It’s that time of year up here in Boston—we’re going apple picking! We usually have so much fun that we get carried away and end up coming home with tons of apples. We eat some plain and I usually make applesauce and apple pie but after that I run out of ideas. Do you have any suggestions for other things we can do with apples?
The good folks at The Kitchn were once again on the same mental path as me last week, explaining how to make apple butter. It’s an extension of applesauce, so if you’re already familiar with that simple process, you’re already halfway there.
Take a look at the end of the post for discussion of various cooking options; instead of the stovetop, I am apt to put mine in my Dutch oven for hours at a time, but if you have a smaller slow cooker than my All-Clad monster, that might be a good idea too.
In addition to that tempting project, I’ve brainstormed a few other options that run toward the savory end of the spectrum, in case you’re bored with all that sweetness.
First, a tweak on the traditional Waldorf salad, which is usually made with apples, celery, and walnuts in a mayonnaise-based dressing. Apples pair so well with blue cheese and pecans that I decided to bring them to the party. I was also inspired by a fennel tarte tatin I had recently at The Redhead, where the slightly sweet vegetable made a mind-blowing substitute in the traditional French dessert.
Second, I took the idea of applesauce in the opposite direction of apple butter to make a spicy chutney. This condiment is amazing with pork chops, of course, but also pairs well with cheddar cheese on crackers as a snack (I know from experience; I ate a whole plateful while writing this post) or over oatmeal for a big wake-up call in the morning.
Try one or both; I can’t wait to hear how you guys like them.
Fall Waldorf Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Makes 2 servings
For the salad:
- 1 apple, julienned
- 1 small bulb fennel, fronds cut off, halved lengthwise, and sliced paper-thin (I do this on my v-slicer/mandoline)
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (Cabrales or Fourme d’Ambert are rich yet mild and won’t overpower your other ingredients)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, simmered in red wine to plump them, and drained
- 1/3 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1 head Bibb or hearty red leaf lettuce
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 or 3 fronds from the top of the fennel bulb, minced
- 1 small shallot, minced and run under cold water to take the “bite” out of the taste
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine all salad ingredients except the lettuce in a large bowl, and whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a separate small bowl. Fold the dressing into the salad components—you may not need all of it, as it should just be lightly coated, not soggy—and mound the mixed salad over the lettuce on each plate to serve.
Spicy Apple Chutney
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes 2 cups
- 2 apples, chopped into 1-inch dice
- 3 dried or fresh figs, chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chili pepper (cut back if you’re not a spice-hound like me; no judgment here!)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
Simmer all ingredients until the apples are tender but retain just a bit of bite in the center, 10-15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon and bay leaf and check the consistency; if it is still too chunky for your tastes, just mash gently with your potato masher until it suits you.
Thanks for all your great and thought-provoking questions and keep them coming! Just Ask Casey at caseyATgoodfoodstoriesDOTcom and it could be your lucky day.