Favorite Fall

Apple Butter

Homemade apple butter recipe, complete with step-by step instructions. Apple butter spiced with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and lemon. Great on toast!

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Makes a little more than 3 pint jars

It’s hard to find any apple butter, let alone good apple butter in the grocery store these days. Making apple butter is a great way to preserve the fruits of an apple harvest.

In contrast to what the name implies, there is no “butter” in apple butter. The name comes from its smooth and buttery texture.

Apple butter is delicious on buttered toast. Although apple butter takes time to make (the sauce is slow cooked for at least an hour), the upfront part is easy. You do not have to peel or core the apples.

The pectin for firming up the resulting jam resides mostly in the cores and there is a lot of flavor in the apple peels. After the first cooking, these parts get discarded as the pulp is run through a food mill.

This recipe produces a classic apple butter, both sweet and tart, the addition of cider vinegar just intensifying the flavor and giving it its tangy edge. It’s seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, allspice and lemon.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of good cooking apples (we use Granny Smith or Gravenstein)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sugar (about 4 cups, see cooking instructions)
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Special equipment:

  • 1 wide 8-quart pan (Stainless steel or copper with stainless steel lining)
  • A food mill or a chinois sieve
  • A large (8 cup) measuring cup pourer
  • 6-8 8-ounce canning jars

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of good cooking apples (we use Granny Smith or Gravenstein)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sugar (about 4 cups, see cooking instructions)
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Special equipment:

  • 1 wide 8-quart pan (Stainless steel or copper with stainless steel lining)
  • A food mill or a chinois sieve
  • A large (8 cup) measuring cup pourer
  • 6-8 8-ounce canning jars

Method

Preparing the Fruit

1 Cut the apples into quarters, without peeling or coring them. (Much of the pectin is in the cores and flavor in the peels). Cut out damaged parts.

First Stage of Cooking

2 Cook the apples: Put the quartered apples into large pot, add the vinegar and water, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Purée apples and add the sugar and spices

3 Purée the apples through a food mill or chinois: Ladle apple mixture (cooked apples and liquid) into a chinois sieve (or food mill) and using a pestle force pulp from the chinois into a large bowl below.

4 Add sugar, spices, lemon zest, and juice: Measure resulting puree. Add 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of apple pulp. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add a dash of salt, and the cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, lemon rind and juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Second Stage of Cooking

5 Cook the apple mixture, stirring often: Cook the apple sugar mixture uncovered in a large, wide, thick-bottomed pot on medium low heat, stirring often to prevent burning. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom.

Cook until thick and smooth (about 1 to 2 hours). A small bit spooned onto a chilled (in the freezer) plate will be thick, not runny.

You can also cook the purée on low heat, stirring only occasionally, but this will take much longer as stirring encourages evaporation. (Note the wider the pan the better, as there is more surface for evaporation.)

As an alternative to stovetop cooking you can cook the purée uncovered in a microwave, on medium heat setting to simmer, for around 30 minutes. If you do this, monitor the cooking every 5 or 10 minutes. Microwaves vary in their power.

Canning

6 Sterilize canning jars: There are several ways to sterilize your jars for canning.

  • You can run them through a short cycle on your dishwasher.
  • You can place them in a large pot (12 quart) of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don’t touch the bottom of the pan), and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes.
  • Or you can rinse out the jars, dry them, and place them, without lids, in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.

7 Pour the apple butter into hot, sterilized jars and seal. If you plan to store the apple butter un-refrigerated, make sure to follow proper canning procedures.

Before applying the lids, sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids.

I use a hot water bath for 10 minutes to ensure a good seal.

As the jars cool, you should hear the lids “popping” as they seal the jars.

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Categories: Favorite Fall   Tags: , , ,

Persimmon Pomegranate Fruit Salad

Persimmon salad with fuyu persimmons, pomegranate seeds, chopped apple, lemon, honey, and mint.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Based on a tip in Alice Waters’ cookbook, The Art of Simple Food, that fuyu persimmons make a good fruit salad, I begged some Fuyu persimmons from a neighbor who has a tree and set about to make this colorful harvest salad.

