apple fritters, cider and pie - oh my!

Apple Trees

 

If you're like us, you love the fruits of the season. And this season, apples are the fruit of choice. From crunchy McIntoshes and Jonathans to sweet Red Delicious and Honey Crisp, from multi-colored Galas to bright green Granny Smiths, apples are one of the most versatile fruits in the world. Aside from eating fresh as is, they can be used for cooking, making cider, pies, sauces, apple butter and more. Here are three of our favorite apple delights that you can make at home, plus a few special bonus ideas that are sure to warm the hearts of those you love.

 

All-American Apple Pie

We've heard it since we were very young - As American as Apple Pie. Well, here's one of our favorite recipes to recreate that homemade apple pie, warm your heart, go watch some baseball and wave the flag sense of delight any time you like. And guess what? It's as easy as apple pie!

 
Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 6 cups firmly textured tart apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 dash nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 (9 inch) pie crusts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Peel, core and thinly and thickly slice the apples (for a mix of look and texture); if you're using the lemon juice toss the slices in juice.
  3. Combine and mix apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and pour mixture into a crust-lined pie plate.
  4. Dot with butter.
  5. Place top crust, seal, and make vents
  6. Cover edges of crust with narrow band of aluminum foil, shiny side out to prevent over baking.
  7. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 375 Degrees F and bake for another 30-40 minutes until the filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.
  8. If necessary, remove foil for last 10 minutes to brown the edges.

Grandma's Flaky Crust

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsaturated oil
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons cold water

Directions

  1. Mix flour with salt.
  2. Mix in oil using fingers until mixture is crumbly. work in water with fingers until dough forms a ball (you may need a little more or less cold water, so judge accordingly).
  3. Divide dough in half.
  4. Place the divided balls of dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll out to fit a 9 inch pie plate.
  5. Pierce pie shell well with fork and bake at 450 Degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes.

 

Crispy Crunchy Apple Fritters

One of the worlds most delicious guilty pleasures - a crispy fried apple and dough creation with a sugary icing on top. Really, is there anything better than that? Try it for yourself!
Serve apple fritter recipe with glaze made from confectioners sugar mixed with water to desired consistency.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 egg
  • 2 cup finely chopped apple
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

 
Directions

  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and baking powder.
  2. Add milk and egg and beat together until batter is smooth.
  3. Fold in the chopped apple. Drop ladle full at a time into deep hot oil -- about 370° and at least 2 1/2 to 3 inches deep -- and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Drain well on paper towels then roll in confectioners' sugar while still warm.
  5. Serve as is or glaze with confectioners sugar/water glaze and serve when glaze has crisped. 

 

Appletini

When the weather outside gets cooler, you might want to warm get warm on the inside. One way to do it is with a colorful and tasty cocktail derived from the combination of "apple" and "martini" known as the Appletini. It's a delightfully fresh way to start of an autumn meal or just get things going when you're in the mood for a fruity libation. It's beautiful color is always a show-stopper.

It's best to chill both the vodka and the apple schnapps.

  • 2 oz. Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Apple Schnapps (Pucker is nice and sweet-sour brand with a vibrant green color)

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with an Apple Slice (we love the bright green of Granny Smith for this one)

 

 

And as a special bonus prize try these out for a few quick apple treats:

1. Baked apples - Just core your favorite (leave the bottom intact) and stuff the core with about 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg on the top and bake in a shallow baking dish for about 15 minutes or until the sugar begins to caramelize and the apples are tender.

2. Apple stuffing - Make your favorite stuffing recipe and add some chopped apples into it before baking. A mix of sweet red and tart green apples gives stuffing a great fruity lift.

3. Hot spiced cider - Take your bottle of apple cider and put it into a saucepan. Add a couple of cinnamon sticks and about 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. In a cheesecloth or small sachet you can add further spices like whole allspice and whole cloves to add to the pot. Bring to a boil over high head and then reduce the heat and keep warm.

4. Caramel apples - Get a bunch of your favorite soft caramels (Kraft and Werther's are the classics) unwrap 1 (14 ounce) package of the individual and put into a microwave safe bowl with 2 Tablespoons of milk. Remove the stem from 6 apples and press a craft stick into the top. Put the caramels and milk into the microwave and cook for 2 minutes, stirring once. Allow the sauce to cool briefly, then roll the apple on the stick quickly into the sauce to cover. Place on buttered baking sheet and cool. Yes, they really are that easy!