By Tami Schlies
What does a fruit grower do when not growing fruit? Eat it! As you’ve probably noticed, I like to include at least one recipe in every edition. This edition will be an all recipes issue, focusing on apples.
With the holidays just around the corner, you might be thinking of using some of this season’s fruit in your celebrations. This time of year, I still have Oriole apples in the crisper drawer that are getting a tad mealy but do fine for cooking. Even if you don’t have a harvest of your own to utilize, apples are in full season at the supermarkets right now.
Most of these recipes would do well using Granny Smith or Gala apples. One large supermarket apple equals about one cup of sliced apples. My orchard’s apples are smaller, so I usually need 2 apples per cup.
I hope you enjoy this food as much as my family does.
Oh, and if you have a recipe of your own, consider sharing in the next newsletter.
Pork chops with sautéed apples
This recipe is easy, except the brining requires a few hours, so start early.
4 3/4 c. apple cider
4 T. salt
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 t. red pepper flakes
6 pork chops about 3/4 to 1 inch thick
3 T. butter
3/4 c. chicken broth
2 T. coarse mustard
1/2 c. sour cream
For the apple topping, cook the following over medium heat for about 5 minutes:
3 c. apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch wedges
2 T. butter
2 T. cider vinegar
1/4 t. salt
In a large bowl, combine 4 c. of the cider, 2 c. cold water, 4 T. salt, bay leaves, crushed garlic, and red pepper flakes. Submerge the pork chops and cover. Store in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to 24, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Remove the pork from the brine and blot dry with paper towels. Melt 2 T. butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the pork chops for 3-5 minutes, until well browned. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes on the other side. (You may need to fry in 2 batches. If so, divide the butter.) Layer the browned chops in a 9×13 baking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, until done.
While the chops are baking, pour the remaining 3/4 c. cider into the hot frying pan to deglaze it. Scrape the pan to dislodge browned bits. Add the chicken stock and turn the heat to high. Boil until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup (around 10 minutes.) Remove from heat. Add the remaining 1 T. butter and mustard. When the sauce is no longer bubbling, add the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove pork chops from oven, ladle the sauce generously over each one, and top with the sautéed apples. Serves 6. Enjoy!
Apple Upside-Down Cornmeal Cakes
You’ll need a 6 large muffin tins for this recipe. Consider doubling it, because these cakes will be gone before you know it.
6 T. cold, unsalted butter
3 c. apples, peeled, cored, and diced
(about 1/3 inch)
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 t. lemon juice
1/2 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/3 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 large egg
3/4 c. milk
whipped cream for topping
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Grease the muffin tins. Melt 2 T. butter in a 12 inch heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the diced apples, brown sugar, and lemon juice, stirring occasionally, for about 5 or 6 minutes, until the apples are tender and the liquid is reduced to a glaze. Stir in the walnuts.
Divide the apple mixture evenly into the six muffin tins. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the remaining 6 T. butter until it resembles course cornmeal (you can use a food processor to do this to make it faster.) Whisk together the egg and milk, then add to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
Divide batter between the muffin cups and bake 15-20 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Loosen the cakes by running a thin knife around each edge. Place a rack upside down over the muffin tins, and then tip the cakes onto the rack. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 6.
Dutch Apple Baby (German Apple Pancake)
This recipe isn’t really a pancake in my opinion. It’s more like an apple soufflé (only not as tricky.) My family prefers more apples, so I use a full 2 cups. Try it for breakfast or a light dessert.
1/2 c. flour (I use GF oat flour, but all purpose is fine.)
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. baking powder
4 large eggs
1 c. whole milk
2 T. butter, melted
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar, lightly packed and divided in half
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1-2 c. apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and stir. Let the batter rest for 30-60 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the moisture and thicken (don’t skip this step.)
Preheat oven to 400˚F. On the stove over low heat, melt half the butter in a 12 inch cast-iron skillet, swirling to coat the sides of the pan. Add the apples and sauté until they soften, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg over the apples and stir and turn heat to medium high. Stir and cook until the mixture starts to bubble. (Watch closely.) Add the remaining butter and stir until melted.