Persimmons come in two main varieties—fuyu, which are firm and sweet, shaped like a squat pumpkin and can be eaten like an apple, and hachiya, which are acorn shaped and extremely astringent until they are soupy ripe.

This persimmon fruit salad is made with the apple-like fuyu variety. To the persimmons I added pomegranate seeds, diced Granny Smith apple, a little lemon juice, mint, and some honey.

Oh, my gosh, this is one of the best fruit salads I’ve ever had, and one of the best things I’ve ever made! So simple too. The mint, lemon, and honey are the only dressing the fruit need.

Ingredients

  • 3 fuyu persimmons, peeled, chopped (1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces), seeds (if any) discarded
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Granny Smith or Fuji apple, peeled, cored, chopped (1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 7-10 leaves fresh mint, thinly sliced crosswise (stack then, then roll them up like a cigar and take slices from the end)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Ingredients

  • 3 fuyu persimmons, peeled, chopped (1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces), seeds (if any) discarded
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Granny Smith or Fuji apple, peeled, cored, chopped (1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 7-10 leaves fresh mint, thinly sliced crosswise (stack then, then roll them up like a cigar and take slices from the end)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Method

Gently toss all of the ingredients together.

Keeps for at least a couple of days in the refrigerator, but best eaten same day it is made.

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Categories: Favorite Fall   Tags: , , ,

Waldorf Salad

First presented at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1893, this all-American Waldorf salad recipe includes chopped apples, celery, grapes, and toasted walnuts in a mayonnaise dressing.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Waldorf Salad is a favorite around here, particularly in the fall when apples and walnuts are in season. It’s especially popular around the holidays, gracing many a Thanksgiving and holiday spread.

According to the American Century Cookbook, the first Waldorf Salad was created in New York City in 1893, by Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel of the Waldorf Astoria.

The original recipe consisted only of diced red-skinned apples, celery, and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts were added later to this now American classic.

Some prefer their Waldorf salad made with yogurt, instead of mayo. I usually stay in the mayonnaise camp (which is what we are using in this recipe), but feel free to substitute yogurt for the mayo if you prefer. In which case you may need to add some honey to offset the added tartness of the yogurt.

Seems like everyone has their favorite version of Waldorf Salad! If you have one you would like to share, please tell us about it in the comments.

If using yogurt, omit the lemon juice. You may also want to add a little honey to balance the tartness of the yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp mayonnaise (or plain yogurt)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sweet apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, sliced in half (or 1/4 cup of raisins)
  • 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
  • Lettuce

Method

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise (or yogurt), lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir in the apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.

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Categories: Favorite Fall   Tags: , , ,

Cranberry Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

We LOVE this pork loin roast stuffed with chopped apples, walnuts and cranberries. So festive, perfect for holiday entertaining!

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Looking for a festive roast for a special dinner or a holiday celebration? This cranberry apple stuffed pork loin presents beautifully, and is easier to pull off than it looks. Really!

I first made a version of this roast a decade ago with my father. The original recipe we had came from a grocery circular, but the instructions fell a little short on the how to actually stuff the roast part. It also included croutons, which frankly, are hard to use for this type of stuffing. (Panko or breadcrumbs work much better.) So our roast back then wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty.

But this one is.

And the reason? Because we are properly butterflying the roast.

It can be tricky to butterfly a pork roast (see our tips below) if you are attempting it for the first time, but all you need is patience (a sharp knife helps too). Even if your pork cutting skills aren’t perfect, you can still make it work. You’re going to cut the roast so that it rolls out flat, which you can then stuff and roll back up.

The stuffing ingredients are classic for the holiday season—apple, walnuts, cranberries, breadcrumbs, shallots, maple syrup, and rosemary—and work wonderfully with the roast.

When the roast is done, make sure to save any pan drippings! Drizzle them over the cut roast slices, or use them to make gravy.

