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We've all heard this adage, "An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away." So, what then do you do with all of those apples you've stocked up on? Or you might ask yourself, what apples should I shop for? Where can I get apples? What the heck do I do with all of these delicious apples!!??
I recall the days of my youth. Fall. My mother and father and I would pack up on a Saturday for one of the few local orchards. Before we would arrive, I could already smell the fresh doughnuts and honey; I could already imagine the towering bushels upon bushels of various apples; and the sweet tartness of cold cider being washed down my throat. Yes, the memories.
As I am new to my current town, I haven't discovered all of the various apple resources at hand. And likewise, you too may be unfamiliar with the apple resources of your area. Recently, I took a
quick tour around the Web to find what I could about apples. I will share a little bit of my research. Also, I would like to share with you, the reader, a recipe or two just in case you have a few extra apples sitting around the pantry.
To begin with, I wanted to learn about the different varieties available today. I already knew some apples were good as eating apples, some for baking, and some for canning and sauces. And the many mix-and-match varieties as well. But what I wanted to know more of was cider and its relation with apple varieties. It wasn't too long before I ran across http://www.michiganapples.com and I stopped there. I firmly believe that this is the resource to end all resources. And it's well supplemented with quick-to-respond site administrators who are very happy to hear feed
back from their visitors. Being somewhat of a biased site, it is none-the-less a good resource. Looking beyond the many Michigan related links and apple history (which is VERY interesting) one will find applications for pies, apple taste profiles, and wonderful information on cider.
Seeing as how I can't make one webpage the meat of an article, but being now more encouraged on the subject, let me share with you some apple tips for improved enjoyment.
Kid's Lunch Boxes
You may be a parent who is very concrete in the belief of adding a fruit to a child's lunch. Kudos to you! And what better fruit to add during this time of year than the apple?! If the taste buds crave the basic apple flavor, I would suggest staying within the norms
by eating McIntosh, Reds, and Johns. But if the kids want a mild yet spicy pucker with their sweets, might I suggest one of the newer varieties: Ginger Gold.
Baker, Baker. Bake me a pie!
I'm beginning to fall in love with the McIntosh apple. This season, the first time I had it was as advertised in the local chain grocery store; "Michigan McIntosh Apples- 0.98$ for a 3# bag." "Well," I thought, "they're from Michigan, so they must be good!" That bag went quickly. And so did the next one - a Wisconsin version of the same fruit. These smaller, rounder, cute apples have a delicate and full sweetness to them, with a hint of a dryness that reminds you what season it is. And they are a robust apple as they lend themselves well to eating, baking, sauces, and as an enhancer in ciders.
It wouldn't seem right to leave you without a recipe or two. This month I'm aiming for the simple. A Waldorf Salad, served warm if you choose, and a delightfully sweet Apple Cinnamon Sugar muffin. Prevention Magazine is the source for the salad.
1/4 cup frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Place the apples in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice,
then toss. Add the celery, raisins and walnuts.
Place the yogurt in a small bowl. Add the whipped topping and gently fold in. Then gently fold in the lemon peel and nutmeg. Add the dressing to the apple mixture. Gently fold in until the apple
mixture is coated.
ALTERNATE DRESSING (higher fat)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup salad dressing
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
In a small glass mixing bowl, generously whip the cream into a stiff mixture. With mixers or wand still in motion, gently add nutmeg and salad dressing (one dollop at a time).
In a separate bowl add egg, milk, and sugar. Stir in mix. Add melted butter and stir a few more times. Add sugar/cinnamon/apples and stir.
Gently pour the batter into a greased muffin tin pouring evenly into
each of the twelve (12) spaces. Bake at 400F for 15 - 18 minutes.
Yields: one dozen medium/medium-small muffins
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
I was a tad gluttonous as I ate six muffins within the first ten minutes out of the oven!