Full disclosure. This post is really an excuse to put up my favorite video clip of the season. Behold the way one chef dealt with a huge order of tarte tatins.
If more men knew that this was a step in the process of making apple pie we’d have a whole lot more male pie bakers. And while we are on the subject of men and food prep, you might enjoy the exploits of our favorite Russian Food hacker (the kiwi and the pomegranate hacks were news to me).
But power tools aside, this is also the right time to remind everyone of all the great things to do with apples. There are lots of them this year, though not really in our orchard, which is a mixed blessing. No hauling bushels and grain sacks full of apples to the cider maker, but no homegrown apple cider. There are, however, more apples than we can possibly use, and here are my favorite ways to approach the task.
Best, of course, is just eating these crisp juicy apples, which are the ideal for taking on the road or the trail. But when you need something a little more interesting, get dipping. Peanut butter and almond butter are excellent, healthy options, as is vanilla yogurt or one of my faves, a mixture of ground flaxseed and cinnamon. If you really need to make the hard sell on apple slices serve them with Nutella or, even better, with homemade salted caramel Cholliesauce.
It’s time for apple cheddar scones. It just is. Trust me on this. For apple cheddar pancakes (thank you Doug Haney) thinly slice up some Granny Smith or Mac- like apples and cook them down. Slice up sharp cheddar. Add both to the pancake right after you pour it on the griddle and cook the cakes as usual. You know to top them with–only real stuff!
Add thinly sliced apples to your sandwich, especially if it’s in turkey and cheddar or grilled cheese family. Make a frittata with chopped apples and cheddar. Make an apple/ butternut squash soup like this one , or my slacker no recipe version that I swear I will post soon.
Dip them in Guinness Fondue. Serve up some pork tenderloin with homemade caramelized applesauce. See below.
If you haven’t already made this Apple Cake, do it! If you don’t have the mojo to make the cake at least make the brown sugar frosting and just smear it on an apple and call it good. Really good. The frosting is totally easy and all-time delish. And, especially if your apples aren’t winning any beauty contests make a Joni Mitchell apple pie.
Finally, if you prefer to drink your apples, mix up some hard cider sangria and enjoy the season!
Caramelized Applesauce Plus
This came about as a total mistake, after I got distracted while making a batch of applesauce with the thin-skinned apples that come off my favorite tree. It appeared to be yet another burned disaster, another charred pot headed to the graveyard, but it did smell pretty good. The happy result was Applesauce Plus, which is sweet without added sugar and prettily pink. It was an instant family fave.
- As many tart, unpeeled red-skinned apples as you want.
- Squeeze (or more) of fresh lemon juice.
Cut the cores from the apples and put them in a pot, barely covered with water. Boil until the water is thick and bubbly and the pot smells a bit like caramel. This takes a while, so you’ll want to ignore them for a while, but not be so far away that all the water boils away and you ruin your pot.
When the apples are sticking to the bottom just a bit and the pot smells really good, turn off the stove and let the whole thing cool. Smash the apples through a sieve or a food mill like this one (which is totally worth having), and add a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy it as is or on pretty much anything.