The toughest part of shopping for apples in stores is deciding which apple is best for which recipe. Most are great for eating out of hand, but texture, flavor and size all contribute to whether the chosen variety is best for apple crisp or applesauce. Here is a guide for you.
Whether stuffed and baked whole for a dessert or chopped up and hidden under a layer of dough or crumble topping, these apples hold their shape during cooking:
Rome apples are very large with green-speckled red skin. This variety makes an impressive dessert when baked whole.
Extra tart with thick, “apple green” skin, Granny Smiths are a better choice than a sweeter baking apple, like Golden Delicious, for balanced pies and crisps.
Braeburn apples are very crisp, sweet and tangy making them great for baking or eating raw.
Golden Delicious are excellent all-purpose apples that are particularly good for baking in cakes and other desserts.
Jonagold apples have a honeyed sweetness and crisp yellow flesh. This variety holds its shape during baking or sautéing.
These apples break down with heat, making them perfect for purées and sauces:
Cortland apples are sweet and juicy and their flesh breaks down easily with cooking, making them perfect for a sauce. These crisp apples are also great raw in salads as their flesh resists browning.
With shiny, deep red skin and bright white flesh, Empire apples are crisp and a little spicy. Cored and stewed, this variety cooks down into a beautiful rosy pink applesauce.
Stout Macoun apples are tender, juicy and sweet making them perfect for cooking.
Tart-sweet McIntosh apples are juicy with a great fragrance, but they don’t stand up to long cooking times.
If you’re simply looking for a good snack, apples fit the bill. These are some favorite varieties for eating out of hand or using in salads:
Honeycrisp apples are extra crisp and tangy. They are excellent eaten raw, but will also hold their shape when baked.
With red skin and light green patches, Fuji apples are juicy and fragrant.
Crisp and mildly sweet, Gala apples are a another good eating apple.
Pink Lady apples are pink/red in color with crisp, juicy flesh and a complex flavor.
Dried Apple Slices
Dried apples are great for snacks and lunch boxes. You can also add them to salads along
with nuts and grapes, or serve with roasted pork or alongside a sandwich, as you would chips.
- 2 apples (Fuji, Gala or Honeycrisp)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 225°F. Slice apples as thinly as possible, about 1/8-inch or thinner (use a mandolin, if you have one). Arrange slices in a single layer on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake 1 1/2 hours; turn slices over and continue baking 1 1/2 hours longer or until completely dry and crisp (they will not crisp more after cooling).
Timing will vary depending on the moisture content of the apples and the thickness of the slices. Let cool. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.
Celery-Root Soup with Bacon and Green Apple
Makes 4 servings
- 3 medium leeks (3/4 lb), white and pale green parts only
- 3 bacon slices (2 oz)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 cups water
- 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 1 celery rib, very thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup inner celery leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
Halve leeks lengthwise, then coarsely chop. Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, agitating them, then lift out onto paper towels and pat dry.
Cook bacon in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel.
Pour off all but 2 teaspoons of fat from the pot, then add oil and cook leeks over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes.
Add celery root and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add water and broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until celery root is very tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
While soup simmers, thinly slice apple lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices, removing the core, then cut slices into 1/8-inch matchstick pieces. Gently toss with celery and celery leaves.
Purée soup in batches in a blender or immersion hand blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return soup to cleaned pot, if you removed it to a blender.
If soup is too thick, thin with 1/2 to 3/4 cup water. Stir in salt, pepper and half-and-half and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until warm.
Season with salt according to taste, then divide among 4 bowls and top with apple-celery mixture and coarsely crumbled bacon.
Italian Farro with Sausage and Apples
Farro, a wheat like grain, makes a delicious alternative to rice and similar side-dishes that go with with meat, poultry and fish.
4 to 6 side-dish servings
- 1 cup hulled whole-grain farro
- 3/4 cup bulk pork sausage (about 3 oz.) or pork sausages, casings removed
- Olive oil (if needed)
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 Fuji apple (8 oz.)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
Sort farro, discarding strawlike bits of hulls and other debris. Pour farro into a bowl, cover completely with cool water, stir, and skim off and discard any additional hulls that float to the surface. Drain farro.
