Apples are abundant in fall and the perfect fruit to add to your menu this season. There are many different varieties of apples – Red Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, McIntosh, and Honeycrisp just to name a few. When it comes to baking and cooking with apples, most any variety will work for any recipe. I have chosen 3 of my favorite fall recipes with apples to share with you and your family. Remember, an apple a day, keeps the doctor away! Enjoy!
Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze
This perfectly moist, sweet, and spicy cake is baked with a hearty amount of apples and fall spices with a caramel glaze. Because this cake is made with oil instead of shortening or butter, it is extremely moist and delicious without the caramel glaze. But there is just something about apples and caramel together-YUM! So easy to make too!
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup oil (vegetable or canola)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
3 cups chopped & peeled apples (about 3 medium-sized apples chopped small) – I usually use Granny Smith apples, but Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, or Gala would also be good and have a nice balance of tart to sweet.
*Tip: Squeeze fresh lemon juice on chopped apples to keep from browning.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan; spray generously (I recommend ®Baker’s Joy baking spray with flour). In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices and set aside. Beat sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well blended. Reduce mixer speed to lowest setting and add flour mixture ½ cup at a time scraping down bowl halfway through. Mix until just combined, careful not to over mix. Fold in apples using a spoon. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Let cool at least 5 minutes before releasing cake onto plate or wire rack to continue to cool.
Carmel Glaze Topping
½ cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp milk
¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, milk, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Let stand to thicken slightly. Spoon slowly over cake. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
*Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days. Remove the cake from the fridge an hour before serving to let it come back to room temperature. Wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, the cake will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.
*Add raisins or sweetened dried cranberries to the cake.
*Flavor the caramel sauce with whiskey or bourbon instead of vanilla extract.
*Bake the Cake in a 9 x 13-inch pan and decrease the baking time to about 40-45 minutes.
*Homemade apple pie spice is an amazing blend of all of the best fall spices to make a warm and cozy mixture that’s great for anything and gift giving too! See recipe below.
Homemade Apple Pie Spice
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp cloves (optional)
½ tsp ginger (optional)
Mix spices together and store in a spice jar or airtight container until needed.
Apple Glazed Pork Loaf
½ cup apple jelly
1 Tbsp Dijon-style mustard
2 apples, small
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 lb ground pork
For glaze, heat apple jelly in microwave for about 30 seconds, Stir in Dijon mustard and set aside. Core and chop one apple. Combine eggs, pork, half of chopped apple and salt and pepper to taste. Form into 4 small loaves or 1 large meatloaf size loaf. Place loaves on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spoon jelly over each loaf, leaving a little amount to finish baking. Bake 15 minutes in preheated 375 degree oven. Thinly slice the remaining apple. Top loaves with apple slices and drizzle with more jelly glaze. Bake 5 more minutes or until pork has an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
* Serve pork loaf on ciabatta bread with sweet potatoes.
Apple, Caramelized Onion, and Spinach Quesadilla
This recipe is super simple and is perfect for an afterschool snack!
flour tortillas (Fajita size works best)
grated cheese (Cheddar, Fontina, Monterey Jack, or Mozzarella will melt perfectly into your apple, spinach and onion.)
fresh spinach, stems removed
Lightly grease a frying pan and place over a medium heat. Place tortilla on lightly greased pan. On tortilla, place apple slices, spinach, caramelized onions, and grated cheese. Place another tortilla on top. Cook the quesadilla for 3 minutes or until the tortilla begins to brown before carefully flipping over and cooking for another 3 – 4 minutes. When both sides are crisp and cheese is melted, remove from pan. Slice using pizza cutter.
By Chef Darlene
Photos By Shayli Anne Photography