By Megan Humphrey,
I’m a KISS cook, Keep It Simple Stupid. I love to eat, but am a lazy chef because I like the end result rather than preparation. I make large batches of food that we can eat for days. Fortunately, my husband, Terry, doesn’t seem to mind. That said, I know that there are others who love eating more than cooking, too. Now that we’re into apple season, I asked around for some of the simplest ways to prepare apples.
Here are some of the responses:
Victoria says, cut them up and put them on salad, slice them up and dip them in raw honey mixed with some cinnamon, use an apple every day in smoothies, or just eat one!
Kristen suggests baked and cored apples, sprinkled with some cinnamon.
Amy’s approach requires a bit more work, but is exceptionally delicious. Grab some fresh picked Ida Reds from Shelburne Orchards and cut them into half-inch cubes, and mix with handful of raisins in a bowl. Separately on the stove, combine half-cup brown sugar, two tablespoons corn starch, one cup cold water, and one teaspoon lemon juice. Add apple/raisin pieces, a quarter teaspoon cinnamon, a quarter teaspoon cardamom, and bring to rapid boil. Reduce heat, simmer until sauce thickens, cool. Use as filling for frozen puff pastry sheets cut into squares. Fold the corners and press them together like a mini turnover. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar after 15-20 min in a 400-degree oven, or until golden and bubbly. This filling also rocks on vanilla ice cream or as a filling for apple pie.
Mary goes for the savory approach. “I like a bunch of apple slices cooked in a grilled cheese sandwich.”
For a quick snack, Ed suggests spreading slices with peanut butter.
Here are some of my ideas:
• Slice up an apple with Vermont cheddar cheese as a snack.
• For applesauce that always receives rave reviews, I use my favorite McIntosh apples all peeled and cut, add just a little bit of water, and then cook it down. I don’t use cinnamon or sugar, but you certainly could.
• I make an apple crisp in which I butter a glass baking dish, spread out peeled and sliced apples at least an inch thick, spread a crumble top of oatmeal, brown sugar, butter, a touch of salt, and then bake it at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the apples are bubbling. It’s easy, fills the house with the smell of autumn, and is a real crowd-pleaser when you’re looking for a quick dessert.
• Baked apples with a little cheddar cheese inside them are a delightful addition to any meal.
• A food dehydrator is my new best friend. Core, slice, and dehydrate apples for a great snack when you’re heading out for a fall activity.
• Apples can be added to pancakes.
• Toss apples, celery, raisins, and walnuts together with a little mayo and sour cream for a simple Waldorf Salad.
Time is short, so enjoy the season’s bounty of apples as much as you can. Head to any orchard in the area to pick apples and support local farmers. Or find apples at your favorite local store or farmers market. In my house, we’ll enjoy my homemade applesauce as part of our Thanksgiving dinner later this autumn. Sweet!
The 13th Annual Pie Fest and Cider House Run returns Sunday, Sept. 28 at Shelburne Orchards. If you’d like to enter a double-crusted apple pie in the contest, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hosted by Shelburne Health & Fitness, The Cider House Run is a family-friendly 2 or 4 mile run, or 2 mile walk through the orchard beginning at 11am. The registration fee of $25 includes a bag for Pick Your Own apples, kids need to pay $12. Online pre-registration is suggested, but not mandatory, www.racevermont.com. Contact Rayne at 316-7142, email@example.com for more information.
Shelburne Orchards will host its first “Bee Here Now” event about the importance of bees in our food production Saturday, Oct. 4. Please stop by to learn more from Anna Beauchemin, Hope Johnson, and Chas Mraz. You could win a prize as the best-dressed “Be a Bee” in the parade, buy a raffle ticket toward a gorgeous framed quilt by Hope Johnson that will benefit the Vermont Beekeepers Association, and participate in other family-friendly activities.
Vermonter Day follows on Oct. 9, Senior Days on Oct. 16 and 17, and Truckload & Hard Cider Saturday on Oct. 18. For details, please visit www.shelburneorchards.com.