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Monday, September 14, 2015

Get Ready for Apple Season!

Happy Monday everyone! On Saturday, my husband and I took a trip to a huge farm to pick apples (my FAVORITE fall activity!). We were given a big empty box and a map. We trudged through wet grass and rows and rows of trees filled with unpicked, beautiful round apples! We filled our box to the brim with a delicious variety - from macs to honeycrips to gala - and made the long walk back to the cashier, passing people with half filled boxes ("amateurs" according to my husband). With our new bounty of goodness, I am ready to start baking (though if I'm honest, we usually eat most of the box prior to baking anything...but that's really neither here nor there). At any rate, here are a few recipes in case YOU get to bake with your apples before you eat them all (I mean, come on, they really do taste best right off the tree! How could you not?).

Honestly...did you think I wouldn't bring up the OTHER white meat?
Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Cake
Bon Appetit, October 2001

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups diced peeled cored Granny Smith apples (about 4 large)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 11/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • Vanilla ice cream
For apples:
  1. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; sauté until apples begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and cinnamon and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes longer. Cool.
For cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Combine flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt in large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside 2/3 cup of mixture for topping. Beat pumpkin, sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, spice, and baking soda into remaining flour mixture, beating just until smooth. Beat in eggs. Transfer batter to pan. Scatter apples evenly over top. Sprinkle reserved topping over apples.
  2. Bake cake until topping is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 20 minutes. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides from cake. Transfer cake to platter. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

Okay so maybe these apples aren't picked from the tree yesterday, but they were...once...
Dried-Apple Stack Cakes
Ruth Cousineau

  • 9 ounces unsulfured dried apples (4 cups)
  • 4 cups unfiltered apple cider
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses (not robust or blackstrap)
  • 1 large egg
Equipment: 2 muffin pans with 12 (1/3- to 1/2-cup) muffin cups each
Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Make filling:
  1. Simmer all filling ingredients and a pinch of salt in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot, uncovered, stirring occasionally and mashing apples with a potato masher as they soften, until a thick purée forms, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool completely.
Make cakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter muffin cups.
  2. Stir together milk and vinegar and let stand 10 minutes to curdle.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cloves.
  4. Beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in molasses and egg. At low speed, add flour mixture in 3 batches alternately with curdled milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until each addition is just incorporated. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon batter in each muffin cup and bake just until a wooden pick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean with some crumbs adhering, 11 to 13 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in pans on racks, then invert onto racks to cool completely.
Assemble cakes:
  1. Spread about 2 tablespoons filling on top of 1 cake and invert another cake over filling, then spread a heaping tablespoon filling on top. Make 11 more stacks (you will have about 2 cups filling left over). Transfer to an airtight container and chill at least 2 days for flavors to develop. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Cakes can be assembled 3 days ahead and chilled in an airtight container.
  • Leftover filling can be used like apple butter.

Golden Apple Triangles
Julia Moskin

  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup peeled and grated tart apple, like Granny Smith (about 2 apples)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Flour for rolling out pastry
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in refrigerator
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar like Demerara or turbinado (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside. In another bowl, mix apples, remaining granulated sugar, lemon juice and salt. Let sit 5 minutes, and drain, reserving juice.
  2. On a floured work surface, roll out a sheet of puff pastry to a rectangle roughly 9 by 12 inches. Cut into 6 squares, and place 1 tablespoon apple filling in center of each. Lightly brush edges with reserved apple juice; fold into triangles, and seal edges by crimping with a fork. Repeat with remaining puff pastry and filling. Transfer turnovers to freezer, and freeze until firm, at least 15 minutes. Turnovers can be kept frozen in zipper-lock freezer bags up to 1 month.
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick pan liners. Brush tops of frozen turnovers with apple juice, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and arrange on baking sheets. (If reserved apple juice is no longer available, use commercial juice or water.) Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until well browned, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Let cool slightly before serving.

Happy baking!

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