In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, crumble sausage with a spoon and stir often until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove sausage to a paper towel lined bowl and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat or, if necessary, add oil to equal 1 tablespoon fat in pan. Add farro and return sausage to the pan and stir until grains are dried, about 2 minutes.
Add broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer (mixture foams, so check and stir occasionally to keep it from boiling over) until farro is tender to the bite and no longer tastes starchy, about 25 minutes. Stir in parsley, cover, remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and core apple; cut into about 1/4-inch dice and mix with lemon juice. Stir into farro, season to taste with salt and pepper and pour into a serving bowl.
Ham, Sweet Onion and Apple Pizza
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 pound package refrigerated pizza dough, whole wheat if available
- 1 cup apple butter
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup diced sweet onion (Vidalia)
- 1/2 cup cored, seeded and diced Golden Delicious apple
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced deli ham
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Place dough on pan.
With floured hands press dough into a large rectangle.
Top with apple butter, cheese, onion, apple and ham.
Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Roast Pork Chops with Apples and Sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small tart apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/16 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 boneless pork chops
- 1/4 cup apple cider
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the oil in a medium broiler pan, gratin dish or shallow ovenproof skillet.
Layer the apples (such as Granny Smith) on the bottom and season with half the sage, salt and pepper.
Place the pork chops on top and sprinkle with the remaining sage, salt and pepper. Pour the cider over the pork chops.
Roast for 15 minutes. Gently turn the pork chops over, basting them with the cider from the bottom of the pan. Stir the apples to allow them to cook evenly. Roast another 15 minutes.
Preheat the broiler. Broil the pork and apples for 4 to 6 minutes, or until just golden brown.
Apple and Walnut Torte
- 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur (ex. Grand Marnier)
- 1/4 cup cranberries
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 orange, zested
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted (or Smart Balance butter alternative)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups diced peeled apples (2-3 depending on size)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, heat the orange liqueur. Turn off the heat and add the cranberries and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and the orange zest. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the apples, walnuts and cranberries. Mix well.
Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 8 by 2-inch glass baking dish or 8-inch cake pan.
Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
A Note of Sadness:
A great Italian chef and food writer passed away on Sunday – Marcella Hazan. You can read about her life and how she changed the face of Italian cooking in America in the New York Times aticle: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/dining/Marcella-Hazan-dies-changed-the-way-americans-cook-italian-food.html?pagewanted=all
Following are some of the posts I have written in the past about Marcella Hazan’s influences.
- A Perfect Pairing: Pork and Apples (kobojski.wordpress.com)
- Apple Crisp (pixieinthekitchen.wordpress.com)
- pretty palette : crisp apples (jacquelinecote.com)
- Apple Crisp (pixieinthekitchen.wordpress.com)
- Johnny Appleseed Day! [and Apple Crisp] (captivatedbycooking.wordpress.com)
- Just the Crisp Oatmeal Recipe (nutrientpunch.wordpress.com)
The saying, “As American as apple pie,” is referred to as the symbol of America. The word “apple” comes from the Old English word “aeppel.” Apples probably have more symbolic value than any other fruit on earth, from the forbidden fruit of Adam and Eve to the offering of the Evil Queen to Snow White, the apple has always represented beauty, love and good and evil.
Carbonized remains of apples have been found by archeologists in prehistoric lake dwellings in Switzerland, dating back to the Iron Age. There is also evidence to show that apples were eaten and preserved by slicing and sun drying during the Stone Age in Europe. In China, Egypt, and Babylon records were found that mentioned man understood the art of budding and grafting fruit trees as long as twenty centuries ago.
When the English colonists arrived in North America they found only crab apples. Crab apple trees are the only native apples in the United States. European settlers arrived and brought with them their English customs and favorite fruits.