Tips for butterflying the pork roast

  • Chill the roast: Chilling the roast in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes will make it easier to cut.
  • Use a sharp knife with a long blade: A sharp knife that can make smooth long cuts makes all the difference!
  • Make slow, shallow cuts: Making shallow cuts will give you more control as you cut the roast.
  • Keep the knife parallel to the board: After the first angled cut, keep the knife parallel to the board as you cut the roast. Eventually you’ll be able to open the roast out like a book!
  • Pound to an even thickness: After you’ve cut the roast open, put it between two pieces of plastic wrap and use a meat pounder to pound the roast to a more even thickness, which will make it easier to stuff and roll.

Recipe and photos updated, first published 2006.

Chilling the pork roast before cutting will make the roast easier to cut.

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless pork loin (about 3 to 4 pounds)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko or homemade breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup peeled, chopped tart green apples
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon minced rosemary

Special equipment:

  • Kitchen string

Method

1 Preheat oven to 450°F.

2 How to butterfly the pork loin: Place the pork loin roast fat side down on a cutting board. Note that one long side of the pork loin roast will be thicker, and one side thinner.

Using a sharp knife, make a long cut an inch or so from the edge from the thinner long side of the roast at about a 45° degree angle, stopping a half inch from reaching the bottom of the roast.

Then angle the knife so that it is flat, parallel to the cutting board, and make slow, shallow cuts into the roast, along the same line.

As you cut, you can open up the top part of the roast like a book. Keep making slow, even cuts until you have “rolled” the roast out completely.

3 Pound the butterflied roast to an even thickness: With the pork roast unfolded, cover with 2 layers of of plastic wrap.

Pound with a meat mallet to flatten to a somewhat even thickness. Remove plastic wrap. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper and set aside.

4 Make the filling: Place the panko and stock in a small bowl and stir to combine.

Stir in the apples, walnuts, cranberries, shallots, maple syrup and rosemary.

5 Roll up pork roast with filling: Spread the filling over surface of the pork, leaving an inch margin around all sides except for the fat layer side—with that side leave a 2-inch margin.

Starting with the end of the roast rectangle that does not have the fat layer on the bottom, roll up the roast.

6 Secure with kitchen string. Tie the roast in 1 to 2 inch intervals with cotton kitchen string.

At this point you can wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate if you are making ahead.

7 Bake: Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with cooking spray or a little olive oil. Place the roast in the pan and cook at 450°F for 15 minutes to brown the top, then reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Cook uncovered, for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140°F.

8 Rest and serve: Tent the roast with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. Remove the kitchen string and slice into 1/2-inch thick slices to serve.

Save the pan drippings! Serve with pan drippings or use the pan drippings to make gravy. See How to Make Gravy.

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Categories: Favorite Fall   Tags: , , ,

Best Fresh Apple Bundt Cake

Spicy apple bundt cake made with chopped fresh apples, grated coconut, and walnuts or pecans, topped with a sugar glaze. This apple cake is delicious!

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 12

Fresh Apple Cake

When it’s apple season here in Northern California, we are picking and processing daily from our trees (3 trees, 15 varieties). Of the many apple recipes we have on the site, this fresh apple cake is one of my favorites.

You simply cannot go wrong with this apple cake! It uses three whole cups of chopped, peeled apples. We like to use a variety of apples for baking—Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Fuji, Jonagold. That way you get more complex flavors from the various apples in the cake.

Apple Bundt Cake Secret Ingredient

The secret ingredient for this cake, that you wouldn’t expect to find in an apple cake, is … wait for it….

…coconut!

We add a cup of sweetened, shredded coconut to the apple cake batter, which not only makes this apple bundt cake more moist, it adds wonderful texture as well.

More delicious apple cakes

  • Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Grain-free Apple Honey Cake
  • Apple Coffee Cake
  • Applesauce Spice Cake

You can also make muffins with this recipe. Standard muffin tins, 24 muffins, 25 minutes bake time.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 cups of white flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups chopped, peeled apples (varieties that are good for baking – i.e. Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Fuji)
  • 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts – walnuts or pecans

Glaze:

  • 1/2 stick sweet butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350° F.

