This and That: All About Apples

© 2018-Templeton Life

Isn’t it wonderful to live in this day and age when we can eat almost any of the foods we love almost any time of the year? And now with Farmers Markets so accessible there’s almost no excuse to not eat fresh produce.
     After I judged in the Idler’s Mom and Apple Pie bake-off for North County at Idler’s Home location in Paso Robles, I’ve been looking at apple recipes. It seems that every cookbook in my collection has some kind of recipe using apples----from appetizers to desserts and everything in-between!  It truly is a versatile fruit.
    What has become one of my favorite “go-to” cookbooks is simply titled “The Apple Cookbook” compiled by Olwen Woodier and was published in 1984.
     Olwen created the recipes to use the mellow flavor of apples to enhance other foods. “Sliced into rings, apples can be sautéed along with pork chops and cider. Chopped and sautéed with onions, they elevate such pedestrian fare as braised cabbage and Polish sausage from Sunday’s supper to a guest dish,” she stated.
     With Mother’s Day on May 14, perhaps you’ll find one of these apple recipes just right to share with your family as you celebrate that day.

Polish Sausage, Apples, and Red Cabbage
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium-size onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium-size red cabbage, shredded
4 apples (Granny Smith)
2 ½ pounds kielbasa sausage
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground mace
½ cup beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a 4-quart kettle and sauté the onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Stir the cabbage into the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Peel, core, and slice the apples and toss into the pot. Stir all together. Place the sausage in the pot with the vegetables. Add the bay leaf, and sprinkle with the thyme, mace, and black pepper. Pour over the stock and vinegar, cover the pot, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Remove the sausage and cut into serving-size portions. Arrange the vegetables on a warm serving dish with the sausage pieces on top. Serves 4-6.

Pork Tenderloin with Apples
2-pound pork tenderloin
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1½ tablespoons prepared mustard
1teaspoon dried rosemary or tablespoon fresh
½ teaspoon ground mace
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons apple juice or white wine
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 large apples (Golden Delicious)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the tenderloin in a lightly oiled baking dish. Mix garlic with mustard, rosemary, mace and cloves and spread over tenderloin. Bake for 10 minutes, baste with the apple juice, and reduce the oven to 400 degrees. Roast another 10 minutes uncovered. Layer the tomatoes over the top. Peel core, and cut the apples into ½-inch slices. Add to the tomatoes around the pork. Bake for 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 170 degrees.

     The author suggests that “unsweetened apple sauce lends itself to any number or flavor additions which make it a good accompaniment for savory dishes. For example, to serve with beef, add ½ cup of freshly grated horseradish to 2 cups of apple sauce.  If pork or chicken is the main dish, add the grated rind of a lime and 2 tablespoons of honey to 2 cups of apple sauce. Stir in ½ teaspoon each of ground ginger and curry powder. Apple sauce to be served with duck or goose will be particularly tasty with the addition of 2 tablespoons of brandy and 2 tablespoons of honey to 2 cups of apple sauce.”

Unsweetened Apple Sauce
10 medium-size apples
1 tablespoon water, apple juice, or lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Place in a large saucepan with the liquid and the nutmeg. Cover the pot and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, until the apples are tender. Mash with a fork or puree in a blender or food processor to the desired consistency.
Note: For added flavor, leave the peel on and force the cooked apples through a sieve or food mill to separate the skins from the fruit.
    On the other hand, you may just want to serve a special sweetened sauce like the following.

Sweet Apple Sauce
10 medium-size apples
3 tablespoons apple juice or cider
1/3 cup honey or ½ cup brown sugar or ½ cup apricot preserves  
3 tablespoons sweet butter
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Place in a large saucepan with the apple juice. Cover the pot and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Puree in a blender or food processor. Stir the honey, butter, and spices into the warm apple puree. Adjust sweetness and spices.
     All good meals must end with a delicious dessert. This final recipe should “fill the bill!”

French Apple Tart
Pastry for a single 10-inch pie crust (purchased or homemade)
1 beaten egg white
14-15 large Golden Delicious apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sweet butter
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup orange, lemon or apple marmalade
2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
¼ cup apple jelly or marmalade

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 10-inch pie plate or flan tin.
Roll out the pastry and fit it into the pie plate. Flute the edges, brush the bottom with the beaten egg white and refrigerate. Peel, core, and slice the apples into ½ -inch pieces. Place half the apples in a 3-quart or 4-quart saucepan (don’t overcrowd the apples or it will take longer for the juice to evaporate). Place the remainder in a medium-size bowl. Toss those in the bowl with the 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons sugar. To the apple slices in the saucepan, add the butter, brown sugar, ¼ cup marmalade, and brandy. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove the cover, beat the mixture, and cook for another 5-10 minutes. The mixture should be thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and cool. When the apple sauce has cooled slightly, turn it into the chilled pie shell and arrange the tossed apple slices decoratively on top. Bake in the 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 30 minutes. Melt the remaining ¼ cup apple jelly or marmalade and brush over the baked apple slices. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

     Remember “An apple a day will keep the doctor away!” Why not eat it in the form of a dessert?  

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