Remove pan from heat. Gently pour the batter over the apples and place in the preheated oven. Bake 15 – 20 minutes, or until pancake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (This “pancake” will swell and perhaps threaten to overflow, but don’t panic. It’s supposed to be fluffy.)
Slide a rubber spatula around the edges to loosen the pancake from the sides. Slice and serve hot or warm.
Maple Apple Jam
This tastes like apple pie in a jar!
16 cups apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 1/2 c. pure maple syrup
2 c. apple cider
1 t. cinnamon
1 T. lemon juice
If you have a food processor, you can make short work of chopping the apples in very little time. Once that is done, Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Continue to boil about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat, skim foam, and ladle into sterilized canning jars. (I use the sterilizing cycle on my dishwasher to sterilize jars. If you don’t have that option, wash jars well, then submerse completely in water and boil for 10 minutes. Leave the jars in the hot water until just before using.) Seal and process in a water bath for 5 minutes, remove, and cool for 12 hours without disturbing.
Dan’s Apple Pomace Jelly
Dan uses the leftover pulp from his apple pressing to make jelly. Here is how he does it.
Five to six gallons of pressed apples give off about five quarts of apple juice depending on the size of the apples. The juice is primarily fruit flavored water and soluble solids which are mostly the fructose. There is still plenty of flavor and all the pectin remaining in the pomace. By adding water and sugar one is able to get more juice to make jelly.
In the case of the exampled 5-6 gallons of apples, one would add to the pomace about 3 cups of sugar and 9 quarts or so of water and mix in. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 5 minutes. Let sit for about an hour. Strain (don’t squeeze) through a jelly bag or pillow case to get the juice. For smaller batches use less pomace and proportional water and sugar.
From this point follow any jelly recipe using the juice you collected and more sugar.
(Let me know if it works.)
From a friend of Debbie Hinchey. She says her friend uses ‘Kerr’ apples.
4 lbs. crabapples
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
4 cups sugar
20 cinnamon red heart candies
1 tbsp. whole cloves
10 inches stick cinnamon
1 tbsp. allspice
Tie spices in a cheesecloth bag and add to syrup of vinegar, water and sugar and red hearts. Bring to a boil. Wash and remove blossom end from unblemished crabapples. Prick each crabapple 3 or 4 times. Add fruit to syrup and simmer until crabapples are heated through, but not soft. Remove spice bag. Pack apples into hot sterilized pint jars. Cover with coiling syrup leaving ½ inch head space. Seal by processing in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
I found the recipe on the web at www.homefamily.net. They have lots of crabapple recipes.
Also I cooled them in pot and then placed the apples in plastic bags, added syrup and sealed removing all the air. Since there are only 2 of us I made small packages. The have become milder as the longer in the freezer.
Many pie fillings use wheat flour for the thickener, but I discovered long ago that tapioca is a better, cleaner-tasting option. I’ve even used quick-cooking tapioca rather than tapioca starch with great results. Try using tapioca flour in the filling for any of your favorite fruit pie recipes. Oh, and for this pie, the secret ingredient is the rum!
8 c. apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 Tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Prepare the pie crust. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Toss all the ingredients together and fill a prepared pie shell. Cover and crimp. Cut vents in top.
Place foil or a crust protector over the edges of crust to prevent over browning. Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350˚F and remove the protective foil. Bake another 40 minutes until crust is brown and juices are bubbly. Cool completely before serving.
Yield: 1 nine inch pie
Foolproof Gluten Free Pie Crust
I’m gluten intolerant, so thought I’d include a small nod to those of you who may share my special diet. You will need parchment paper (found in the sandwich bag aisle.) This recipe will make one single-crust pie. To make a double-crust pie, repeat the recipe for the second crust.
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup potato starch
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
1 egg, cold
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Combine the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or food processor, cut the chilled butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles course cornmeal. Beat the egg with the vinegar and add it to the flour mixture. Mix until combined and squeeze the dough into a ball.
Dust a large sheet of parchment paper with tapioca starch. Place the ball of dough on the parchment and dust the ball. Place another sheet of parchment on top and roll the dough out into a circle to fit the pie pan.
Remove the top sheet of parchment and lift the dough using the bottom parchment to tip it into the pie dish. Trim and crimp the edges.
Yield: 1 single pie crust