Apples, anyone?

I can’t let October get away without featuring apple recipes.  I have collected them for years and have tried lots of them along the way.  Several years ago, a friend of mine called me the “apple lady” because she was fascinated with all the different things I made with them.  I used to spend a lot of hours at the orchard picking our favorite varieties.  When the season for harvesting apples was over, my freezer would be full of them, and jars of applesauce and apple butter lined my basement shelves.

Now that my children are grown with families of their own and my husband is no longer living, I don’t have the need for all the apples I used to purchase.  I still go to the orchard a few times a year; however, I haven’t picked my own apples for quite a while.  Somehow, it’s just not as much fun to pick them by myself.

People have asked me which varieties of apples I like to use.  For me, there is no contest of the one I would choose for pies: Stayman Winesaps.  They are a later-ripening fruit and are usually not ready until mid-to-late October.  I also love to eat them raw, especially while munching on popcorn.  My mother started that tradition when I was a child; we snacked on apples and popcorn during radio broadcasts of the University of Tennessee football games on Saturday afternoons.

When I made my own applesauce and apple butter, I used a combination of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples.  The ratio was about two-thirds of the red ones, and the rest were yellow.  Many times the yellow ones were sweet enough that I didn’t add any sugar.  My aunt and my mother were both diabetic, and they loved to get my apple butter since it wasn’t sweetened.  When Aunt Betsy developed leukemia and underwent treatments, she told me the only thing that tasted good to her was the apple butter from my kitchen.

A newer variety of apple that my family likes is Jonagold.  They are a cross between the two types that I used for applesauce.  They make really good pies and are also good to eat by themselves.  I tried using them to make my applesauce, but it didn’t turn out as well as my tried-and-true method.  I guess something got lost in the blend.

Many (and I do mean MANY) years ago, I decided to challenge myself by making apple turnovers.  It was quite a process of rolling out the dough, putting pats of butter all over it, folding it a few times, and then refrigerating it.  This process was repeated several times before the pastry was ready to be used for the end product.  It was very time consuming, and I hadn’t made any in a very long time.  However, that changed recently.  I found a recipe for apple turnovers that used puff pastry – the ready-made kind.  Although I usually choose to bake from scratch, the temptation was too great to resist, and I made my turnovers using Jonathan apples.  They were delicious! 

Along with the turnover recipe, I am providing some favorites from years gone by.  It has been hard to choose which ones, as there are so many that are wonderfully good.  It’s quite a struggle, and I keep telling myself, “No, you don’t need to make that.  You are the only one here to eat it.  Remember the old saying, ‘Those who indulge, bulge!’”

Apple Turnovers

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cups chopped peeled apples

1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed


3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon; add apples and toss to coat.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out each pastry sheet into a 12-inch square.  Cut each into 4 squares.  Spoon 1/2 cup apple mixture into the center of each square; fold diagonally in half and press edges to seal.  Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

In small bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon; brush over pastry.  Bake at 400 degrees for 14-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.  Yield: 8 servings.

Apple-Bacon Coleslaw

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 tablespoons salad dressing (such as Miracle Whip or mayonnaise)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 (16-ounce) package shredded coleslaw mix

1 large (2 small) Gala apple, peeled and finely diced

Freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)

4 to 5 bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled

Whisk together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.  Add coleslaw mix, apple, and ground pepper (if desired), tossing well to coat.  Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with bacon just before serving.

Apple Oatmeal Coffee Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup sugar

1 cup quick-cooking oats (uncooked)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup apple, peeled and chopped

1/3 cup nuts chopped (optional)

Mix dry ingredients together in bowl.  Add remaining ingredients; mixture will be quite thick.  Pour into a greased 8-by-8-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Makes 9 servings.

Apple Praline Pie

Crust for a 2-crust pie – may be purchased or homemade

6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples
3/4 cup sugar
1/4/ cup flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons margarine or butter

1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons half & half
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line pie plate with bottom crust.  Combine apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Spoon mixture into pie shell. Top with second crust.  Cut slits in top, and dot with margarine or butter. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven. In a saucepan, melt margarine…stir in brown sugar and half & half. Heat slowly to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in pecans. Spread over top of pie. Place on cookie sheet, and bake another 5 minutes.

Apple Pizza

1-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons shortening

1/2 to 2/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter, melted

4 cups peeled grated apples

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly.  Add milk to make soft dough (start with lesser amount and add more if necessary).  Turn out onto lightly floured board or pastry cloth; knead gently for 30 seconds.  Roll out to 13-inch circle.  Fit into pizza pan or place on ungreased baking sheet.  Flute edge; brush dough with melted butter.  Evenly spread grated apples onto dough.  Combine sugar, cinnamon, and nuts.  Sprinkle evenly over apples.  Bake in 450-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until edge of pizza is golden brown and apples are tender.

Note:  May use thinly sliced apples instead of grated.





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