One of America’s fondest legends is that of Johnny Appleseed, a folk hero and pioneer apple farmer in the 1800s. There really was a Johnny Appleseed, however, his actual name was John Chapmen (1774-1845) and he was born in Leominster, Massachusetts. His dream was for the land to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry. Most historians today classify him as an eccentric but very smart businessman, who traveled about the new territories of his time, leasing land and developing nurseries of apple trees.
When covered wagons traveled over the Oregon Trail westward, they carried apple trees and “scion wood” for grafting as part of their cargo. Often the family orchard was planted before the ground was broken for their log cabin home. Josiah Red Wolf, a Nez Perce leader, planted apple trees at Alpowa Creek near the Snake River in southeast Washington. He is probably the first Native American to have had a European-style garden and orchard. Red Wolf’s trees lived for decades. America’s longest living apple tree was reportedly planted in 1647 by Governor Peter Stuyvesant in his Manhattan orchard on the corner of Third Avenue and 13th Street. The tree was still bearing fruit when a derailed train struck it in 1866.
There are approximately 10,000 different kinds of varieties of apples grown in the world with more than 7,000 of these varieties grown in the United States. Apples are a member of the rose family of plants and the blossoms are much like wild-rose blossoms. There are between 25 to 30 kinds of wild apples grown throughout the world with seven kinds in the U.S. Most wild apples are crab apples with small, sour, hard fruit.
Resource Information: Apples: History, Folklore, Horticulture and Gastronomy, by Peter Wynne, Hawthorn Books, New York, N.Y., 1975.
How To Care For Apples
Short Term Storage
Apples do best in the fruit drawer of the refrigerator, where they keep for up to 3 weeks. At room temperature, they ripen too quickly and become mealy after 2 days. Storing apples next to broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, greens or cauliflower could cause these vegetables to spoil faster, since apples give off ethylene gas, which causes faster ripening.
Long Term Storage
Almost any kind of apple will keep for three or four months, or even longer, if stored properly. It’s cheap and easy to do. All you need is newspaper, a box or basket, and apples. A root cellar is optional, but not necessary.
The main causes of apple spoilage are time, bruises, and contact with a rotten spot on another apple. Only perfect apples should be used for long-term storage. Even minor imperfections speed spoilage , so scan them and set aside any with bruises for immediate use.
Prevent contact between apples stored for the winter by wrapping them individually in sheets of newspaper. The easiest way to do this is to unfold a section of newspaper all the way and tear it into quarters. Then stack the quarters.
Place an apple on top of the stack and fold the top sheet of paper up around the apple, wrapping it in paper. Give the corners a slight twist—just enough to make them stay wrapped. If you twist them too hard, the paper will tear. It’s not necessary to exclude air. Just twist hard enough so the paper does not come unwrapped before the apples are boxed. The paper prevents contact between apples, so just one rotten apple won’t spoil the whole bunch.
Boxed apples need to be kept in a cool, dark spot where they won’t freeze. Freezing ruptures all of an apple’s cells, turning it into one large bruise overnight. Keep wrapped apples in a cardboard box. It need not be airtight, just tight enough to impede air circulation. Store the boxed apples in an unheated basement, a pantry, an enclosed porch, an unheated attic or a root cellar
1 large apple = 2 cups sliced or chopped = 1 1/2 cups finely chopped =1 1/4 cups grated.
1 medium apple = 1 1/3 cups sliced or chopped = 1 cup finely chopped = 3/4 cup grated.
1 small apple = 3/4 cup sliced or chopped = 3/4 cup finely chopped = 1/2 cup grated.