2 Make the cake batter: Beat together the sugar and oil. Add the eggs. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Add dry ingredients to oil sugar eggs mixture in thirds, beating to incorporate after each addition.

Mix in the vanilla, apples, coconut, and chopped nuts.

3 Bake: Bake at 350°F in a greased and floured bundt cake pan about 1 hour.

Test around the centers with a long thin bamboo skewer or toothpick to make sure the cake is done.

4 Cool and remove from pan: When cool enough to handle, gently remove from pan. Let sit on a rack to cool completely. If the dough has raised substantially around the middle areas of the bundt ring, you may need to use a bread knife to gently level off the cake so that it sits even.

5 Glaze the cake: Blend glaze ingredients and cook until melted. Place the cake on its serving dish.

Prick all around the top of the cake with a fork so that when the glaze is applied it easily seeps into the cake.

Use a pastry brush to apply the glaze liberally around the surface areas of the cake, or use a spoon to dribble the glaze on the cake.

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Categories: Favorite Fall   Tags: , , ,

Apple Cobbler

BEST apple cobbler! How to make apple cobbler packed with apples, not too sweet, with a ginger cobbler topping.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8

Fall Favorite: Apple Cobbler

Stop by my parent’s house in September or October and likely you will not leave without a bag filled with granny smith apples from their tree.

My father grafts several varieties of apples on to his trees, but the Granny Smiths are the ones that are the most prolific, and they’re also great for pies, applesauce, apple butter, and apple cobbler.

One of our favorite things to make with our apples is this apple cobbler. The filling is seasoned with cinnamon, lemon, and vanilla and isn’t overly sweet. The buttermilk biscuit cobbler crust is speckled with bits of candied ginger.

Try This Easy Apple Cobbler

As much as we love a good apple pie, apple cobbler is much less fussy. You don’t have to chill the dough, or roll out a pie crust.

You just spoon the crust dough on top of the apple filling. So you get the great taste of pie with half the work!

How to Store Leftover Apple Cobbler

Apple cobbler is best when served warm from the oven. That said, the warmed leftovers make a quick and easy dessert during the week, and like pie, can be just what you need for breakfast too.

Cover the cobbler and store it in the fridge for up to five days. The topping will soften with time, but will still taste fine.

Reheat individual servings in the microwave in 30-second bursts until warmed, or reheat in a toaster oven.

Can You Make Apple Cobbler Ahead?

Since cobbler is best the day it’s made, can it really be made ahead? Not from start to finish, but you can make the different components and then assemble and bake the cobbler when you’re ready.

  • Make the filling, let it cool, and store its own container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Mix the dry ingredients and then cut in the butter. Store this in an airtight container for up to three days. (As long as its kept cold, the butter won’t melt into the flour.)
  • Wait to measure out the buttermilk until you’re ready to make the cobbler.

When you’re ready to bake, transfer the filling to the pan, mix the buttermilk into the topping, and bake. You might need to add an extra few minutes to the total baking time for the apples to warm up and start bubbling. If the top starts to brown before the filling is bubbling, tent the pan with foil.

This is a particularly good approach if you plan on making the cobbler at someone else’s house; it’s easier to transport the different components than it is to transport a hot, just-baked cobbler.

Can Apple Cobbler be Frozen?

You can make and freeze the filling for up to a month. Thaw completely before assembling and baking.

Got apples? Check out our other delicious apple desserts:

  • Traditional Homemade Apple Pie
  • Apple Crisp
  • Apple Coffee Cake
  • Applesauce
  • Fresh Apple Bundt Cake

Ingredients

Filling ingredients:

  • 3 lbs of a variety of good cooking apples such as Granny Smith, Pippin, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Gravenstein
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crust ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest or orange zest

Ingredients

Filling ingredients:

  • 3 lbs of a variety of good cooking apples such as Granny Smith, Pippin, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Gravenstein
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crust ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest or orange zest

Method

1 Prep the apples: Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut them into 1/4 to 1/2 inch chunks. As you prep the apples, add them to a bowl and toss with lemon juice to keep them from oxidizing (turning brown).

