The fall season means pumpkin spice, back-to-school and, if you live in New Jersey, apples. Apple picking is a rite of passage for locals who love to take to the orchard. In particular, most folks love Galas, Granny Smiths, Red Delicious, and more. In fact, there are more than 30 varieties to pick from in the Garden State; but all of them taste great.
Apples are not only delicious and nutritious, they are the staple ingredient used in many fall recipes. They can be eaten raw, used in baking, for savory sauces and dishes and even used to elevate your favorite cocktail into something special.
The apple picking season in New Jersey runs from early August to October 31, with peak picking times from September 1 to October 15. Once you get your apples home it’s time to decide what to do with them. From crisps to crusts, here is your guide.
4 Jersey Fresh apples, peeled, cored & chopped
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Method: Combine chopped apples, water, sugar and cinnamon in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend until reaching the consistency you prefer – whether chunky or smooth.
Making and canning your own apple butter is super easy, especially if you have a crock pot or pressure cooker, such as the Instant Pot, at home. Gone are the days when you’d have to stand over a hot stove for hours, stirring until the steam gave you a facial. Instead, just mix the apples and spices and let the slow cooker work its magic.
2- 3 pounds (50 oz) jars unsweetened applesauce
3 pounds Granny Smith apples
4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups apple juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
Method: Peel and cut apples into small chips. Place all ingredients in the crock pot and stir. Cover and cook on low overnight (eight to ten hours). Remove cover, stir and taste. Add more spices or sugar if desired. Continue cooking for a few more hours, uncovered, until some of the liquid has evaporated and butter has cooked down a bit. Pour into jars and refrigerate. Serve over hot biscuits, toast, scones or eat it out of the jar.
Just because ice cream season is over, that doesn’t mean you can’t turn your apples into pops. Use fresh applesauce or easy-to-use pouches like GoGo squeeZ made from fresh local apples.
GoGo SqueeZ applesauce (these are made with apple strawberry kiwi pouches)
Sliced fresh fruit (apples, kiwi, strawberry)
Method: Squeeze your GoGo squeeZ flavor of choice into the popsicle form. Add the fresh fruit slices throughout. Place the stick in. Freeze overnight.
Maple Apple Peanut Butter Dip
1/2 cup Santa Cruz Organic® Applesauce or homemade applesauce
1/4 cup Santa Cruz Organic® Dark Roasted Crunchy Peanut Butter
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus additional for garnish
Pinch of salt
Apple slices, baby carrots and celery sticks
Apple chips, sweet potato chips, whole wheat pretzels or graham crackers
Method: Combine applesauce, peanut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium-high until thickened. Sprinkle with cinnamon for garnish. Serve as spread or dip with fruit, vegetables, chips, pretzels or crackers.
Apple, Brie and Prosciutto Salad
If caprese was your go-to starter in summer, than this layered appetizer made with fall-friendly apples, Brie cheese and savory, thin-sliced prosciutto is for you. It’s got all the flavors you crave with added crunch.
Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay slices of prosciutto on a nonstick oven pan and place in oven for 12-15 minutes, until crisp. Slice the Granny Smith apple into 1/4″ thick slices. With a 1.5″ ring mold, cut out even pieces of the apple slices (If you don’t have a ring mold, cut in 1.5” squares). Remove rind from Brie and cut cheese into ½” cubes. When prosciutto is ready, remove from oven and cool. Break prosciutto bacon into shards (does not need to be even shards). Place one Brie cube onto each apple slice. Stick shards of prosciutto bacon into the brie cheese and serve.
Mini Apple Pie Crisps
Registered dietitian Deanna Segrave-Daly created these mini apple treats that have built-in portion control and are lower in sugar and calories compared to traditional fruit crisps, but still deliver in flavor! GoGo squeeZ pouches make it easy to whip up these for a crowd or bake a single portion when you want a fall treat for yourself that’s light yet decadent tasting.
1 large apple cored and diced (about 1 ½ cups)
6 GoGo squeeZ apple cinnamon pouches
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ cup oats
¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 pouch GoGo squeeZ berry yogurt
Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon diced apples into six 6-ounce ramekins. Squeeze one GoGo squeeZ apple cinnamon pouch over top of apples (one for each ramekin). Sprinkle nutmeg and allspice over each applesauce filling. With a spoon, mix everything together in each ramekin. Add oats, flour, pecans and maple syrup to a large bowl. Mix well. Add butter. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, cut the butter into the mixture. Evenly distribute topping over each ramekin. Place ramekins on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 – 10 minutes. Before serving, squeeze the contents of one GoGo squeeZ Berry YogurtZ pouch over each crisp.