1 pound apples = 4 small apples or 3 medium apples or about 2 large apples
1 (9″ or 10″) pie = 2-1/2 pounds (4 to 5 large or 6 to 7 medium or 8 to 9 small apples)
Peck = 10-1/2 pounds
Bushel = 42 pounds (yields 20-24 quarts of applesauce)
Below is a chart with some of the best baking and cooking apples in North America.
|Name||Best Uses||Flavor Characteristic, Appearance|
|Braeburn||Sauce||Tart, sweet, aromatic, tall shape, bright color|
|Cortland||Pies, Sauces, Fruit Salad||Tart, crisp, larger than McIntosh|
|Fuji||Baking||Sweet and juicy, firm, red skin|
|Gala||Dried, Cider||Mild, sweet, juicy, crisp, yellow-orange skin with red striping (resembles a peach)|
|Granny Smith||Baking||Moderately sweet, crisp flesh, green skin|
|Jonagold||Pie, Sauce||Tangy-sweet, Yellow top, red bottom|
|Jonathan||Sauce||Tart flesh, crisp, juicy, bright red on yellow skin|
|McIntosh||Sauce||Juicy, sweet, pinkish-white flesh, red skin|
|Newtown Pippin||Pie, Sauce, Cider||Sweet-tart flesh, crisp, greenish-yellow skin|
|Rhode Island Greening||Pie||Very tart, distinctively flavored, grass-green skin, tending toward yellow/orange|
|Rome Beauty||Baking, Cider||Mildly tart, crisp, greenish-white flesh, thick skin|
|Winesap||Sauce, Pie, Cider||Very juicy, sweet-sour flavor, winey, aromatic, sturdy, red skin|
Italian Apple Desserts
Italy is a major apple producer, one of the top five worldwide. The region most Italians associate with apples is the Val di Non, in Trentino. It’s not alone, however. Apples are also grown in Emilia-Romagna, the Veneto, Piemonte, and Campagna areas. The crop begins in August and continues on through spring. As is the case elsewhere, most of the commercial production concentrates on a tiny fraction of the roughly 7,000 known strains of apples, and if you visit an Italian market, you will likely find (depending on season) Granny Smiths, Goldens, Golden Delicious, Starks, Renettes, Gravensteins, or Galas.
In modern Italian cooking, apples generally appear at the end of the meal, either in a bowl of fresh fruit or in a cake prepared for a special occasion. Golden Delicious apples are favored eating apples, while the Red Galas are a more recent addition in Italy and have become extremely popular.
When one thinks of Italian fruit desserts, it is usually a dessert made with pears, figs, or nuts. Apples are not usually associated with Italy. Apples are typically American! However, I learned in doing research for this post that apples are plentiful all year round in Italy and apples are used in a variety of dishes. A very common dessert in Rome, and other parts of Italy, is the torta di mele, meaning a simple apple cake.
Granny Smith Apple Sorbet With Muscat Wine and Grappa
Marcella Hazan writes in her book, Marcella Cucina, about this recipe:
This is the most deliciously fresh sorbet, I know, she says. What makes it so is the felicity with which the ingredients act upon each other. The Granny Smith apples and the grappa both have bite, but the grappa isn’t all bite. It is packed with the aromatic esters of the pomace, the grape skins left over after making wine, from which it is distilled. The honey is all suavity with its characteristically musky aftertaste. The Muscat brings its own soft touch and the scent of peaches and apricots. These qualities don’t stand apart, but coalesce to produce this sorbet’s unique, zephyr-like refreshment. If you have all the choices in the world, use the low-alcohol Moscato naturale d’Asti, a shyly sweet Muscat from Piedmont. Only slightly less desirable, but far more available, is Asti Spumante, which you must beat lightly with a fork to drive away some of the bubbles.
Grappa is one of Italy’s most popular alcoholic drinks, with somewhere in the region of forty million bottles of grappa being produced every year. It’s also a very Italian drink; since 1989 the name has been protected by the EU, meaning that the drink can only be called grappa if it’s sourced and produced in Italy. The main ingredient of grappa is pomace, which consists of the grape skins, seeds and stalks that are left over from the wine making process. These are taken through a second process of distillation, which extracts the remaining flavors from the pomace before the waste is discarded. The grappa is then either bottled at once, which creates white grappa (grappa bianca), or aged in wooden casks to create the yellow or brown-hued grappa known as riserva.