2 Make the apple cobbler filling: Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped apples (and the lemon juice from the bowl), sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss to coat with everything so that the spices and sugar are well distributed throughout the apples.

Partially cover the pot and cook until the apples are just tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the vanilla, and toss to coat with a tablespoon of flour.

3 Transfer filling to cobbler dish: Transfer the apple cobbler filling (including any juices from the apples) to a 10-inch pie dish, a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish, or a 9×9-inch baking dish.

4 Preheat the oven to 425°F.

5 Make the cobbler topping: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the cubed butter and toss to coat with the flour mixture. Use your fingertips or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the largest piece of butter is no bigger than a pea.

Stir in the candied ginger and zest.

Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Use a fork to stir the flour and buttermilk together until the flour is all moistened. Do not overwork the dough!

6 Crumble topping over apples: Crumble the cobbler dough over the top of the apples in the baking dish. (If you want extra pizzaz you can sprinkle the top with a little brown sugar.)

7 Bake: Place a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack in the oven (to catch any drippings), and place the cobbler on the next lowest rack.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F until the top is beginning to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for 30 more minutes until the topping is cooked through and the filling is bubbly.

Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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Categories: Favorite Fall   Tags: , , ,

Apple Cranberry Pie

This apple cranberry pie is one of our favorite pies to make for Thanksgiving or the holidays! Flaky buttery crust, spiced apples mixed with dried cranberries and brandy.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

One of our favorite apple pies to make for Thanksgiving is one that includes dried sweetened cranberries with the apple filling, and a little bit of brandy too.

My father originally found a recipe for apple cranberry pie years ago in Bon Appétit magazine (Oct, 1998). We’ve modified it somewhat over the years, experimenting with different crusts and baking temperature and times.

We love the sweet and sour interplay of apples and cranberries in this pie!

The Best Apples for This Apple Pie

Like our classic apple pie, this one benefits from a mix of different kinds of apples. Since some apple varieties cook more quickly or slowly than others, or have a sweeter or more tart flavor, using several different apples creates a mix of textures and flavors in the pie.

Some favorites to try here are Granny Smith, Jonagold, Fuji, Pippin, Braeburn, and Golden Delicious.

Great Tip! As you peel, core, and slice the apples, put the apple slices in a bowl and sprinkle with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to prevent them from discoloring.

Add Nuts to Your Pie Crust

The crust for this apple-cranberry pie is made extra special with the addition of finely ground almonds. This adds a light almond nutty flavor that goes well with this pie filling.

This said, you can also use our sour cream pie crust for this recipe if you’d prefer to skip the nuts or are allergic.

Egg Yolk for a Deeply Golden Crust

Want a beautiful crust? Brush the top of your pie with a mixture of egg yolk and cream just before it goes into the oven.

This will give your crust a deeply golden color and a lovely shiny surface.

More Favorite Thanksgiving Pies

  • Our All-Time Best Thanksgiving Pies from Simply Recipes
  • Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
  • Apple Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Apple Slab Pie

Updated November 20, 2018 : We spiffed up this post a little to make it sparkle! No changes to the recipe.

As you peel, core, and slice the apples, put the apple slices in a bowl and sprinkle with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to prevent them from discoloring.

The crust recipe given includes ground almonds which give the crust a lovely flavor that works well with the apples and cranberries. You can also use our favorite sour cream pie crust that is easy to put together and makes an especially flaky crust.

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/3 cup finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want the filling to be)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 pounds of an assortment of good cooking apples such as Granny Smith, Pippin, Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices (about 7 cups of apple slices)
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the egg wash:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream

Method

1 Make the pie dough: In a food processor, combine flour, almond flour, salt and brown sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready, if not, add a little more ice water and pulse again.

Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully shape into 2 discs. Do not over-knead the dough! You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the result crust to be flaky. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

2 Preheat oven to 375°F with a rack in the bottom third of the oven.

3 Make the apple filling: Whisk together the sugar, flour, and allspice or cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the dried sweetened cranberries and toss to coat with the sugar flour mixture. Add the apples and toss to coat and make sure that the cranberries are well distributed throughout the apples. Sprinkle with the brandy and vanilla extract.

