Butter Nut Tart
Twice Baked Apple Croustade with
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Apple Brown Betty
Chocolate Apple Brandy Cake
Apples are a lunch
box mainstay and often stocked in the kitchen pantry. While you may
see them everywhere, don't take them for granted as they don't all taste
like the run-of-the-mill Red Delicious you can find at the corner market.
Depending on the variety, apples can be bitter, sour, tart, and sweet,
and may have a combination of those flavors, like sweet and tart. Not
only can taste vary, but the texture of the apple as well, and terms
like mealy, crumbly, soft, and crisp come to mind. Apples sometimes
change texture when cooked and some are geared toward baking more than
others, although this tends to be of the opinion of the baker; see Apple
Varieties for Pies.
Common eating and
baking apples include 'Granny Smith', 'Fuji', 'Jonagold', 'Rome', 'McIntosh' and 'Golden Delicious'.
Other varieties not so common include 'Cripps Pink', 'Winesap', 'Cameo' and 'Suncrisp'. According to the Washington
Apple Commission, two factors to consider when selecting apples: look
at the skin and choose ones that are shiny and not dull in appearance,
and to choose ones firm and free from bruises and punctures. To store
apples, keep them in the fruit bin at about 32°F.
There are several
things to know about apples. The center of the apple has five seed pockets
or carpels (the star shaped pockets seen when cut in half crosswise).
The amount of seeds per carpel is determined by the health of the tree
itself or by the variety, usually containing between one to three seeds
each. Apples can be grown by seed or by grafting and must cross-pollinate
for fruit to develop. Honeybees are the most commonly used for pollination.
According to the Apple section of Wikipedia, the names of apples can
suggest how it was cultivated: 'seedling', 'pippin', and 'kernel' in
the name suggests that it originated as a seedling. Russeting is a term to describe the discoloration of the apple skin, usually caused
by weather conditions, which is different from other blemishes.
The science of
apple growing is called 'pomology.'
Apples are a
member of the Rose family (Rosaceae).
is the only apple native to North America.
The Apple Blossom
is the state flower of Michigan.
of apples are grown throughout the world.
25% of an apple's
volume is air (that's why they float in water).
In Colonial times,
apples were called winter bananas or melt-in-the-mouth.
The weight of
a peck of apples is 10.5 pounds.
6-10 times faster at room temperature than at refrigeration.
Now that you
know all about the apple, here are some recipes to try: ____________________________________________
Butter Nut Tart This
has a walnut butternut-flavored cream baked under fresh sliced
apples. Although any tart crust can be used, we used a rich
short crust dough. This recipe is for an 11 inch fluted tart
pan with removable bottom.
Short Crust Dough:
2 c flour
1 T powdered sugar
1/2 t salt
12 T whole butter
1 egg, beaten
1 c walnuts, ground in a food processor
8 T unsalted butter, soft
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t butternut flavoring
4 to 5 apples, peeled, halved or quartered and sliced
Apricot Jam, heated for glazing
the crust: Stir dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Cut in butter
and egg. Knead lightly to combine. Chill thoroughly before rolling
filling: Stir together the ground nuts, butter, sugar and eggs.
Cover and chill until ready to use.
tart: Roll out short crust and line tart pan. Transfer all of
the butter nut filling and arrange decoratively the sliced apples.
Bake in a 350°F until browned and done.
Baked Apple Croustade with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream This
recipe uses your favorite pie dough, par-baked apple halves, and
ice cream for a topping. A great way to use up left over pie dough
in your cooler for an on the spot dessert.
peeled, halved crosswise
Pie dough: cut for form around cut apple half
Brown sugar and butter for baking
Ice cream as desired
apples on a baking sheet cut side down and brush with butter.
Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to completely
cool. In a pyrex or other bake proof custard dish, place a tablespoon
or so of brown sugar and about a half-teaspoon of butter on the
bottom. Reserve. Roll out pie dough slightly thicker than you
would for an average pie crust, and cut out with a large cutter
or by hand circles that will fit over an upside-down apple half.
Take a baked apple half and place cut side down on a work surface.
Place a circle of pie dough over the apple and using hands, press
with palms to form around the apple. If necessary, trim dough.
Place custard dishes with apples on a baking dish and bake until
dough is browned. Remove and allow to cool a couple of minutes.
Loosen with a small knife and unmold. Place on serving dishes
and serve with ice cream, warm or cold.
Brown Betty Brown bettys are layered 'puddings'
with fruit and buttered bread crumbs. Here we used apples, and
a pinch of cinnamon was added to the dessert.
1/4 c melted
2 c fresh bread crumbs
2 c fresh thinly sliced apples
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon, more or less to suit your tastes
crumbs and butter together. Arrange layers of crumbs and apples
in a bake-proof casserole or baking dish. Over each layer of apples,
sprinkle a little sugar evenly. Repeat layers of crums, apples
and sugar, ending with apples.
Apple Brandy Cake
c butter, softened
c warm water
t baking soda
c + 2 T
apples, peeled and shredded
for dousing at end
oven to 350° F. Grease and flour desired bundt or similar
the dry ingredients together. Place in mixing bowl. Add the
wet ingredients, and at low speed mix until moistened. Set timer
for 4 minutes, and mix at medium speed. Scrape occasionally
if needed. Add apples and stir to mix. Pour into pan, and bake
until the cake tests clean. Turn out onto cooling rack and douse
with brandy. Let cool; serve at room temperature.