​Hello Honey Crisp​: My Favorite Fall Apple Recipes

Friday, October 02, 2015

It is that time of year when you need to toss an extra blanket on your bed, pull on a warm sweater before heading out the door and turn off the air conditioning in favor of throwing open the windows. Fall is here.

Autumn heralds many things that I look forward to immensely - pumpkin spice lattes, I'm talking about you - but my absolute favorite thing about fall is apples. I am obsessed with honey crisp apples, and so I can't help adding an apple-related post this week to celebrate the advent of fall.

We recently visited County Line Orchard (on a Sunday afternoon - which was a big, get in a huge argument with your husband while sitting in traffic for what seemed like hours just to park kind of mistake) and picked pounds of apples. In addition to picking apples, County Line Orchard has a bunch of fun activities for families including a kids farm and corn maze. They also have apple spiced donuts that they make fresh daily, which for me is reason enough to visit. I highly recommend a day trip, and I even more highly recommend going early, or on a weekday if possible :)

Thanks to our apple picking adventure, I now have the oh so wonderful problem of how to best use my refrigerator full of apples. So, in case anyone else has this problem, here are a few of my very favorite apple recipes:

Easy apple chips:
  1. Preheat oven to 225°F
  2. Slice 2 - 3 apples into thin rings (I've found that the easiest and fastest way to do this is by using a food processor.)
  3. Place rings on a parchment lined baking sheet
  4. Lightly sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, flip and bake another 30 - 45 minutes (until you start to see the edges of the apples curl up)
  6. Remove from baking sheet and leave out to cool on a metal rack for an additional hour to dry. They won't feel crispy until they've cooled.

Easy applesauce:
  1. Core and slice a bunch apples (I don't peel my apples before slicing as I don't mind them in the applesauce and they provide extra nutrients. Most people peel their apples and traditional applesauce does not have peels.)
  2. Throw the apple slices into a large pot 
  3. Pour in a cup of apple cider (apple juice or just water works too!)
  4. Add 1/4 to a 1/2 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar) depending on taste
  5. Add in cinnamon based on taste and preference
  6. Stir it all together and cook on medium heat with the lid on for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. After cooking, you can either mash the apples in the pot, or if you want a less chunky applesauce, pour the contents of the pot into a food processor and puree to preference. Note: since I leave the peels on my apples, I blend my sauce in the food processor to puree the peels and apples. But if you were to peel your apples at the beginning, I don't think a food processor is necessary.
In addition to being a really yummy snack, I use this applesauce in muffins, breads and to marinate pork chops.

Easy grilled apples:
These make a great dessert or topping for pork chops
  1. Spray two pieces of tinfoil with cooking spray. 
  2. Place 2-3 apples sliced with peels left on (again, those dang nutrients) lices on one sheet of tinfoil. 
  3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar and dot with slices of butter. 
  4. Cover apples with second piece of tinfoil and fold over all edges to make a seal all around apples. 
  5. Place on grill for 10 minutes, flip and cook an additional 10 minutes.
Easy apple pie:
This is my Mom's secret apple pie recipe, also known as the recipe on the back of the Kraft Minute Tapioca box ;)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. MINUTE Tapioca
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 pkg. (15 oz.) ready-to-use refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, cut up
  1. 6 cups thinly sliced and peeled apples 
  2. Preheat oven to 400
  3. °F. Toss apples with sugar, tapioca and spices. Let stand 15 min.
  4. Line 9-inch pie plate with 1 of the crusts as directed on package for two-crust pie; fill with fruit mixture. Dot with butter. Cover with remaining crust; seal and flute edge. Cut several slits in top crust to permit steam to escape.
  5. Bake 45 to 50 min. or until juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Cool.This apple pie goes extremely well with Valpo Velvet's vanilla bean ice cream.
If you haven't already sensed a theme here, I'll admit it, one of the biggest reasons I love apple recipes is because they usually tend to be pretty simple and something a busy working parent can crank out one night after work.

Do you have any favorite apple recipes? I'd love to hear them, especially if they're easy :)

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