September means apple picking time for our family. We love packing a picnic and piling the kids into the car to head out to our favorite orchard for a day of fun. While eating fresh, crisp apples right out of hand is fabulous, put that bounty to even better use with some tasty apple recipes to make and enjoy.
Apples are baked in no time in the microwave. Served warm with vanilla ice cream, these make a quick and satisfying weeknight dessert.
• 1/4 cup dried cranberries
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 4 medium apples, cores removed
• 1/4 cup water
Mix together cranberries, walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Place apples in a microwave safe baking dish- you may need to cut the bottom off so they can stand upright. Fill the center cavity with an equal amount of the cranberry and nut filling. Pour water in the baking dish and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Bake apples on high for 4-5 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove from dish and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Cinnamon Spice Apple Chips
These crispy chips are terrific when the kids are looking for a crunchy snack.
• 2 cups unsweetened apple juice
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 inch piece of peeled ginger root
• 6 whole cloves
• 2 apples
Season apple juice by stirring together apple juice, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a large pot over high heat. Cut apples crosswise into 1/8 inch rings; discard seeds and stem. Place apple slices into boiling juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-7 minutes, or until translucent. Remove apple slices and pat dry. Discard (or strain and drink!) juice.
Arrange apple slices in a single layer on baking rack covered baking sheets. Bake in an oven preheated to 250˚ F for 30-40 minutes or until nearly dry. Cool completely then store in an airtight container.
Applesauce with a twist! Prepared cranberry sauce adds just the right zing to make this snack extra special.
• 4 cups unsweetened applesauce
• 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
Mix together apple and cranberry sauces in a microwave safe dish. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; heat for 60 to 90 seconds on high. Stir and serve warm.
Cook’s Note: For a change, substitute your favorite all fruit preserves for the cranberry sauce. We like apricot, grape and strawberry.
Besides her two favorite jobs of wife and mom, Michelle Ann Anderson is also a freelance writer, enjoys public speaking, writing cookbooks and sharing her love of food with those around her. You can find her blog at www.MichelleAnnAnderson.com.