Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Apple Recipes by Christine Johnson

Tis the season for fragrant apple desserts fresh out of the oven. I love a good apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, or a warm apple cake with caramel icing. For breakfast, I’ll grate some apple into the pancake batter and add a little cinnamon. Yum!


I have two trees that alternate producing apples. This year is a banner year. I have four grocery bags full of apples. There’s no time to can applesauce, thanks to book deadlines, so I’m looking for other ways to use apples.


My grandmother’s old (early 1920s) cookbook has an apple confection recipe, called Apple Allies. As is typical of old cookbooks, the instructions are vague. From what I can figure out, you bring a two-to-one mixture of sugar to water to a boil and then add pared apple slices. Cook until they are soft enough that they are transparent and can be pierced with a straw. Then remove, drain, and dry for a day. Roll in regular granulated sugar and serve.


Naturally I had to give this a try. Here I am attempting the straw test. It didn’t work, probably because straws back then were made of glued paper that was then waxed and were very small in diameter. So I went with transparency as a measure.


Here’s the finished product. How do they taste? Like apples with sugar. Since I chose a tart apple, there's a tart-sweet flavor. But what do I do with the syrup that's left? It's the consistency of corn syrup and has an apple flavor. Any ideas?


I don’t recall my grandma ever making these. Nor do I recall eating candy made from apples–other than caramel apples, of course.


Does your family have any traditional apple recipes? Any current favorites? Please share!


Christine Johnson
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  1. My grandfather had apple and pecan trees - nothing better than fresh apples. Nice post!

  2. Our Winesap apple tree is laden with huge apples this year. I have no recipe suggestions for you. All I do is eat the fresh and make apple sauce.

  3. I'm from Ohio so there were apple recipes on both sides of the family. But my favorite is Apple Roll that my mother-in-law makes. It's a sweet biscuit dough rolled out and covered with butter and lots of cinnamon and tons of apples, then rolled up and sliced like cinnamon rolls and put into baking pans. then a thick sugar water syrup is made and poured over the whole thing. then it's baked and when it comes out ---it' so yummy. :)

  4. Lorraine, I'm drooling over that Apple Roll recipe. My goodness that sounds delicious! I think I can smell it baking... Yum!

  5. Jean, it's a banner year for apples. Isn't it fun to bring in the harvest?

  6. Apples and pecans. What a perfect combination, Jolene. I'm thinking those pecans would go really nicely in the apple crisp topping.

  7. My grandmother had a crabapple tree. :)

    Christine, I'm actually eating apple crumb pie with vanilla ice cream as I read this post.

    Lorraine, that recipe sounds fabulous. I may have to try it.
    I love Winesap, Jean.
    Jolene, I just saw a recipe today for apple pecan bread.

  8. Yum, Christine, you've made me want something warm and autumn-ish and apple! On your grandma's old recipe, I'm wondering if where it said "straw", they probably meant a piece of straw, rather than a drinking straw. Maybe?

    I take tart apples and caramelize them with pork tenderloin medallions. We love this recipe!

  9. YUM!! Now I'm craving warm Apple Crisp (with extra cinnamon). ;)
    When I taught kindergarten and first grade, one of my favorite things to do with my little students each Fall was making applesauce. I'd take my crock pot to my classroom, and the ingredients. Each child had a turn to stir the applesauce (I had to be very careful with the hot crockpot!) and they loved this activity. Since we used lots of cinnamon, the aroma was wonderful as it cooked! Other teachers would come into my classroom sniffing to see what smelled so yummy, LOL.
    I'm glad your apple trees did well this year - - enjoy!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  10. Hi Cate! Yum. Apple crumb pie. With vanilla ice cream. Soooooo good.

  11. Hi Linda, I didn't consider they might mean straw. I went back and checked the recipe. Since it says "a straw," and the cookbook's from the 1920s, I'm thinking they mean a drinking straw. Soda fountains were in vogue by then. On the other hand, while researching the history of straws, I learned that until 1888 when the paper straw was invented, they used rye grass as a straw. Unfortunately it tended to dissolve in the drink and leave a grassy flavor.

    Your pork tenderloin recipes sounds yummy too. Just say the word caramelized, and I'm in.

  12. Hi Patti Jo! My you are brave doing crockpot applesauce in the classroom. I can see how the kids would love it. Did they get to eat it at the end of the day?

  13. Okay, I'm hungry for warm cinnamon apples now :)


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