By Loretta Gillespie
The Cullman Times
An Apple Festival is this Saturday at Farm Kid's Club from 9 - 10:30 a.m. at the Heritage Center. They will have apple crafts, apple variety taste tests, yummy apple food, apple stories, games and more. Parent-child program is $5 a child, parents free. Call or e-mail to register, firstname.lastname@example.org, 256-297-1044. Check the North Alabama Agriplex on facebook for more upcoming events.
Our old apple tree really outdid itself this year. It must have gotten just the right amounts of rain, sun and hot weather to produce a bumper crop for the first time in a long while.
Its branches are bending down, apples just begging to be plucked from them, ready to eat on the spot or gather for some great desserts.
Since apples are so good for you, and very economical this time of year at the farmers’ markets, you’ll want to give all of these a try!
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 stick butter, softned
3/4 c. self-rising flour
3/4 c. grated cheese
1 can sliced apple pie filling (or the equivalent in freshly sliced apples)
Cream butter and sugar; slowly add and mix in flour and cheese. Drain apples and pour into 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread cheese mixture on top, and bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Macintosh Fried Apples
Core and slice 6 apples (you can also use Granny Smith for this) leaving on the skin.
Using an electric skillet, set at about 350º, put in a stick of butter to melt, and then add the apple slices.
As the apples cook, add a pinch of ground cloves, a dash of vanilla, a dash of salt and about 3 tablespooons of cinnamon. After the apples cook down a bit, add 8 ounces of maple syrup and let it cook down even more. When apples are soft, turn off heat and put on the lid.
Keep the apple mixture warm while making whipped cream. You might like to add a little brown sugar and vanilla to your heavy whipping cream for this recipe. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
4 c. peeled and sliced apples
1/4 c. orange juice
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. all–purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. butter
Place apples in a buttered 9x13 dish. Sprinkle with orange juice. Combine sugar, flour, and spices and cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples. Bake at 375º. for 45 minutes. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.
20-oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
2/3 c. sugar
3-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 sm. pkg. gelatin, lemon flavor
1 c. diced unpeeled apples
1/2 to 1 c. chopped nuts
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. whipped topping
In a saucepan, combine pineapple and sugar. Boil three minutes. Add gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Add cream cheese; stir until mixture is thoroughly combined. Cool. Fold in apples, nuts, celery, and whipped topping. Pour into a 9-inch square pan. Chill until firm. Cut into squares and serve on lettuce leaves. Makes 9-12 servings.
Using mini-bundt pans or a decorative mold adds interest to this dessert. Serve over lettuce with apple slices.
Apple Dessert Casserole
1 T. butter
2 c. brown sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 box Ritz crackers
2 large cans apple pie filling
Preheat oven to 325º. Butter casserole dish, then firmly pack 1 cup of brown sugar in bottom of dish. Sprinkle cinnamon over brown sugar, and layer approximately ? the can of apples over this. Next layer with Ritz crackers, adding some crackers alongside the edges of the dish. Add 3/4 cup of brown sugar and top with Ritz crackers. Spread remaining fruit over top and sprinkle with the last of the brown sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Caramel Baked Apples
6 T. softened butter
6 red baking apples, cored
10-oz. package caramels
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 c. plus 2 T. water, divided
1/2 c. whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350º. In a small bowl, combine butter and nutmeg. Using 1 T. for each apple, fill centers of apples with butter mixture. Place apples in a baking pan and add 1/4 cup water to bottom of pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt caramels with 2 T. water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in cream. To serve, pour caramel mixture over baked apples. Makes 6 servings.
(psssst….I use a double boiler for melting the caramels. Makes it easier to keep soft, and to clean pan!)
Individual Microwave Baked Apples
Core the apple. Spice with brown sugar, walnuts and butter. Microwave for 5-7 minutes. You can use a ceramic cup for this individualized dish.
Crunchy Fruit Dip
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar
2 10-oz. packages almond toffee bits, Heath bits or brickle bits
5-8 red and green apples
Let cream cheese come to room temperature. Mix all ingredients except apples until creamy. Serve on a festive dish, with dip in the middle, surrounded with sliced apples.
To make ahead of time, cover sliced apples with pineapple juice to prevent browning. To make dip ahead of time, combine first 3 ingredients and refrigerate overnight, then add toffee bits just before serving.