Just crunching your way through an apple is delightful — and delicious, too. But in the fall, when there are bushels of apples available, apples are also an easy starting point for snacks and meals, from a simple apple and peanut butter treat to a dinnertime recipe for apple and pork kebabs to a pastry dessert. Here are 10 simple recipes to try:
PB&A: Core and slice an apple into rounds. Spread one side of a slice with peanut butter and sprinkle with slivered almonds. Place another slice on top.
Mini Caramel Apples: Cut a large Gala or Rome apple in half. Use a melon baller to make small spheres. Stick a toothpick in the center of each sphere and dip in caramel sauce, then in crushed peanuts (or shredded coconut). Refrigerate until the caramel hardens.
Apple Alaskas: Slice off the top of an apple about half an inch below the stem. Use a spoon to scoop out the core. Fill the center of the apple with a mixture of butter, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Serve with ice cream.
Cool-Weather Kebabs: Marinate pieces of pork tenderloin or chicken breast in apple cider at least 30 minutes, or overnight. On skewers, alternate chunks of meat, apple, and butternut squash. Bake kebabs at 400°F for 15 minutes.
Sweet Salad: Combine sliced apples, raisins, grated carrots, and canned, drained mandarin orange slices with sour cream to taste and 1 teaspoon brown sugar.
Perfect Pastries: Combine five cored, sliced apples with 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon white sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, and a pinch of salt. Cut six-inch rounds from refrigerated pie crust (you can use the mouth of a pint glass or a large jar). Spoon apple mixture in the middle of each round and fold into a semicircle. Press down the edges of the crust to seal. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.
Pink Lady Pops: Puree cored and peeled Pink Lady apples with orange juice until smooth. Pour into ice pop molds and freeze eight hours, or until solid.
Granny Smith Grillers: Core and slice apples and place them on a heated, oiled grill. Grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Top with caramel sauce, granola, and vanilla ice cream.
Cabbage Patch Creation: Slice a head of red cabbage finely and sauté with sliced apples and sliced sweet onion. Add ½ cup apple cider and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Cover and braise over low heat for 20 minutes.
Apple-Potato Fritters: Grate apples and combine with pre-shredded hash browns. Add one egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Form small patties with the apple mixture, dropping each one gently into heated oil in a shallow pan. Fry 2 to 3 minutes on each side, and then place on paper towels to drain. Serve with sour cream and apple sauce.