October 13, 2011 at 9:05 a.m.

We are definitely into the apple season

We are definitely into the apple season
We are definitely into the apple season

By the time America was discovered, apples had become an important fruit in Europe. When colonists came into North America, apple seed came too. The first planting was a 1629 by the Massachusetts Bay colony. French settlers scattered plants and seeds throughout the St. Lawrence River area.

The early American apples weren't the best eating apples because of their poor quality, but they were used for making apple cider. However, by 1725 they were as good for eating as for drinking. In the Pennsylvania Dutch colonies, women soon learned how to dry apple slices, using them not only for cooking but also for batering...perhaps a dozen eggs for two dozen apples. John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, had more to do with apples' popularity than perhaps any other individual. I won't go into the story as I think you remember it.

Look for more recipes using apples next week. I'll start with...

APPLE NUT BREAD

1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened

1 c. plus 2 T. sugar, divided

2 eggs

1 c. peeled, shredded apple (do this just before adding to other ingredients)

2 c. flour

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

2 T. buttermilk (add a 1/2 t. lemon juice or vinegar to 1/2 c. milk; let sit 5 minutes. Discard the rest of the milk)

1/2 t. vanilla

1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

3/4 t. cinnamon

Scant 1/4 t. nutmeg

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and 1 c. sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in apple. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9x5-inch loaf pan."* Combine cinnamon, nutmeg and 2 T. sugar; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 degrees 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan; remove from pan onto wire rack to cool completely. Makes 1 loaf or about 16 slices. *You can use two smaller pans (7x3-inches) and bake about 50 minutes. Also, I add about 1/2 t. orange zest to the spices. When the bread is done baking, I run a knife around the edges and turn it out onto a rack, rather than letting it sit for 10 minutes.

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This is a quick way to use apples...right out of the can.

APPLE-CHERRY COBBLER

1 egg

1/2 c. each, sugar and low-fat milk

2 T. canola or vegetable oil

1 c. flour

2-1/4 t. baking powder

1-21 oz. can each, apple and cherry pie filling

1 T. lemon juice

1 t. vanilla

Topping:

1/3 c. packed brown sugar

3 T. flour

1 t. cinnamon

1 T. margarine

In a large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder; add to egg mixture and blend well. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking pan coated with non-stick cooking spray, or grease pan with shortening and dust with flour. Combine pie fillings, lemon juice and vanilla; spoon over batter. Topping: combine first 3 ingredients; cut in margarine until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and cake tests done.

If necessary, cover edges with foil to prevent overbrowning. Makes 16 servings. Just 1 gm saturated fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 38 mg carbohydrates and 2 gm protein.

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This is a delicious salad to serve at a luncheon. The ladies will love it.

APPLE HARVEST SALAD

2-1/2 c. cooked, cubed chicken

1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 c. sliced celery

2 medium tart apples, unpeeled & cubed

2 finely chopped onion

1/4-1/2 t. salt

1 c. sour cream

1/2 t. cinnamon

6 lettuce cups - optional

In a large bowl stir together first six ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream and cinnamon; fold into chicken mixture. Cover, refrigerate at least 1 hour. Turn into pretty serving bowl or line bowls with lettuce cups; fill each with salad. Makes six servings. You might like to serve a muffin, fruit bread or popovers with it.

+++++

ORCHARD SALAD WITH ALMOND CREAM

2 medium size tart apples, cut into 1/4-inch slices, cut in half

2 medium size ripe pears, cut into 1/4-inch slices, cut in half

1-16 oz. can apricot halves, drained, save the juice

1 c. whipping cream, chilled (chill beaters too)

2 T. sugar

1/4 c. apricot juice

1 T. grated orange peel

1/2 t. almond flavoring

Put first three ingredients in large bowl. In chilled small mixer bowl beat chilled whipping cream at high speed, scraping bowl often, until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, continue beating until stiff peaks form. (1-2 minutes). By hand, fold in rest of ingredients. Fold in whipped creamed mixture. Makes six servings.

TFD: October's brightly colored trees are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.

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