Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Apple Love by Carol Ross and Amy Vastine


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.) 

Apple Dumplings
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
3 eggs

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

Directions:
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. 

Caramel icing:
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! 

24 comments:

  1. Great idea for a post, ladies!

    I'm going to have to try both recipes.

    Has anyone considered creating a Heartwarming cookbook? I am curious what readers think of the idea.

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    1. Thanks, Kate, and I think a cookbook is a great idea! I love to try new recipes and dishes (unlike my husband who would eat a steak and a baked potato--butter only--every day if that's what I prepared.)

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  2. Since fall is apple season, it has to be apple crumble (if you said late summer it would be something with peaches!). I'm going to add these to my recipe pile (some of you may know that pile - it grows during the year because I'm busy, then there are a few lucky recipes that make the cut at the holidays). I bet one of these will make the cut this year!

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    1. Oooh, I love a good apple crumble, too. My sister just made one last Sunday for our family dinner. I have a recipe drawer that is so stuffed with recipes that sometimes I get scared to open it because I think it will explode all over my kitchen! I keep promising myself I will clean out this drawer, put all the recipes in a binder, and some day be an organized person... I can dream, right?

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  3. The recipes sound wonderful! I have cider in the fridge right now--I love it hot, stirred with a cinnamon stick.

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    1. Cider is delicious, too, Liz! I don't think there's anything better than fresh-pressed apple cider. And it's so fun to make. My dad had a friend with one of those huge presses and when we were kids he would bring it over and set it up in the fall and we would make gallons and gallons of cider!

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  4. Oh those sound good. I'm going to try them. Nutmeg is my favorite fall spice and cinnamon is my second.

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    1. Rula, nutmeg is my favorite, too. I like it best freshly-grated. The smell reminds me of my grandma--she used to core whole apples, fill them with a mix of brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg (and raisins and nuts for my dad's) and then bake them. The smell would fill the house and it seemed like torture waiting for them to finish baking... In fact, I think I might bake some apples!

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  5. A lot of the things associated with fall aren’t visible around the Phoenix area. No fall leaves to rake, but the grapefruits scattered on the ground have to be picked up. The birds and bugs go after them if they aren’t collected and put in the garbage. But fall is here. The outside air is actually cooler than my air-conditioned apartment.

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    1. That must be nice when the air cools off down there. Fresh grapefruit is pretty darn good, too. I had an aunt and uncle who were snowbirds (before they passed away) and they would often stop in here on their way to and from Oregon to Arizona and bring us grapefruit and lemons. Yum.

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  6. Carol, your grandmother's baked apple recipe sounds like one of my mom's. I still fix it a lot, because I love apples. I like them red or green. Growing up in Oregon we had a lot of apple, pear and cherry trees. Oh, yum. I don't bake much any more, but your recipes make me think I may have to try both of them.

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    1. Roz, I hear ya! We have those, too. It's so fun, and I'm a bit like my mother in that I don't like to see things go to waste. So, we try to use up or freeze or can as much as we can. And I seriously think I'm going to bake some apples today--I haven't had one like that in way too long...

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  7. Carol and Amy - your recipes sound wonderful - even enough to tempt a non-cook like me to maker an effort. Fortunately, I love to just eat an apple. So delicious, so many varieties, and if you happen to get one that's no quiet so tasty, a little salt on it helps.

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  8. Muriel, I love salted apples! Especially when they're really tart and not quite ripe.

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  9. Hi guys! I love your posts. :)

    We have Apple Hill in my neck of the woods and I'm sorry (and embarrassed) to say, after over 25 years of living in Northern CA, I've never been there. Maybe this is the year!

    I'm old school for apples--slice one up, give me some peanut butter and I'm a happy, happy girl. But now I've got 2 new recipes to try. Thanks!

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    1. Anna, Apple Hill? What is this of which you speak? I'm going to have to look it up... Love apples and peanut butter. All this apple-talk...I picked one off or our tree this morning and ate it for breakfast.

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  10. All these ways to eat apples are making me hungry! I salt apples to keep them from turning brown after I slice them. And I love making a Waldorf salad with them. I'd forgotten about just baking them and will have to try that later this week...when I have time to run to the store. But here they're over $2 a pound!

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  11. Patricia, $2 a pound?! That is scandalous. We are literally giving them away off our trees. I wish there was some way I could send you some! A spritz of lemon juice also works to keep them from turning brown.

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  12. I love apple fritters! We have Macintosh apples in my neck of the woods and always have apple harvest fairs where these are sold... so good :)

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    1. Karen, apple fritters--those two words are music to my ears. We are definitely friends!

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  13. YUM! I love apple everything - trying both of these! XOXO ladies. :) - Jo

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    1. Thanks, Jo! You won't be disappointed--tried and true is the best! I'm making Amy's cake this weekend for our family dinner. Can't wait!

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  14. I haven't had a stove in a month and a half. I'm almost tempted to want to actually cook. And, I love apple fritters. But, even more, I love blueberry and cherry fritters!

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    1. Pamela, what a great excuse not to cook though. Don't rush it--you'll have a stove soon enough. Fritters are like pizza to me--I've never met one that I didn't like.

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