Monday, December 13, 2010

Apples - 'Tis the Season


'Tis the season – for apples! There are so many kinds of apples available now that we can treat our taste buds to a variety of flavors and textures. I have some personal favorites: Gala is pleasingly sweet with an undertone of tartness; Fuji is crisp and juicy, a good crunching apple; Jonagold is a cross between golden delicious and Jonathan apples with a slightly tart edge and good cooking characteristics.

Which leads me to another favorite of mine – baking. This year I made baked apples. I cut the tops off and cored out the apples, scraping some of the fruit away to form a bowl. I cooked unsweetened whole cranberries in a little butter, added a bit of agave nectar for sweetness, some chopped dates, a dash of cinnamon, and the zest and juice of one orange When the cranberries became soft and thickened, I added nuts and filled the apples with the mixture. Then I placed them in a baking dish with a layer of water in the bottom, and baked them at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. They were warming and delicious, just right for a pre-winter dessert.

Homemade applesauce is easy to fix, too. Peel, core, and cube apples (I like to mix varieties and flavors). I do the same with a pear or two. Put the fruit in a saucepan, add apple juice, a tad nutmeg, and cinnamon to taste. Cook over medium heat until the fruit is soft. Then mash them together. A potato masher works fine. Leave some chunky pieces for interest.

Any apple recipes among your cooking favorites? Willing to share? Feel free to tell us about them.

For your info: there are lots and lots of apple varieties, enough for every letter of the alphabet according to this website http://www.allaboutapples.com/varieties/ Pretty terrific, for the apple lovers out there.

Happy apple-ing and a very Happy New Year!

3 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Ferida! And happy apple baking, too!

    Since my wife learned about her allergy to wheat, I've started making apple crisp instead of apple pies. It's easy and quick.

    Simply peel a half-dozen of your favorite apples, mix with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of lemon juice, and arrange in a greased baking dish.

    Then sprinkle the "crumble" on top--half cup of sugar, half cup of flour (gluten free in our case), and a few teaspoons of cinnamon, mixed with oil or butter until the mix forms coarse tiny balls--and cover tightly to bake at 375 for 25 min, then uncovered for 10. Voila!

    I've come to like it almost as much as apple pie.

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