apple recipe

My Favorite Apple Cake

My Favorite Apple Cake

I have posted this cake recipe in the past. It truly is my favorite apple cake ever.  I had a request for this recipe yesterday, so here it is.

I’ve had this recipe since I was a kid. My Aunt Josie gave it to my mom. Not sure where she got, it but it has been a family favorite since we first made it.

It’s a simple recipe that comes out moist and flavorful. I normally bake it in a 13×9- inch pan but it can be baked in a Bundt pan. While the recipe calls for cinnamon sugar- I sometimes add a little fresh ground nutmeg, too. I also like to use olive oil or even avocado oil in this cake. It gives it a really nice flavor.

Almost any apple works in this recipe- except maybe Red Delicious. Perfect for dessert or even served with brunch.  Who am I kidding? I would eat this cake for breakfast.

Note: The batter is really thick. Don’t think you’ve done something wrong.

 

Classic Apple Cake

1 c. oil, I use olive oil
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/3 c. orange or lemon juice
Combine above ingredients and set aside.
Mix together the following dry ingredients. Make a well and stir in egg mixture to make a stiff batter.

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
3 t. baking powder
¼ t. salt

Mix ½ c. sugar and 2 t. cinnamon and set aside

Peel, core and slice 4 medium apples.
Grease a 9×13 inch pan or a Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Place ½ of batter in prepared pan. Arrange apple slices on batter and sprinkle on ½ of the cinnamon mixture. Pour on remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.

Bake 1-1 ½ hours. One hour for 13×9-inch pan and 1 1/2 hours for Bundt. I find that sometimes it takes less than an hour- check at 50 minutes.

Homemade Apple Pie Filling

Apple Pie Filling

While I think the best pie is made with fresh apples, I also like making and canning my own apple pie filling. It is a handy way for me to enjoy local apples throughout the year. It is also a whole lot better than any commercial pie filling I have tried. Loaded with plenty of big chunks of apples and seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg- I think it the next best thing to fresh apples for baking.

I use my canned filling  to make pies, but I also use it for kolachy, blintzes, cakes and more.

The hard part, for some, is getting a hold of Clear Gel. It is a special type of cornstarch. I buy mine on line, but you can find it in stores where the Amish shop. Clear Gel stays thick, even if it is reheated. Regular cornstarch will not.

Here is the recipe I use. You can tweak the seasonings to suit your own taste, but keep in mind that spices sometimes get stronger when canned, so don’t go too crazy!!

 

Apple Pie Filling

6 qts. apples, sliced and blanched

5 1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 c. Clear Gel- modified cornstarch available on line and in Amish stores

1 T. cinnamon

1 t. nutmeg

2 1/2 c. cold water

5 c. apple juice

3/4 c. lemon juice

If apples lack tartness use an additional 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Wash, peel and core apples and cut into 1/2 thick slices. Place in water treated with either lemon juice, citric acid or ascorbic acid to prevent darkening. Remove from solution and drain well. Blanch in boiling water- 2 quarts at a time- for 1 minute. As you finish each batch place in a bowl and cover to keep warm. In large pot combine sugar, Clear Gel, cinnamon, nutmeg, water and apple juice. Stir over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute. Add drained apples and stir gently to combine. Ladle into hot, clean jars leaving 1 1/2 inches of headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims and adjust lids.  Process in a boiling water bath- pints or quarts for 25 minutes. After the time is up, turn off canner and let jars sit in water bath for 5 minutes before removing. This will reduce the chance of siphoning.  Makes 7 quarts or 14 pints.

For only 1 quart

3 1/2 c.apples

3/4 plus 2 T. sugar

1/4 c. Clear Gel

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/8 t. nutmeg

1/2 c. cold water

3/4 c. apple juice

2 T. lemon juice

Maple-Glazed Apple Bacon Fritters

Maple-Glazed Apple and Bacon Fritters

Maple-Glazed Apple and Bacon Fritters

This time of year, with apples in season, it is fun to use them in all sorts of recipes. I’ve made an assortment of both sweet and savory dishes with them. This is one of my favorites. What could be better than combining apples with bacon in a sweet treat? The sweetness of the apples pairs so well with the smoky/saltiness of the bacon.

Fritters aren’t difficult to make. They really don’t take that long to make, either. I prefer to make them close to when I am serving them- so my guests can enjoy them warm.

They make a wonderful dessert, or a fun addition to a breakfast or brunch menu. I dipped them in the maple glaze, which also went well with the apples and bacon.

 

I must warn you, they are addictive.

 

 

 

Apple and Bacon Fritters

2 c. flour

2 T. sugar

2 T. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1 c. milk

2 eggs, beaten

2 T. melted butter

1 c. diced apples

1 c. cooked, crumbled bacon

oil for frying- I used coconut oil

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Mix together milk with the eggs and butter. Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened and add the apples and bacon. Heat oil to 375. If using gluten free flour, heat oil to 350. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Don’t do more than 4-5 at a time. It will take about  4 minutes in total but you need to turn them to brown evenly so 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Dip in maple glaze (recipe follows) while warm. Makes about 32.

