Autumn, harvest, or the season now widely referred to as fall was also once called ‘fall of the leaf’ obviously to signify the time of year when leaves begin to fall. But leaves aren’t the only things falling this time of year... Rain, flowers, Carol’s arches, some of London’s bridges (so we’ve heard), even time is getting ready to “fall” back.
Now that we think about it, all that falling seems kind of depressing, yet one of the best “falls” of fall are the apples falling off the trees. So, we thought it would be fun to share a couple recipes featuring this, one of the most quintessentially fall of all fruits. (Yes, we know the pumpkin is technically a fruit -- a berry actually, to be exact, but who makes up these rules anyway? It makes a killer pie, but seems like more of a vegetable, right?)
Carol: Yep, living in Washington--the apple capital of the world--fresh, delicious apples seem to be everywhere right now. So here is my recipe for ‘Apple Dumplings’ that my mom has been making for as long as I can remember. I have no idea why they are called this because they aren’t really a dumpling at all, but they are incredibly delicious and surprisingly simple to make.
(Confession: I have been known to eat this dessert straight out of the pan and then act surprised when someone mentions that it’s almost gone.)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
½ cup milk
6 small or 3 small apples--peeled and chopped
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup butter
Mix first four ingredients. Cut in shortening to make small crumbs, then add milk to make dough. Roll out dough jelly-roll style then sprinkle apples over top. Roll up and pinch dough to seal (don’t worry if dough doesn’t quite seal, or if it gets a little gets messy at this point--it will still taste great). Cut into 12 pieces and place them cut side up in a 13 x 9-inch pan.
Melt remaining ingredients in small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Pour over apple dumplings. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream (or eat straight out of the pan with a fork when no one is looking and later deny that you’ve done it.)
Amy: I’m not sure I can compete with that dumpling recipe! I’m from Chicago, not the Big Apple. We may be better known for our pizza than our apples, but we midwesterners do know how to bake. I absolutely love caramel apples in the fall (okay, really whenever, but that’s not important!) Here’s my recipe for an apple cake with caramel drizzle.
Caramel Apple Cake
1 1/2 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3 cups flour
3 1/2 cups chopped apples (I prefer Granny Smith!)
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel and chop apples. With an electric mixer, blend oil, eggs, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Add flour, apples, and vanilla and mix well. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 T butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 T heavy cream
Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Spoon the hot glaze over the still hot-from-the-oven cake. Let the glazed cake cool completely before serving. If you’re really adventurous, you can sprinkle some chopped pecans on top, too!
What’s your favorite fall-inspired treat? Share yours with us in the comments below!