Tag Archives: apple

Caramel Apple Pie, or Love Potion No.9

5 Oct

There are two good reasons to make this pie:
1. you have an abundance of apples
2. you are trying to make someone fall in love with you*

This pie is delicious, and you should make it.  You should also take care to really seal up the edges of the crust and maybe put a cookie sheet on the bottom rack, because if you don’t – you may end up with a gooey, caramel mess on the bottom of your oven.  If you take those simple precautions, you will be on the fast-track to winning hearts in no time.

Caramel Apple Pie, or Love Potion No.9
Serves: 12

Apple Mixture
3 lb. apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. Kosher salt
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. white sugar

Caramel Sauce
3 T. water
1 T. whiskey
3/4 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. water
4 T. non-dairy butter, cut into ½” pieces

Pie Stuff
2 prepared pie crusts (non-dairy)
1 T. sugar

Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove prepared pie crusts from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the apple mixture – apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, flour and sugar. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the first three ingredients for the caramel sauce – water, whiskey, and vanilla. Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup water. Set over medium-high heat and cook for about five minutes. Remove from pan and whisk in half the butter, then second half of the butter. Whisk in the whiskey mixture 1 T. at a time. When everything is well mixed and smooth, pour over apple mixture and stir to combine.

Transfer 1 dough round to a deep pie pan. Unfold and ease into pan, patting it into the pan. Pour apple mixture into the pie shell, mounding it in the center. Unfold the second dough round and place over the top. Press the sides together to make a tight seal around the outside edges, and then cut 6-8 slits on the top of the pie. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake until the crust is golden, for about an hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 1-1/2 hours before serving.

Estimated Calories: 312 cal/serving

Print it: Caramel Apple Pie

– You can use any prepared pie crust you like, when I choose one I just make sure it is non-dairy.  I often find that the store brands are non-dairy.
– You can totally use dairy ingredients in place of the non-dairy counterparts used here
– One good trick to keeping the calories lower on a dessert is to cut smaller slices (duh).  To estimate the calories in this pie, I divided it into 12 slices instead of 8.   It is still a good-sized dessert, and is just over 300 calories per serving.  When cutting it into 8 slices, the calories per serving jumps up to almost 470.

*Falling in love claim portion of this dessert is totally not tested. 

Apple Chutney

4 Oct

Last week we ate at The White Horse and had the most delicious samosas.  They were served with a mango chutney on the side which was so good that I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  Knowing I had a big bag of apples sitting at home, I decided to try to make a chutney that had some similar flavors to the one I loved so much from The White Horse.  The main problem – I hadn’t paid very close attention to all of the flavors in the mango chutney.  Also, I didn’t have any mangoes.  So, like many of my recipe ideas, I pretty much substituted out so many of the ingredients and flavors in the original that the one I ended up with was nothing at all like the one that inspired the idea in the first place.  The only resemblance is that it is still a chutney.  I love the way this one turned out, but I’m definitely going to have to go back to The White Horse for another round of samosas.

This chutney has a nice blend of sweet, sour, spice, and variety of textures.  It would be excellent served with pork, as a topping for roasted vegetables, or with some bread and cheese.  It can be served at any temperature, but I prefer to bring it to room temperature before serving.  It was very easy to make, and has a nice mild flavor.   Since I was making this for some people who prefer foods on the mild side, I cooked a hot chile in oil to give it a touch of heat then discarded the pepper.  I also used a pretty mild curry which gave it good flavor with only a little bit of heat.  I’ll definitely make it again, and it might be soon because I have a feeling the jars I made will go pretty quickly.

Apple Chutney
Makes 4 pints
Serving Size: 1/4 c.

3 T. vegetable oil
1 hot chile, whole
1 c. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 T. ginger, minced
4 lbs apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 c. water
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T. curry powder
1 t. cardamom, crushed and ground
1 c. raisins
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot over medium high heat, add oil. When oil is hot, add hot chile and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the chile and discard. Add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic, bell pepper, and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add apples, and cook for one minute.

In a small bowl, combine water, vinegar, brown sugar, curry powder, and cardamom. Add to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and add raisins. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and fill four pint jars. Place caps on tightly, and process in canner for 20 minutes. Remove from canner and set aside to cool.

Estimated Calories: 68 cal/serving

Print it: Apple Chutney

– If you like things on the spicy side, skip the chile step and just add some crushed red pepper.  You could also increase the amount or the heat of the curry you use.
– It is super important to crush the cardamom so you don’t end up with any whole bits, don’t skip this step.
– If you don’t want to can these, you could just add them to jars and refrigerate.  I don’t know how long they will last though, so you might want to use them up fairly quickly.

Apple Banana Butter

16 Sep

This week my mom dropped off a bag of apples that she’d picked from the tree in their backyard.  Unlike apples purchased at a store or orchard, these apples would not win any apple beauty contests.  They look like a team of rejects – holes in some, dents in others, all sorts of sizes, mottled skin.  But, when it comes to flavor they are exactly the way I like them – tart, a bit sweet, crunchy, and not at all mushy.  They are delicious.  With a big pile of these flavorful but slightly haggard looking apples on hand, I decided to make a batch of apple butter. 

