Fall apples are appearing in farm stands around here and I had a Macoun while shopping for salad fixings. Tart, sweet, juicy, crunchy and so appley if you know what I mean.
I decided right then that apples would take the spotlight for this month's recipes.
You must know that they are a healthy choice but did you know that apples have the highest level of anitoxidant activity of the most commonly consumed fruits in the US, beaten out only by cranberries? And their high levels of the mineral Boron help with bone health. So this salad combines both superstar fruits in a perfect fall or winter salad.
The dessert is a fun and easy variation of apple pie. You don't have to worry about getting the crust perfect because it's covered in caramel and flipped out of the baking pan.
Hearty Greens Salad Serves 6 - 8
8 cups of torn salad greens. For this I use a combination of escarole, baby arugula, red romaine but use whatever you like as long as it's a sturdy mix.
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup walnut halves toasted to golden brown or candied
3 oz goat cheese crumbled
2 Tablespoons of sweet butter
1 Tablespoons minced shallots
3/4 cup of grated, peeled apple
1/2 cup olive oil
¼ Cup walnut oil
¼ Cup warm water
½ cup of sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a milder flavored dressing
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
Salt and black pepper
Method for dressing
1. Heat a medium sized sauté pan over a low flame and add the butter.
2. When it begins to brown add the shallots, stir around and cook for one minute then add the apples.
3. Raise the heat up and cook apples and shallots for about 3 minutes, add the vinegar.
4. Let vinegar bubble up and mix into apple mixture and remove pan from the heat. You don't want to boil all the vinegar off.
5. Cool mixture.
6. Pour cooled mixture into a blender with thyme. Turn on puree or high and slowly drizzle the olive oil in to emulsify.
7. Once everything is emulsified add some s & p to taste. Pulse one last time.
You can refrigerate it at this point or use it warm which I prefer.
1. Put greens, cranberries and walnuts into large bowl.
2. Pour some dressing over and toss. If you need more dressing add it and toss.
3. Plate onto 6 (or 8) plates and sprinkle with goat cheese.
Topsy Turvy Apple Pie Serves 8
This recipe comes from one of the Pillsbury Bake Off Best Desserts Books. It's so easy-what I like about these Bake Off books-and really is just killer good. For pies the best apples are Cortlands, Pippins, Romes. Winesaps, or Grannie Smiths.
Ingredients for Glaze and Crust
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of butter, melted
1 Tablespoon of maple syrup is what I use but they call for corn syrup
½ cup of pecan halves-optional
1 pack of refrigerated or frozen pie crusts-2 per pack
1/2 cup 2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons ap flour
½ teaspoon of cinnamon or apple pie spice which I prefer
5 cups peeled and sliced apples-not too thin
Preheat oven to 425°
1. In a small pan combine the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup, mix well and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.
2. Pour the above mix into a pie pan and arrange the pecans around evenly over the mixture if you are using them.
3. Place one of the pie crusts over this mixture and nestle it in on top snuggly.
4. In a medium sized bowl mix the apples with the spice, sugar and flour. Toss to mix well.
5. Brush the edges of the first crust with water or milk, pour the apple mixture in and top with second pie crust, seal edges and cut some steam holes in the top crust.
6. Place pie on a cookie pan, put in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
7. Lower temperature to 325° and bake an additional 35 - 45 mimutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.
8. Once you can handle the pan loosen the edges with a small knife and invert the pie onto a platter slightly bigger than it is.
9. Carefully flip the pie over onto the plate or platter and let it rest in this position for about 5 minutes.
10. Carefully pull off the pan and if some apples and crust stick to the bottom just scrape them off with a spatula and place on top.
This is a casual dessert so don't sweat it if it doesn't look perfect. The flavor will wow you I promise.
Be decadent and serve with ice cream or whipped cream if you dare.
Gregory Anne Cox was one of the early female graduates of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. She spent 20 years in the hospitality industry, and recently, cooking privately for some of the country's rich and famous on the eastern end of Long Island in the Hamptons, NY where she currently lives with her husband and 4 cats.
Currently Gregory offers teleseminars on Midlife wellness, one on one and group coaching, is an author and speaker on the topic of midlife women's mind and body tune ups and heart health. Her newsletter and blog, both titled The You Revolution, keep subscribers and clients up to date on what's new in feeling and looking better than ever in the second half of life.