Maple Glaze

1 c. Powdered sugar

1/2 c. maple syrup

a little water if mixture gets too thick

Combine all ingredients and set aside until ready to use.

Autumn Cabbage with Apples

Autumn Cabbage with Apples

Autumn Cabbage with Apples

I think cabbage is underrated. It is such a versatile vegetable. Cabbage is good in both hot and cold dishes, it isn’t expensive, and cabbage is good for you. I was looking for a side dish for a duck dinner the other night and I decided to start with cabbage. Since I had a pretty good sized head of green cabbage and just a small piece of red cabbage, I mixed the two together. I added cider vinegar, sugar and seasonings. Then I added apples to round out the dish. It had a sweet and sour flavor that went well with the duck. I’d also serve this as a side dish with ham, pork or even a lamb roast. It would go well with any of them. You could use any color cabbage for this dish- or combine colors, as I did. Perfect for a Fall dinner.

  Autumn Cabbage with Apples

2-3 T. oil

2-3 onions, sliced thin

8 c. chopped cabbage, any color

1 c. stock- chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 c. apple cider vinegar

1/4 c. sugar

1 t. celery seeds

3 apples, peeled , cored and diced

salt and hot pepper sauce to taste

Heat oil in skillet and cook onion until tender and a little wilted. Add cabbage, stock, vinegar, sugar and celery seeds and cook until cabbage is tender. Most of the liquid will evaporate. Add the apples and cook until apples are just heated through. Season with salt and hot sauce and serve. Serves 5-6.

Apple Pie Blintzes

Apple Pie Blintzes

Apple Pie Blintzes

Since I posted the recipe for making your own apple pie filling yesterday, I thought I’d share a fun way to use it- other than in a pie. I made blintzes with the pie filling. I used flour tortillas for the crepes.

I soaked the tortillas in milk – actually I soaked them in almond milk because that is what I had- but you could use regular milk if you prefer. By soaking the tortillas in milk, they soften up and can be used like a crepe. Soak them for at least 10 minutes, or up to 30 minutes. I placed the tortillas in a shallow baking pan and made sure to drizzle each one with almond milk as I added them to the pan.

For the filling, I used some of my homemade apple pie filling. If you have fresh apples, you can just peel and slice the apples, then cook them in a little water and sugar until softened. You can make them as sweet as you like. You made need less sugar if the apples are extra sweet.  Add some cinnamon and nutmeg, too. If they are too watery- combine a little cornstarch with cold water and drizzle the mixture in until the apples thicken up. Don’t add too quickly or you might them too thick and gummy.

To assemble the blintzes, place a softened tortilla on your work surface and spoon a little apple filling in the middle. You can do this with hot filling, or even make the filling ahead of time and use it cold. Don’t over fill them or you won’t be able to fold them up. I used 8-inch tortillas and used about 1/4 cup of filling for each one. Fold the sides in until they almost meet in the middle and them roll the tortilla up to cover the filling. Place seam side down until ready to fry them.

Heat  butter in a skillet,  and brown the blintzes over medium heat until lightly toasted on both sides. They will be crispy on the outside, but tender in the middle. Put on a serving plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve while warm. These are fine just as they are, but feel free to add ice cream or whipped cream, too.

My guests really liked them and said they did not realize they were made from tortillas. I have made these before and use different fruit fillings. I’ve even made a cheese filled version a few times. It seems I usually have a package of tortillas, so it is a go-to dessert for me in a pinch.

 

Canned Apple Pie Filling

Apple Pie Filling

Apple Pie Filling

While I think the best pie is made with fresh apples, I also like making and canning my own apple pie filling. It is a handy way for me to enjoy local apples throughout the year. It is also a whole lot better than any commercial pie filling I have tried. Loaded with plenty of big chunks of apples and seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg- I think it the next best thing to fresh apples for baking.

I use my canned filling  to make pies, but I also use it for kolachy, blintzes, cakes and more.

The hard part, for some, is getting a hold of Clear Gel. It is a special type of cornstarch. I buy mine on line, but you can find it in stores where the Amish shop. Clear Gel stays thick, even if it is reheated. Regular cornstarch will not.

Here is the recipe I use. You can tweak the seasonings to suit your own taste, but keep in mind that spices sometimes get stronger when canned, so don’t go too crazy!!

 

Apple Pie Filling

6 qts. apples, sliced and blanched

5 1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 c. Clear Gel- modified cornstarch available on line and in Amish stores

1 T. cinnamon

1 t. nutmeg

2 1/2 c. cold water

5 c. apple juice

3/4 c. lemon juice

If apples lack tartness use an additional 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Wash, peel and core apples and cut into 1/2 thick slices. Place in water treated with either lemon juice, citric acid or ascorbic acid to prevent darkening. Remove from solution and drain well. Blanch in boiling water- 2 quarts at a time- for 1 minute. As you finish each batch place in a bowl and cover to keep warm. In large pot combine sugar, Clear Gel, cinnamon, nutmeg, water and apple juice. Stir over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute. Add drained apples and stir gently to combine. Ladle into hot, clean jars leaving 1 1/2 inches of headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims and adjust lids.  Process in a boiling water bath- pints or quarts for 25 minutes. After the time is up, turn off canner and let jars sit in water bath for 5 minutes before removing. This will reduce the chance of siphoning.  Makes 7 quarts or 14 pints.

