- inch cake pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon salt, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, butter and eggs; beat for three minutes on medium speed. Stir in apples and nuts. Pour into greased and floured pan. Bake at fro 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.

While cake is cooling make your frosting. In a small bowl, blend all frosting ingredients, adding only enough milk to blend to spreading consistency. Spread over cooled cake.

adapted from Pillsbury, The Complete Book of Baking

Baked Apple Fans

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter or margarine

1 1/2 tablespoons sliced unblanched almonds

4 large Granny Smith apples

3 tablespoons apricot all-fruit preserves

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a jelly-roll pan with 1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine. Place the almonds in a small baking pan and toast in the over while it is preheating 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Peel the apples with a vegetable peeler and cut in half through the stem end. Remove cores with a melon baller and cut a V-shape to remove the stem and blossom ends. Place each half, cut-side down, on a cutting board. Slice the apples crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, leaving the slices together. Fan out each sliced apple half and place in the prepared jelly-roll pan. In a small saucepan, combine the preserves, sugar, lemon juice and remaining butter or margarine. Warm over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until bubbly. Spoon the mixture over the apples, spreading it with the back of a spoon to coat the apples evenly.

Bake the apples for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Turn the oven to broil. Broil and apples 4 to 6 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve.

from The Ultimate Quick and Healthy Cookbook