4 Roll out the bottom crust: Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick.

As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Place on a 9-inch pyrex pie dish. Press down to line the pie dish with the dough.

5 Place the apple cranberry filling in the pie dish.

6 Roll out top crust, top the pie, crimp edges: Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Gently place on top of the apples in the pie. Pinch top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang.

Fold dough under itself so that the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork.

7 Brush pie with egg wash: In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolk and cream until well blended. Use a pastry brush to brush over the top of the pie. Use a sharp knife to cut slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape as the pie bakes.

8 Bake: Bake the pie at 375°F for 30 minutes. Then place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pie and lower the oven temp to 350°F. Bake for another 45 to 55 minutes or longer, depending on the type of apples you are using.

When done the crust should be golden brown and the apples soft and cooked through. Remove the pie and let cool on a rack for at least one hour. Serve pie warm or at room temperature.

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Categories: Favorite Fall   Tags: , , ,

Candied Walnuts

Walnuts. Sugar. That’s pretty much all you need to make these Candied Walnuts! These crunchy caramelized nuts are a great party snack. You can also serve them in a salad or sprinkled over ice cream.

Ready in:

  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups candied nuts

Walnuts. Sugar. That’s pretty much all you need to make candied walnuts! A dash of salt helps too.

These are very easy to make.

The Trick to Making Candied Walnuts

The trick is to work very fast once the sugar starts melting, because once you mix in the walnuts, the candy syrup cools quickly and the walnuts will stick together.

You have 30 seconds or so to separate them before they are forever bonded by glassy, cooked sugar.

The other trick is to not burn the walnuts when you toast them. (Yes, we’ve done that before…)

Ways to Use Candied Walnuts

Around the holidays, candied walnuts make a great party snack. You can make them a day or two ahead, and then just set them out in small bowls or serve them alongside a cheese plate for people to snack on.

You can even add a sprinkle of minced rosemary or a dash of cinnamon when you stir in the walnuts for some extra holiday flavor.

Other times of year, candied walnuts are a delightful addition to lunch salads, mixed into bowls of yogurt, or sprinkled over ice cream. They also make a convenient snack to have in your bag when traveling.

Mix it Up!

Don’t like walnuts? Use pecans, almonds, or any other nut instead.

You can also double this batch if needed, though your sugar will take a little longer to caramelize. If you need to make more candied nuts, make them in separate batches rather than trying to make them all at once; it’s more difficult to quickly separate larger batches before the caramelized sugar starts to harden.

How to store candied walnuts

Let your walnuts cool completely, then store them in an airtight container, like glass canning jar, at room temperature. As long as it’s not too humid where you live (which will cause the walnuts to become sticky), they should stay crunchy for at least a week.

Looking for more ideas for nuts?

  • Herb Spiced Mixed Nuts
  • Chipotle Lime Mixed Nuts
  • Caramel Walnuts

Updated December 21, 2018 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Method

1 Toast the walnuts: Preheat oven to 350°F. Use middle rack in oven. Lay walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes, until slightly darker in color and fragrant.

If not quite toasted enough, toast for 1 or 2 more minutes. Be careful not to burn. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a rack.

2 Get everything ready: You’ll need to work quickly once the caramelized sugar is ready, so be sure to have everything prepped and ready to go.

Place the cooled walnuts in a bowl near the stove. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper and place near the stove. Have two forks ready.

3 Caramelize the sugar: Pour sugar into a medium saucepan with a thick bottom and place over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as the sugar begins to melt.

Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and the color is a medium amber, 5 to 10 minutes (exact timing will depend on your stovetop).

4 Coat the walnuts in caramelized sugar: As soon as sugar has melted and the color is a medium amber, add the walnuts to the pan. Stir quickly and make sure each piece is coated with the sugar mixture.