Muscat is the only grape to produce wine with the same aroma as the grape itself. Sweet Muscats have a rich nose of dried fruits, raisins and oranges. Muscat grapes range from white to almost black in color. Muscat vines and wines are found throughout Italy usually producing light wines with distinct aromas. The basic wine styles made are spumante (sparkling), frizzante (half-sparkling), and sweet dessert wines, some of which are fortified. (Fortified wine is wine to which a distilled beverage (usually brandy) has been added). This unique wine is often labeled simply as “Moscato” or if it’s grown and produced in Italy’s Northwest region of Piedmont, it’s labeled with its full name of Moscato d’Asti (named after the grape, Moscato, and the Italian town of Asti). A close relative of Piedmont’s Asti Spumante, Moscato d’Asti is generally produced in smaller quantities than Spumante.
Marcella Hazan’s Recipe
- 3 Granny Smith apples
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- Freshly squeezed juice of 1 medium lemon
- 1 cup muscat wine or other sweet wine
- 2 tablespoons grappa.
1. Peel and core the apples and cut them into pieces about the size of a walnut.
2. Put the honey, sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil over low heat. Cook down to a syrup half its original volume.
3. Put the apples, the honey and sugar syrup, the juice from the lemon, the muscat wine and the grappa in a food processor and puree to a creamy consistency.
4. Freeze to a very firm consistency in your ice-cream maker. Serve when done or transfer to suitable containers and store in the freezer.
Yield: About 2 pints sorbet.
The following recipe is a typical method of preparing fruit for the end of an Italian meal.
Apples Simmered in Wine
- 2 1/4 pounds Golden Delicious apples
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup white wine, not too dry
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- The juice of a half a lemon
Add the lemon juice to a bowl of cool water. Peel, core, and slice the apples, slipping the pieces into the bowl of water to keep them from discoloring. When you are done, drain the apples and transfer them to a pot with the wine, sugar, and butter. Cook them over medium high heat, stirring them occasionally, until they are just tender. Don’t overcook them or they will be mushy. Transfer them to a heated serving bowl, arranging the slices so they don’t appear jumbled, pour the cooking liquid over them and serve. A scoop of frozen yogurt is a nice addition when you serve this for guests.
How Did Strudel Get To Be Italian?
People generally think that strudel is an Austrian dish, however, this sweet is originally Turkish. In fact, the precursor to the strudel is baklava, a Turkish dessert stuffed with dried fruit and spices. The Hungarians and Austrians were introduced to baklava during the invasion of Eastern Europe by the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century. From 1526 to 1699, the Turks controlled Hungary and, during these two centuries, the Hungarians adopted many different aspects of the Ottoman culture, including various Turkish recipes.
In 1699, when the Turks lost their power over Hungary to the Hapsburgs, the recipe for baklava spread throughout Austria and became known as strudel. Unlike traditional baklava, strudel was made with the apples that grew across Europe. Then, during the Congress of Vienna in 1816, Austria gained control of Venice and the surrounding region and strudel spread throughout Northeastern Italy.
Italian Apple Strudel
Make the pastry and the filling the day before you want to serve it.
Ingredients for the pastry:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup water
Directions for the pastry:
Place all the ingredients in the work bowl of the processor. Mix until the dough forms a ball
If the mixture is too dry, add more water, one tablespoon at a time.
Turn the dough out on a floured board and knead a few times.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature 2 to 3 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (Remove refrigerated dough to room temperature at least 1 hour before rolling the dough.)
Ingredients for the filling:
- 2 lb. firm apples, such as Granny Smith
- 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (pignoli)
- 1/4 cup raisins, golden is preferred
- The zest of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons Rum
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Powdered sugar
Directions for filling:
Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a pan, add the bread crumbs and brown well. Set aside until you roll out the pastry.
Peel the apples and cut them into quarters. Cut away the seeds and cores and cut the apple quarters into 1/2-inch-thick wedges.
