Saturday, October 24, 2015

Leader Enterprise - Oct. 21, 2015 - Apples




I thought it fitting to get your juices (or shall we say cider?) flowing about the most popular fruit in America - Apples. The Economic Research Service of the U. S. Depart.of Agriculture estimates Americans, in years past, have averaged the equivalent of about 47 pounds of apples a year. That's a lot!

Select apples that are firm and bruise free. Store in refrigerator to slow ripening and keep the flavor. Chilled properly, they should last about 90 days. When I was a kid, we always wrapped apples separately in newspaper and stored them in a horse tank in our cool basement. That way, when one apple went bad, the ones around it were protected. There's another saying with much truth "One Bad Apple Spoils the Bunch". I know that refers to many other things besides the fruit itself.
Apples are thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes and asthma. No wonder they say "An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away"!

I'm sure I've shared this apple dumpling recipe before, but some things are just worth sharing again. I've made these in a college kitchen for over 100 at a time, and they go quickly. Definitely a family favorite apple recipe.



SIMPLE APPLE DUMPLINGS
4 Granny Smith, or any favorite baking apple
2 - 8 ozs. pkgs. refrigerated crescent rolls
1 stick butter (I cut back from 2 in original recipe)
3/4 c. sugar (or xylitol for sugar free)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1-12 ozs. can (diet) Mt. Dew soda or 7-Up

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9" X 13" baking dish. Peel and halve apples. Separate crescent rolls; roll up apples in crescent rolls from big end to little end. Place in prepared pan.In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. In saucepan melt butter add sugar/cinnamon mixture. Pour mixture over the apples, then pour the Mt. Dew around all the dumplings.  Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until apples are tender. Serve warm with ice cream or milk Tip: I cover the pan with foil after 30 minutes as the rolls tend to brown too much after that length of time in the oven.


BAKED ACORN SQUASH WITH CINNAMON APPLES
2 - 3 acorn squash
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 Tb. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
(or substitute 1-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice for both spices)
2 - 3 lg. apples, cored and chopped (unpeeled)

Preheat oven to 350. In small bowl, stir together brown sugar, butter, flour, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Wash and halve the squash. Clean out the seeds and 'stringy stuff' and arrange in ungreased 9" X 13" baking dish. Fill the 'holes' with chopped apple, then drizzle the sugar mixture on top. Add about 1/2 c.water to the pan so it will steam the squash as it bakes. Cover dish with foil. Bake 60-70 (less time if the squash are small) minutes or until squash is tender.

EASY CINNAMON BAKED APPLES

For 6 Apples: Cream 1 stick butter, 3/4 C. Brown Sugar and 1/2 tsp. Vanilla. Core each apple leaving bottom intact. Fill with creamed sugar mixture. Then divide 1/4 c. red hot candies evenly on top. Place in baking dish; pour 1 c.apple cider in bottom of dish. Bake uncovered at 375 for 45 minutes. Or you could 'bake' them in your crockpot - 4 - 5 hours on low or 2 - 3 hours on high. They're sure to make your house smell wonderful. 

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. ~ Anonymous. 

(This week would have been our dear granddaughter, Ashtyn's 21st birthday...she's celebrating in heaven...and she LOVED butterflies...this quote is in memory of her).