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Dash of Class: Fall is the season for apples

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

If you haven’t heard, fall is the season for really good apples and if you haven’t already thought about making something with apples, hopefully you will after today’s column. George and Nora Bowles, friends from St. James Catholic Church, recently called about a recipe for apple butter not using apple cider. Cider is costly, but apple cider vinegar costs much less. I have since found a recipe for those of you who love apple butter that you could make any time using applesauce or stewed and pureed apples.

The other two recipes are for an apple crisp and an apple cake. A package of yellow cake mix sets the tasty crisp apart from others. Serve it a la mode for an extra special treat. The apple cake is a little different from most apple cakes as it has a cheesecake-type filling.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,” is a native of HardinCounty and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Great Grandma’s Apple Butter

4 pints applesauce, or 8 cups stewed and pureed apples

3 cups granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup cider vinegar

Stir all ingredients in a slow cooker or oven safe pan. Cook on high uncovered, or 200 degrees, for 4 to 6 hours, or until reduced by half.

Fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. As the apple butter is very thick, jiggle the jars, or stir with a chopstick to release any air pockets

Wipe rims and place two part lids on jars. Place in water bath canner and process for 5 minutes.

Remove jars from water and allow cooling for 12 to 24 hours. Prepare and storefor up to one year.

Source: www.houndsinthekitchen.com

 

Apple Butter

4 lbs of cooking apples, Granny Smith or Winesap

1 cup apple cider vinegar

2 cups water

Sugar

Salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon allspice

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

Cut the apples into quarters without peeling or coring them as much of the pectin is in the cores and much of the flavor is in the peel. Cut out damaged parts. Put them into large pot, add the vinegar and water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Ladle apple mixture into a Foley food mill and force pulp from the food mill into a large bowl. Measure resulting puree and add 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of apple pulp. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add a dash of salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, lemon rind and juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Cook uncovered in a large, wide, thick-bottomed pot on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth, about 1 to 2 hours. A small bit spooned onto a plate chilled in the freezer will be thick, not runny. You also can cook the purée on low heat, stirring only occasionally, but this will take much longer as stirring encourages evaporation. The wider the pan the better, as there is more surface for evaporation.

There are several ways to sterilize your jars for canning. You can run them through a short cycle on your dishwasher. You can place them in a large pot of water on top of a steaming rack, so they don’t touch the bottom of the pan, and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Or you can rinse out the jars, dry them and place them without lids in a 200 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal. If you plan to store the apple butter unrefrigerated, make sure to follow proper canning procedures. Before applying the lids, sterilize them by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids. I use a hot water bath for 10 minutes to ensure a good seal.

As an alternative to stove cooking the puree, you can cook uncovered in a microwave on medium heat to simmer for around 30 minutes.

Source: www.simplyrecipes.com

 

Oat Apple Crisp

7 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 7 medium)

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash salt

1/4 cup water

1 package (9 ounces) yellow cake mix

3/4 cup quick-cooking oats

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Vanilla ice cream

Place apples in a greased 2-1/2-quart shallow baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt; sprinkle over apples. Drizzle with water. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oats, butter, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Sprinkle over apples.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream. Yield: 8 servings

Source: www.tasteofhome.com

 

William Tell’s Never-Miss Apple Cake Recipe

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

2 cups sugar, divided

4 eggs

1 cup canola oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups chopped peeled tart apples

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Praline Icing:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, cubed

2 tablespoons 2% milk

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in 1 egg; set aside. In a large bowl, beat oil with remaining sugar and eggs until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda; gradually beat into oil mixture until blended. Stir in the apples, carrots and pecans.

Transfer half the apple batter to a greased and floured 10-inch fluted tube pan; layer with cream cheese mixture and remaining apple batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a large saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; whisk in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with pecans. Yield: 12 servings

Source: www.tasteofhome.com