For only 1 quart

3 1/2 c.apples

3/4 plus 2 T. sugar

1/4 c. Clear Gel

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/8 t. nutmeg

1/2 c. cold water

3/4 c. apple juice

2 T. lemon juice

Rustic Apple Galette

Apple Galette

Apple Galette

If you like apple pie,  you should like apple galette. I actually find a galette easier to make than pie. You don’t have to try to roll out your dough to fit into the pie pan. Instead, you roll out your pastry dough, fill the middle with apples, and fold the edges over. You can make it with other fruits, as well. With a galette, you don’t have to worry about rolling out a perfect circle of dough, either. That takes a lot of pressure off, if rolling a perfect circle of dough is not your best talent. I must confess to liking its rustic charm. I make my own crust, but you can used purchased crusts, if you prefer. You can serve your galette with ice cream, whipped cream or dusted with powdered sugar.

 

 

Apple Galette

Flaky Pie Crust

2 c. flour

1 t. salt

3/4 c. butter, chilled

1 T. cider vinegar

4-5 T. cold water

Combine flour and salt and cut in butter. Toss in vinegar and water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough holds together. Use a fork to toss the ingredients together and as soon as the mixture holds together stop adding water. Makes 2. Chill well before using.

Filling:

5-6 medium apples- I used Jonathan, Gala and Macintosh

2/3 c. sugar- plus extra for sprinkling

3 T. cornstarch

1 T. cinnamon

1 T. Lemon juice, plus extra for treating the apples

1 t. nutmeg

1 t. vanilla

1/2 t. salt

Prepare dough. Roll half the dough into a 10-inch circle- repeat with remaining dough. Keep covered with plastic wrap until ready to use. Peel and core apples and slice thin. Place apples in water with lemon juice added to prevent browning. Drain apple slices well and place in a bowl. Toss with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and seasonings. Place one of the crusts on a baking sheet. Pile half of the prepared apples on the center of the crust. You should have about a 2-inch circle of dough around the edges that is uncovered. Fold edges of the crust up over the apples pressing lightly to hold in place. Sprinkle with a little extra sugar. Repeat with the remaining crust and apples. You will have a little liquid in the bowl from the apple mixture- save that for now. Place the galettes in a preheated 425 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn down heat to 350 and bake for another 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. While galettes are baking take the liquid left from the apples and cook in a small saucepan until thickened- it will take a minute or two. This will be used to glaze the galettes. When galettes come out of the oven brush the apples with the thickened  glaze.  Cool on wire rack. Makes 2.

Apple and Cheese Salad

Apple and Cheese Salad

Apple and Cheese Salad

I did a cooking class on cooking with apples and pears and thought I’d share some of the recipes with you. We started with a salad of apples and toasted walnuts with cheese served over greens. The salad is quite simple but the dressing really makes it special. It was a big hit in class and I think you’ll like it, too. I used cheddar but feel free to use other cheeses. The apples I used I got from Blue Pike Farm last week. Early Golden is a green apple with a sweet/tart flavor and great crisp texture. I also used some fresh mint leaves from my garden.

Apple and Cheese Salad

Dressing:
3 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. lemon juice
2 t. sugar
¼ c. olive oil
3 T. dried minced onion
2 T. water
salt and pepper to taste

1 c. walnuts or pecans, toasted
4-6 cups salad greens, washed and spun dry
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese or ½ c. crumbled feta or bleu cheese
2 Granny Smith or other tart apples
1 T. chopped fresh mint or parsley
1 T. snipped chives or green onions, optional

In container with tight fitting lid shake dressing ingredients together and chill until ready to use. To toast nuts place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Cool. When ready to serve the salads divide the greens among 4 plates or arrange greens on a platter. Core the apples and cut in slices. Toss apples with the dressing. Place apples on greens, then top with remaining ingredients. Serves 4.

 

Apple Pie Won Tons

Apple Pie Won Tons

Apple Pie Won Tons

With a Chinese New Year dinner tonight with friends I wanted to bring something for dessert. Since I haven’t been going to the grocery store I had to work with what I have already. I am using won ton wrappers to make appetizers and decided to use some of them for dessert, too. I wrapped a small amount of apple pie filling in each wrapper, sealed them up and pan fried in a little oil. Before serving dust with powdered sugar. They taste like little crispy apple pies. Not a traditional Chinese dessert but a nice finish for dinner. These are tiny bites, allow 4-5 per person.

 

Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of each wrapper

Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of each wrapper

Fold sides in

Fold sides in

Roll up- use a little water to seal

Roll up- use a little water to seal

Ready for frying

Ready for frying

Drain on paper towels, then serve

Drain on paper towels, then serve

 

 

 

 

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