Easy Applesauce Cake
This cake can be served plain or topped with powdered sugar or vanilla glaze.
2 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (all-purpose flour can be used, too)
2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)
Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray & set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg. Mix well and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs & vanilla. Using a whisk, mix together until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Using a spoon, stir gently until combined. Fold in walnuts. Pour mixture into prepared bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until firm to the touch and toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Place cake on cooling rack and let cool completely in pan. Once cooled, invert cake and remove from pan. Dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy!
Caramel Apple Nachos
Granny Smith apples
3 bags TJ’s Pita Chips with Cinnamon & Sugar
1/4 to 1/3 jar TJ’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce
Method: Dice apples into small, 1 inch chunks. Arrange pita chips on a large platter. Cover chips with apples. Drizzle with caramel sauce to taste—use as little or as much as you like!
Method: Slice apples thickly and toss with a little lemon juice. Place the apple slices on the grate, turning them every couple of minutes, until marked and tender, about 3-5 minutes. For a savory side, sprinkle the finished apples with salt and pepper. For dessert, toss the hot grilled apples in a bowl with maple syrup or honey, then serve over ice cream.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Apple Bites
These mini muffins make an easy breakfast on a busy morning. Or, turn them into dessert by warming them up and serving with a spoonful of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
Method: Preheat oven to 325 degree. Spray mini-muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Whisk together to combine, set aside. In a smaller bowl, combine your applesauce, canola oil, vanilla, and canned pumpkin. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are mixed through. Using a small spoon or a melon ball scooper, scoop the muffin batter into the muffin tin. Only fill each cup 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through cooking.
Misti Salad with Apples and Pears
This seasonal salad bursts with the flavors of apples and pears, making it a mainstay on Carmine’s menu for the fall months.
10 oz (or approx. 6-7 cups) mixed baby greens or mesclun
10 grape tomatoes
¼ cup carrots, thinly sliced
¼ cup fennel, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon dried cranberries or cran-raisins
2 tablespoon walnut pieces, toasted
¼ red onion, peeled & thinly sliced
1/4 Granny Smith apple
¼ ripe Anjou pear
4 tablespoon Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
½ cup balsamic vinaigrette
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Method: Place the selected greens in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, carrots, fennel, cranberries, walnuts and onions. Peel, core and thinly slice the apple and pear and add to the salad. Toss gently and sprinkle in cheese. Pour vinaigrette over the salad and toss to mix well with a touch of salt and pepper.
Emeril Lagasse’s Apple Bourbon Glaze
This is perfect for glazing chicken wings with. Save some extra for dipping.
3 cups apple cider
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup thinly sliced ginger
1/2 stick cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
6 cardamom pods
2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoons salt
3-4 tablespoons Bourbon
Method: To make the glaze, place all of the ingredients for the glaze except for the Bourbon in a 6-quart pot and cook over medium-high heat. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and allow the mixture to reduce to a glaze consistency, about 30 to 35 minutes longer. Remove the glaze from the stove and strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Stir in the Bourbon, a tablespoon at a time to get the desired flavor and consistency. Reserve until ready to use.
Spiced Apple Pumpkin Tart
2 oz applejack liquor
3 oz honey
1 oz nutmeg
1 oz cinnamon
4 oz butter
Method: Peel and cut the apples into eight wedges. In a sauté pan, melt butter, then add honey and simmer. Add liqueur, cinnamon, nutmeg and apples. Sauté apple until cooked halfway through. Remove apples and let sauce cool, sauce should be thick when cooled.
(2) 4 oz Tart Shells
2 oz pumpkin mix
3 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 oz sugar
Method: Mix pumpkin mix, cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread mix 1/4 inch thick at the bottom of each tart shell.
6 oz brown sugar
2 oz flour
1 oz butter
Method: Combine all topping ingredients and set aside.
Assembly: Roll apples in cooled sauce and pile into tart shells. Sprinkle with topping and place into a 375°F oven for five minutes. Remove tart shells and place on a plate to drizzle with remaining sauce. Garnish with thin apple slices.
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