Hooray for Fall Apples!

October 3rd, 2013

Washington State and apples – they go hand-in-hand AND there is so much you can do with them. How about dessert? There is nothing more classic than warm apple pie, but even this beloved recipe can stand a new twist. Try adding in grated cheddar cheese to the crust and tossing some local cranberries into the filling for my Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust. A match made for the fall as apples and cranberries are both in peak season.


Who’s ready for pie? I know that I am!
Photo from
Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

And apples aren’t just for desserts, try adding diced apples into a chili!  My Stadium Apple Chili recipe combines diced Fuji apples with chilis, pork sausage and beans. The Fujis are nice because they keep their shape and add a touch of sweetness – perfect for tailgating and definitely oh-so northwest!

For an easy appetizer I like to make a Spicy Apple Onion Compote. Sauté diced apples with a little onion until just barely tender, then add in some red pepper jelly – YUM! Serve this on top of crostini or rustic crackers with a smear of goat cheese or a slice of brie and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts. Perfect for your fall party entertaining!

Breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, apples are a great addition to any meal! – Kathy

Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust
Makes 1 9-inch pie.

Cheddar Cheese Crust
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shortening or lard
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
4 tablespoons cold water

Pie Filling
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons flour
7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced apples, peeled and cored (about 2 – 2 1/2 lb.)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
milk and sugar for topping

To make the crust: In a large bowl combine flour, salt and cheddar and mix evenly. Cut in shortening and butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overmix dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into a disk and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

Divide dough into 2 pieces then roll out into 2 circles.

On a lightly floured surface roll one dough piece out to a bit bigger than your pan. Brush excess flour off of crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit crust into pan. Roll crust over at edges, trimming off any excess dough, then crimp with fingers to make a pretty crust edge. With a fork poke the pie crust all over so crust doesn’t bubble up when baking.

Cover the other dough piece (the pie pastry top crust) with plastic wrap while making the filling.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

To make filling: In a large bowl toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, apples and cranberries. Mound apple mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot apples with butter and cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges with fingertips. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top brush top crust lightly with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes more or until crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Stadium Apple Chili
Fuji apples are incredible. Not only do they have a wonderfully clean, sweet flavor, but their cooked texture is amazingly firm. A great shape-holder! You’ll be a true Fuji fan when you try this recipe!

Makes 7 cups.

2 Fuji apples or other firm cooking apple
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 oz wt. (1/2 lb) coarse ground beef (chili grind)
4 oz wt. (1/4 lb) hot pork sausage
12 oz wt. boneless pork butt, cut in 3/4″ – 1″ cubes
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon dry whole oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 cup beer
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes in puree
2 cans (15 oz ea.) pinto beans, drained
1 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, drained
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste

Chili Toppers
grated apple
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream
thinly sliced green onion

Peel, core and dice the apples into 1/2″ cubes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add the meats, stir occasionally and cook till meats are browned and no juice remains.

Add onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder and spices. Stir in well, and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to scorch chili powder.

Add beef broth, beer and tomatoes. Combine well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add apples and beans and return to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until meat and apples are tender. Season with salt to taste.

(Note: If chili gets too thick, add water as needed during cooking.)

Serve with Chili Toppers of your choice.

Vegetarian option: Substitute 1 pound peeled, 1″ cubed winter squash (such as Hubbard or pumpkin) for meats and an apple juice and vegetable broth mixture for beef broth.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Spicy Apple Onion Compote
Makes enough for 6 servings.

1 large green apple with peel, cored and cut in chunks
1/4 medium white onion, cut in chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup red pepper jam (medium spiciness)
1 tablespoon dried currants

In a food processor pulse the apple and onion until they are chopped into 1/4- to 1/3-inch pieces.

In a medium skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, onions and ginger. Sauté for about 5 minutes until apples and onions are just tender.

Add the lemon zest, vinegar, pepper jam and currants and bring to a boil. Let boil about 2 minutes until loose and chutney-like. If compote gets too dry while cooking, add a tablespoon of water. Remove from heat and cool.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Entry Filed under: appetizers,Books to Cook,dessert,Fruit,KOMO Radio,meats,Recent Posts,Recipes,sides

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Roger B. Blemphetty  |  October 4th, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    This looks delicious! I often try to incorporate savory items like spice or pepper with fruit and zest — your combination here is astounding. Thank you!

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