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All About Apples

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One of my favorite parts of fall is all the hearty home-cooked meals and yummy treats. Those warm smells fill our home and I get flooded with the nostalgia of going to the apple orchard as a little girl and getting excited to help Mom pick those “just-right” apples.  Which leads to me wondering what I’m going to do with these 3 pounds of apples I just brought home from the orchard, that my own little ones helped me pick.  Here are three recipes -  breakfast, dinner, and dessert - straight from the family cookbook!

Much like my four-year-old, I was a pretty picky eater - as in, always the last one at the table! When my mom realized her apple pancake was a hit in my book, it became a fall staple for breakfast. For my wedding shower, she had family members write down their favorite recipes to share with me to start my own cookbook - this was the one she shared!

Mom’s Easy Oven Apple Pancakes

Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 cup flour

  • 3 tart green apples (such as Granny Smith)

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°

  2. Peel and cut apples into thin wedges

  3. Beat eggs and combine with milk and flour until smooth

  4. Mix sugar and cinnamon and toss apple wedges in mixture to coat

  5. Grease (2) 9-in pie plates

  6. Put half of the apples in each pie plate

  7. Pour half of batter over each

  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes

  9. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

 

Aside from family and football, there are two other things my husband absolutely loves more than anything - pork and bourbon! So for his last birthday, his dinner request was pork chops with apple chutney. We served some baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon butter and roasted Brussels sprouts alongside to complete his special meal.

Eric's Pork Chops with Apple Chutney

pork chop apple chutney

Ingredients:
  • 4 thick cut, bone-in pork chops (about 1 ½ inch thick)

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 2 cups chopped tart apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled

  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp golden raisins

  • ¼ cup chopped pecan pieces

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • ⅓ cup apple cider or juice

  • ⅓ cup bourbon (optional)

Directions:
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat

  2. For the chutney: heat butter in a medium saucepan

  3. Add apple, brown sugar, raisins, pecans, spices, juices and bourbon

  4. Cook over medium heat until apple is tender, raisins are softened, and cider has boiled away

  5. If necessary, add a little more apple cider to keep the mixture from scorching

  6. For the pork chops: grill 7-10 minutes per side (depending on thickness - internal temp should register 145°

  7. Serve chutney warm over pork chops, with sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts alongside

 

My Granny was a very social lady - she could (and did) talk to anyone! She also loved to eat and always enjoyed family gatherings, complete with new dishes to try and decadent desserts, which my mom always made sure there were plenty of. Although Granny is no longer with us, I often think of her for family gatherings and anytime I bake. When going through my fall household items, I came across this baked apple pie pan that I was able to keep of hers. It’s still in its original box (she hated to part with anything!), even still has the old Marshall Field’s price stickers on it (where she worked). So in honor of Granny, here’s a recipe for baked apples.

Granny’s Baked Apples

Ingredients:
  •  4 large baking apples (such as Gala, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious)

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar

  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, melted

  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp lemon juice


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°

  2. Core apples and pare upper third of each

  3. Place apples upright in baked apple pan (can also use muffin tin or square casserole dish)

  4. In small mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients

  5. Spoon one-fourth of mixture into center of each apple

  6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until apples are tender when pierced with a fork

  7. Serve warm and top with vanilla ice cream for the ultimate treat!

 

Hopefully, these cherished family recipes inspire you to make it through those bags of apples from the orchard. I also hope they become fall staples in your household. Cheers to fall, family and food!

 

Contributor: Kelly Papp, Mother of Two, Quoter of Movies.

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