Favorite apple recipes
It's apple time and I thought I would start a thread where we can share our favorite apple recipes. (Other than apple pie, that perennial topic can easily fill its own thread.)
I'll start with my mother-in-law's recipe for Apple Brownies. I made them today to bring to a farewell reception. What I like about this recipe is it is super easy to make, ingredients are readily at hand, and people love them.
Joan's Apple Brownies
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced peeled apples apples (about two medium apples)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8 x 8-inch baking pan/dish and line with parchment paper for easy removal.
2. In a bowl, sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
3. Cream butter and egg with a mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla.
4. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and blend well.
5. Stir in apples and (optional) nuts.
6. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown on top. (Can also use the toothpick test.) Cool. Remove from pan. Cut into squares. Makes 16-20 depending on size.
The Apple Brownies I made today:
A Chicago classic still sold at old neighborhood bakeries. APPLE SLICES: Soak 1 envelope yeast in 1/4 cup water with 1 tsp sugar. While it is soaking process in Cuisinart 2 cups flour with 3/4 cup butter then add the soaked yeast and 2 egg yolks and process until mixed. (No need for yeast to rise---it's just in there and does make a difference.) Divide in half. Roll out (dough handles easily) to line an 8-inch pan. Fill with apple filling. Roll out other half of dough and put on top of filling, pinching edges shut. Bake 45-60 minutes. Glaze with powdered sugar mixed with water. Cut into squares. (This is the only thing I use canned apple pie filling for---it seems to work better here than making my own.) This is a very short pastry that also has a good flavor.
My mother made seasonal fruit tarts (kuchen) without an actual recipe. Just a basic butter cookie dough with vanilla extract (she eyeballed amounts) pressed into a pyrex pan. For Apfelkuchen, slices of peeled, cored apple are overlapped in concentric rings, then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and baked at 350. If there was apple jelly on hand, some of that got melted and brushed over the cooled tart.
I have done the same thing with other cookie doughs - almond, oatmeal, etc. Any cookie dough that is not chunky will work. Sometimes I use a mini-muffin tin, which entails chopping the apples rather than slicing. I guess that would mean they are tassies.
Applesauce, but ONLY if you can get MacIntosh apples as no other apple has such an appley flavor for applesauce. Peel, core, and quarter them. Put them in a big pot with just enough water to keep them from burning. Add a few strips of peel for color. When they are soft, which they will be in about five minutes, remove the peel and mash the apples coarsely with a potato masher (do not puree them as you want this chunky and Macs go to mush anyway). Add a little sugar, to taste, and some cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. This freezes wonderfully and you will bless yourself all winter if you have some on hand, for example to serve with roast pork. It also makes a wonderful gift for sick friends---people seem to eat this when they won't eat anything else.
This apple tart is surprisingly elegant and delicious. I ALWAYS double it because you definitely will want more. The texture of the crust is to die for.
2 large tart apples
2 T strained lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 2 T sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Rich Cream Cheese Dough:
1/2 cup (4 oz) chilled cream cheese, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten for rim of the crust
Preheat oven to 400F.
To Make Filling: Peel and slice apples. Combine apple slices with the lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and the cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Let the apples stand until the sugar is dissolved, about 15 minutes, stirring only once or twice.
TO MAKE DOUGH: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cream cheese, butter, 1 cup flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Process until the dough just comes together.
Sprinkle the parchment paper with flour. Turn the dough out onto the sheet and, with floured hands, press the dough into a round 10-inch circle or 4 (5-inch circles). Roll out 1/2-inch of the edge inward to create lip to catch the juices. Refrigerate the crust for 1 hour or wrap the baking sheet in plastic wrap and refrigerate it up to 24 hours until you are ready to use it. May be frozen for up to 2 months and used directly from the freezer.
Place a shaped large dough round on a baking sheet. Arrange the apple slices in 2 concentric circles on a large dough round or in one circle on the small rounds, overlapping the apple slices slightly.
Brush the rim of the crust with the egg yolk. Sprinkle the apples with the remaining 2 T sugar. bake until golden, 40 - 45 minutes.
Yesterday I made a coffee cake, a recipe that my mom used that's from Bisquick. I remember that as kids we really loved it, and my yes it's a little dry. So eyeballing my bowl of apples, I made it again. I cut one up into chunks and cooked it with a little brown sugar, cinnamon etc. and butter. Cooled everything down in the fridge - the batter, the topping and the apples. When ready again, stirred the apples into the batter and baked. Wow, did this make it, the coffee cake is so moist, with little apple chunks, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. I also noticed that resting the batter for about 15 mins helped the coffee cake rise a bit more. The best part of my little baking session was that I think I found the secret to my mom's topping for her "French" apple pie!
re: chef chicklet
On the "generally scorned products that are sometimes delicious" thread, I heroically stood up for Good Ole Bisquick so your comment caught my eye. I looked on the Betty Crocker site; is your basic coffee cake recipe the "Streusel Coffee Cake"? That looked like the best candidate for what you describe here.
re: chef chicklet
Those brownies look lovely TrishU! Would a drizzle of caramel sauce work or be too much?
Some of my favorite apple recipes include: baked Rome apples, apple crisp, braised apples and pork tenderloin, homemade apple sauce, caramel apple fondue and poached apples and pears in wine.