As soon as the walnuts are coated with the sugar mixture, spread them out on the rimmed baking sheet. Use two forks to separate the walnuts from each other, working very quickly. Sprinkle the nuts with the salt.

6 Cool and store: Let the walnuts cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container and store for up to a week.

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Categories: Favorite Fall   Tags: , ,

Apple Cider Glazed Donut Holes

Apple Cider Glazed Donut Holes tickle the taste buds with the flavors of fall. A touch of sweetness and the warm spices of apple cider make these donut holes the perfect morning treat to eat with a cup of steaming coffee.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 30 donut holes

Apple Cider Glazed Donut Holes are my cheat for getting some of those orchard vibes into my own home.

These donut holes are a hybrid between a classic cider donut and my favorite sour cream old-fashioned donuts. The result is a crispy donut with a fluffy interior, fragrant with essence of apples.

Just like an old-fashioned donut, the exterior of these are cracked and craggled, making them perfect for catching the sweet, cider-spiked glaze.

WHAT’S THE BEST CIDER FOR APPLE CIDER DONUT HOLES?

I like to use fresh, unfiltered apple cider for this recipe—preferably the kind from an orchard, but any cloudy cider or juice works. It has the most apple flavor—the donuts themselves use cider, as well as the glaze, so the apple flavor really comes through.

HOW TO FRY THE PERFECT DONUT HOLE

These donut holes are deep-fried to ensure perfectly browned outsides and a soft, fluffy inside.

To make sure the interior of the donut holes are cooked though, I like to check the temperature of the oil with a thermometer. Use a thermometer that can either clip to the side of the pan or one that will instantly read the temperature.

It’s important to maintain the oil frying temperature at 350˚F. Each time you add a batch of donut holes to the oil, it will drop the temperature. You will want to wait until the oil temp increases to 350°F again before adding your next batch.

If you don’t have a thermometer, gently drop a small amount of batter into the hot oil. If it sizzles aggressively, the oil is hot enough.

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HOW TO STORE DONUT HOLES

I think most fried things are best eaten still warm from the fryer, and these donuts are no exception. The glaze sets after a few minutes, and the still-warm donuts are fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

That said, these keep surprisingly well, covered at room temperature, for a day or two. The glaze keeps them from drying out too quickly, but after a few days, they do become kind of dense and dry.

I don’t recommend freezing these at any stage, as the end results aren’t really worth the effort.

More Ways to Enjoy Apples This Fall!

  • Caramel Apple Monkey Bread
  • Caramel Apples
  • Homemade Apple Pie
  • Apple Cobbler
  • Apple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients

For the donut holes:

  • 2 cups (255g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup (6oz/170g) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 quarts canola oil for frying

For the apple cider glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Ingredients

For the donut holes:

  • 2 cups (255g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup (6oz/170g) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 quarts canola oil for frying

For the apple cider glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Method

1 Prepare your drying station: Set a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet. You will let the donut holes dry here after you’ve dipped them in the glaze.

2 Make the batter: In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

In medium bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, and apple cider.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, followed by the melted butter, and fold to combine until you get a very thick batter.

3 Prepare to fry the donut holes: Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan until the temperature reads 350°F. Use a medium cookie scoop (about 1 1/2 tablespoons), to scoop up the batter. Fry the donut holes in batches, cooking each side for about 2 minutes, until the donut holes float to the surface and turn golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the batter is used up.

4 Make the glaze: In a medium bowl whisk the powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of apple cider and pinch of salt, adding more cider a few teaspoons at a time, until you get a thick, heavy glaze. You may not need all 4 tablespoons of cider. Remember that the glaze will thin as it hits the hot warm donuts.

5 Dip the donut holes: Pour the glaze into a deep bowl or mug, this will help with glazing the donuts. Dip the warm (or even hot) donuts into the glaze, using a spoon to coat the donut hole completely.

Lift the donut hole from the glaze using a fork. Let the glaze set and drain by placing the dipped donut holes on the wire rack set over a baking sheet. Enjoy immediately!

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Categories: Favorite Fall   Tags: , ,