Mix the apples with the pine nuts, raisins, grated lemon zest, sugar, cinnamon and the rum.
For best flavor, refrigerate the apple filling at least overnight. Filling will last in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container.
Assemble and Bake the Strudel:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pastry dough at room temperature.
- Flour the rolling surface and pin lightly as you work to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Roll out the dough from the center to the edges into a very thin rectangle that measures about 36 x 24 inches. The dough will relax more as you roll it. As it gets thinner, you should be able to pull and stretch it gently with your hands to coax it into the shape you want; it doesn’t have to form a perfect rectangle.
- Place the dough on a clean, dry kitchen towel. Arrange the dough with one of the longer sides facing you. (This will help you move the strudel to the baking sheet once it is formed.)
- Spread the bread crumb mixture evenly over the dough leaving a 1 1/2-inch-wide border on all sides of the rectangle.
- Arrange the apple mixture in a long mound along the side closest to you. The mound of apples should measure about 4 inches wide and as long as the bread crumb mixture, remembering to leave the 1 1/2-inch-wide border.
- Using the towel for assistance, fold the pastry closest to you over the apples. Begin rolling the strudel into a fairly tight roll, starting at one end of the apple mound, giving it a half-roll and gradually working your way down the roll. Repeat as necessary, working your way down gradually down the roll each time.
- You should end up with a fairly even, lumpy looking roll that is centered, seam side down, on the kitchen towel.
- Use the towel to transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet, bending the strudel into a crescent shape, if necessary to fit it on the pan. Brush the top of the pastry with the remaining half tablespoon of butter.
- Seal the ends of the strudel by folding the ends of the roll underneath and pressing them firmly with your fingers. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375º F. Bake 30 minutes. Check the strudel: the top should be a light golden brown. If deeper in color than that, reduce the temperature to 350º F.
- Rotate the baking pan in the oven so the strudel cooks evenly. Continue baking until the strudel is deep golden brown and the crust is firm, about 30 minutes. Remove the strudel from the oven and cool 30 minutes. With two metal spatulas, carefully lift the strudel to a wire cooling rack and let stand until completely cooled. Dust with powdered sugar.
Apple-Ricotta Coffee Cake
This coffee cake is perfect for a brunch and will keep for a couple of days, so it can even be made the day before you plan to serve it.
- 2 firm cooking apples; peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 lemon
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus more to dust cake pan
- 3/4 teaspoon. baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon. salt
- 1/2 cup Smart Balance butter blend sticks for baking; at room temperature
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar or light sugar alternative
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 1 cup skim milk ricotta cheese
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/2 teaspoon. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons Smart Balance butter blend sticks for baking; cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and dust with flour.
Sprinkle the apple slices with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown, while you prepare the cake mix.
Combine all the dry streusel ingredients (except butter and pecans) in a food processor.
Add butter in pieces. Pulse about 10 times then process for 5 to 10 seconds until there are no visible lumps of butter.
Mix together 1 and 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl.
Using an electric mixer beat the butter for about 30 seconds, then beat in granulated sugar and vanilla.
Add eggs, one at a time or 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
Alternately add flour mixture and ricotta cheese to batter. Mix on low speed after each addition until combined. Note: this batter will be rather thick and stiff.
Assemble and Bake:
Spread 1/2 of the batter into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the filling mixture and half the pecans: then the diced apples. Spoon remaining batter over apples. It will not spread smoothly, so drop dollops of batter over the apples. Sprinkle with remaining topping and nuts.
Bake 45-50 minutes more or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool at least 1 hour on a wire rack.
- Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John “Appleseed” Chapman- Esme Raji Codell (Illustrator) Lynne Rae Perkins (baseballvalbooks.wordpress.com)
- Apple Walnut Bread [Sprouted Wheat] (savoringtoday.com)
- Urban harvest – a bucket full of crab apples (permacultureprocess.wordpress.com)
- Baby Apple Pickle (soulofspice.wordpress.com)
- foraging for blackberries and crab apples (annewheaton.co.uk)