Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tasty Tuesday - Fall Apple Dishes

One of my favorite things about fall is going apple picking.  We've already been once, and I know we'll be going again soon. We bought a half bushel of apples and even though we've been eating them every day, we still have a lot left.  I could make a batch of apple crisp big enough to feed a small town, or I could try out some kid friendly apple recipes. 

Yesterday the kids and I spent most of our day in the kitchen testing some recipes.  We made applesauce, apple chips, sautéed apples, inside out caramel apples and apples dipped in pancake batter.  We were appled out by the end of the day and the kitchen looked like a tornado came through.  

First up is applesauce. I broke out my Baby Breeza yesterday morning with the intention of making mass quantities of applesauce. I however forgot to clean the steam tank before storing it, so there were mineral deposits in the tank. While cleaning it I then proceeded to get water on the motor.  Oops.  Of course it's 3 days past warranty. Thankfully taking it apart and using the blow dryer on it got it back to working order.  

I love my Baby Breeza and can't speak highly enough of it if you plan to make your own baby food.  It steams and blends the fruits and veggies in one easy step. You cut up the food, put it in the canister, push a button and walk away.  So easy!

While the Baby Breeza was fighting for its life, I rinsed the steamed apples and got to making applesauce on the stove.  It turned out really well and the kids went to town on it. 

Applesauce with Cinnamon and Honey


4 medium sized apples
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey 

1. Peel, core and cut up apples. 

2. Add apples and water to a sauce pan. Cover and cook over medium heat until apples have softened, approximately 20 minutes.  

3. Transfer apples to a food processor and purée to desired consistency. 

4. Return apple purée to sauce pan and mix in honey and cinnamon.  

Notes: If you are making this for a child under one year old, omit the honey. Children under one year of age should not consume honey. We like our applesauce with a lot of cinnamon, as you can see in the picture. 1/2 teaspoon is probably enough for most palates.  If you are making this in the Baby Breeza, steam and blend apples as you normally would. Add in cinnamon and honey after the apples have been blended and give it a few quick pulses to incorporate the honey and cinnamon.

One of the items on my fall bucket list is to eat a caramel apple. My braces prevent me from eating caramel apples, or real caramel, so I picked up some caramel apple dip at the store.  I cored out the inside of my apple and filled it with caramel dip.  I put it in the freezer to let it set up.  I wound up with a frozen apple and still runny caramel dip.  If you're going to make inside out caramel apples, use real caramel not Marzetti's dip.  It was delicious but messy.  

Inside Out Caramel Apples

To do it properly, cut your apple in half and core out the middle.  Melt caramels in a double boiler or make caramel from scratch.  Pour caramel into cored apples and let sit up in fridge.  Slice halves in quarters and enjoy.  

The kids ended their day with sauteed apples for dessert. This was their favorite apple dish of the day.

Pan Sautéed Apples 


1 apple peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Melt butter in a warm sautée pan over medium heat.  

2. Add apples and sprinkle with cinnamon. 

3. Sautée until softened and lightly caramelized, approximately 10 minutes. 

Notes: These are fantastic on their own, or great over vanilla, or cinnamon if you can find it, ice cream.  The kids had theirs mixed in with vanilla yogurt.  

After the kids went to bed I got to work on dried apple rings. These took about 5 minutes to prep and will be great snacks throughout the week.

Dried Apple Rings


2 apples 
Cinnamon (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 200*. 

2. Wash, core and slice apples into rings.

3. Place apples on silicone baking mat or parchment paper lined pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

4. Bake at 200* for two hours.

Notes: I like my dried apples a little chewy, so I sliced them a bit thicker and only baked them for 2 hours. If you like them crispier like chips, slice the apples thinly and bake for a longer period of time. If you have a mandolin, I do but I was too lazy to break it out, this is the perfect time to use it. Even slices and no half rings? Yes please.

After all of the apple cooking I did yesterday, I never wanted to see an apple again. However I did want to give one last apple dish a go, so we had apples for breakfast today. I've had this idea pinned for over a year now, and I'm just getting around to trying it. The kids enjoyed it, and Rob and I did too.

Pancake Batter Dipped Apples


1 batch pancake batter of choice 
2 apples, cored peeled and sliced into rings
cinnamon (optional)

1. Make pancake batter. Add cinnamon if desired.

2. Heat skillet over medium heat. Grease with butter.

3. Dip pancake rings in batter and let excess batter drip off. Place on skillet. Cook both sides until golden brown.

Notes: I used Bisquick and added cinnamon to my batter. I find that Bisquick pancakes turn out just as well as from scratch. These are best when eaten straight off the skillet. The hot, sugary apple covered in warm pancake is delish. You will want to cook these no higher than medium heat as you want to apple to cook slightly without burning the pancake. Make sure your skillet is nice and hot before beginning. I used a butter knife to pull the rings from the batter and it worked well.  This is another time that using a mandolin would be helpful.

I still have a half dozen apples left and will probably just make more applesauce now that my Baby Breeza is working again. After I do that I'm going to swear off apples for a week or two. Mutsu apples are available for you pick starting October 4th, so a couple more weeks and then we'll be out going apple picking again.

As an apple recipe bonus, last week I made breast milk apple pancakes for the kids. I still have frozen milk I'm trying to use up, and pancakes are the prefect way to do it.  Just substitute breast milk for cow's milk. I added diced apples to pancake batter with a little bit of cinnamon.  The kids ate them up!

Recipe bonus #2 is for Hard Apple Cider Sangria. I have not tried this yet, but thanks to Buzzfeed, I will be. It would probably be really good and a little bit sweeter with pear cider.

Now that we've covered everything from breakfast to breast milk to booze, I think I'm spent. Happy cooking everyone!

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