An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Recipes for Fall

My first time putting my hand into the editing world on TNGG….as originally posted here.

Prime apple picking season is upon us. While the Northeast may be facing a pumpkin shortage(yes, I know, sad but true) for the upcoming Halloween season, apples seem plentiful now that they are ready for picking. There’s nothing better than picking an apple from the orchard, cleaning it off on the sleeve of your hoodie, and biting into the crispy, juicy fruit — well, except for family favorite apple recipes.

Our love of apples and apple dishes began as tykes, eating apple sauce and drinking apple juice. Apples are one of the most common fruits seen inside a school cafeteria. Now that we are on our own, we have learned the joys, and frustrations, of baking and cooking. Some of us here at TNGG have gathered our favorite recipes to share to better kitchens around the world with our tasty apple dishes.

Don’t forget when cooking anything with apples, it is important to use apples which are considered baking apples (anything that keeps it shape while baking) — Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, etc. There are also ways to adapt all recipes to be healthier. You could also swap vegetable oil with olive oil — you’ll be surprised at how moist olive oil cakes are. Or, if you want to skip all that sugar and butter for crumble toppings, just top the cake with chopped walnuts or pecans.

Apple Coffee Cake (submitted by Yue Huang)

This recipe yields a sweet, tart, and moist cake, perfect to pair with some dark roast coffee or afternoon tea.

What you’ll need:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (for the batter)
  • 2 tbsp of butter (for the crumble)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp of lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup plain low-fat yogurt (I used Greek yogurt; you can use any type so long as it’s not sweetened)
  • 1 heaping cup of baking apples (I chopped two medium-sized Cortland apples)
  • lemon juice (for splashing on the apple to prevent browning)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp of light brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Chop apples and splash some lemon juice on top to prevent browning.

3. In a large bowl, cream ¼ cup butter and vegetable oil with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and lemon zest.

4. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into wet mixture. Add yogurt and mix; gently stir in apples. Pour the cake batter into a greased and floured 9-inch round baking pan. (You could also use parchment paper or foil for no mess.)

5. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix with 2 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle over the top of the batter (don’t worry if it’s not perfectly spread out).

6. Bake for 45 minutes (until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean).

7. Cool for 20 minutes. Cut into portions and enjoy the perfect slice of fall.

Cook’s note: You may want to chop extra apples in case you are like me who, well, likes to “taste” my ingredients while I cook. Also, I chopped them quite small so they don’t fall to the bottom of the batter.

Apple Crisp (submitted by me)

This recipe creates a dish that is great for breakfast or a snack. Best served warm (and extra goodness, when served with a heaping scoop of ice cream).

What you’ll need:

  • 5 or 6 medium apples
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 to ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup oatmeal oats (old fashioned style)
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup softened butter

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Peel and core apples. Cut into bite size slices and fill an 8”x8”x2” pan with the slices.

3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients to form your topping.

4. Spread topping over apples (somewhat evenly).

5. Sprinkle extra nutmeg and cinnamon to your liking over the top.

6. Bake for 40-45 minutes (until topping is golden brown).

7. Cool for 20 minutes.

Cook’s note: This is a perfect recipe to exaggerate the ingredients, especially if you’re like my boyfriend and want lots of extra topping. To make the topping thicker, add flour, brown sugar and oatmeal as you please. Be sure to use plenty of butter too in order for the topping to somewhat stick together so it isn’t a floury mess.

Baked Cider Donuts (submitted by Melanie Yarbrough)

This recipe will make about nine donuts and about twenty donut holes.

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup diced apples
  • 2 tbsp butter (for toppings)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (for toppings)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (for toppings)
  • ½ cup sugar (for toppings)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon(for toppings)

1. Preheat your oven to 425° F.

2. Bring apple cider to a boil until reduced by half.

3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

4. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Mix in the egg, cider and milk.

5. Mix half of the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture. Fold in the diced apples, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.

6. Place the dough on a floured surface and add flour to the top of the dough. Press the dough into a ½” disk. Chill for 15 minutes, or until the dough is firm.

7. Cut out your donuts using a cookie cutter (or a pint glass rim). Cut out the donut holes using a shot glass. Use leftover dough to form more donut holes.

8. Transfer donuts and donut holes to a greased baking sheet or parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes.

9. While the donuts are baking, mix together butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in one bowl. In another bowl, combine ½ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

Cook’s note: If you want crispier donuts, flash fry them after baking in a ¼ cup of oil until browned. Immediately dust with cinnamon and sugar, or drizzle glaze over the donuts before allowing to cool. Or eat immediately with a cup of leftover cider.

In case our recipes don’t fulfill your appetite, here’s another 50 mouthwatering recipes that I hope can do the trick.

Does your family have a secret apple recipe you love? Have you made any of our above dishes? What’s your favorite apple recipe?

That’s all for now.
Peace out cub scout.

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