Traditionally, apple butter usually contains one or more of the following spices – allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg.  These spices are a bit on the strong side for my kids, so I decided just to use only cinnamon.  In my continuous efforts to cut back on the sugar the kids eat and the calories I consume, I used about half of the sugar that is usually used in apple butter.  I was kind of worried that by cutting out so much sugar I might end up with a batch of super tart applesauce and wondered if I was making a mistake.  And then it hit me, I had the perfect solution to add a bit more sweetness without all the sugar:

Super ripe frozen bananas.  My freezer is full of them.  Whenever bananas reach full ripeness, no one at my house wants to eat them.  I stick them in the freezer and then add them later to smoothies, banana bread, and now apple banana butter.  To use the super ripe bananas, I pull them out of the freezer and set them on the counter to thaw.  When they are no longer solid, I cut off one end and squeeze the banana guts out of the peel.  It does not look good, but they are perfectly ripe and already smooshy, which means they are excellent for all of the uses above.  If you don’t have a pile of black frozen bananas in your freezer, any ripe banana will do in this recipe.  Just peel it and throw it in with the rest.

Apple butter is super easy to make.  The hardest part is peeling, coring and dicing some apples.  In this recipe I used 4 lbs of apples, and it took me under 15 minutes to prep them.  All of the ingredients are placed in a crockpot, then they cook all day.  You can stir it occasionally if you’re around, but if not, it is fine just sitting and cooking on its own.  Some recipes call for placing the apple butter in jars and then putting them in the freezer.  I wanted to be able to give away some of these jars, so I decided to can them instead.  You can place the apple banana butter in any size jar you’d like, I picked half pint.

There are two types of Half Pints:

The one on the left requires a rugged good-natured fiddle player named Pa and a handsome husband named Manly.  For this recipe, you’ll need the one on the right, and you’ll need about eight of them.

Apple Banana Butter

Makes: 8 half pints
Serving size: 1 T.

4 lbs apples, peeled, cored, and diced
4 ripe bananas
2 c. sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. kosher salt

Place all the ingredients in a crock pot and turn to low.  Cook for 10-11 hours.  Stir occasionally if you’re available.  You’ll know the recipe is done when everything is mushy and has turned a warm brown-red color.

Fill canning pot with water and bring to a boil.  In a large bowl filled with very hot water, place jars and lids.  Remove hot jar, wipe dry and fill with apple banana butter leaving about ½” empty at the top.  Place lid on top and secure very tightly with band.  Repeat with remaining jars.  Place in canning pot and be sure that they are all completely covered in water.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove jars from canning pot and set aside to cool.

Estimated Calories:  23 cal/serving

Print it: Apple Banana Butter

– A little apple banana butter goes a long way.  A single serving is enough for a thin layer on two pieces of toast, or a nice thick dollop on top of an english muffin.
– Great on all kinds of breads or crackers, especially tasty with peanut butter.
– Try it with pork chops or tenderloin, it lends some tasty sweetness. 
– Some people add this to banana bread or muffins, which I bet would be good, but I have not tried it.

Apple Gelato with Calvados

4 Jul

When we were in Paris, we had a very tasty dessert featuring Calvados, an apple brandy from France.  It was served poured over the top of an apple gelato that had a slightly limey taste.  As we ate the dessert, we alternated between smacking our lips and trying to figure out exactly what was in it so that we could recreate it once we were home.

This weekend, we gave it a try, and although I did not get it just right the results were delicious.  The resulting dessert was less citrusy but tasted more like apple pie.  It was creamy, flavorful, and a refreshingly light dessert that is the perfect end to a meal on a hot day.  Adding a little Calvados to the top adds a little extra flavor and creates a slightly boozy float.  The gelato is good enough to stand on its own, so feel free to omit the Calvados.  If you don’t have Calvados but still want to add something, I’d suggest using brandy or bourbon in its place. 

Apple Gelato with Calvados
Serves: 8
Serving Size:  1 scoop
2 granny smith apples, cored and diced
2 c. water
2 T. sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 c. soy creamer
1 egg yolk
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. Calvados

Place apples, lemon juice, water, and 2 T. sugar in a pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.  Pour into blender and puree until smooth.  Strain, reserving all of the liquid and discard the rest.

In a double boiler, heat creamer until very warm but not boiling.  In a small bowl, whisk together 2 T. of the hot creamer with the egg yolk, until well combined.  Add egg mixture to remaining creamer and whisk until combined.  Add sugar, and continue to stir until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.  This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and combine the apple mixture and creamer mixture.  Cool in refrigerator for an hour, then churn in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions.

When ready to serve, place a scoop of ice cream in each dish and top with 1 T. Calvados.

Estimated Calories:  125 cal/serving

Print it: Apple Gelato with Calvados