Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen: It's prime time to cook and bake with applesBy JANINE GILBERTSON September 25. 2018 10:55PM
Early autumn means apples are in abundance right now so if you’re an apple lover, you’re in luck.
I usually spend a weekend afternoon in September picking apples at one of the many orchards around the state.
Last fall, I was venturing out to an orchard I had never been to so I plugged the name of the place into Google Maps.
The app took my friend Michael and me along winding country back roads, many of them dirt, with a few houses dotted here and there. We didn’t pass any other cars along the way, which we thought odd since it was prime apple and pumpkin picking time and a beautiful autumn day, so surely we weren’t the only ones headed to the orchard for a visit.
The road never seemed to end and it was getting close to dusk, so we turned around to see if we could find it along another route. We went in a different direction at a fork in the road and followed it along for a few miles. We finally found the orchard about 20 minutes before they closed. Although we didn’t have time to pick our own apples, we brought home a couple of bags fresh from the orchard, so the trip was a success.
With this season’s crop of apples, I tried a couple of different cooking methods.
I sliced up a few Granny Smiths, brushed them with olive oil and put them on the grill. If you’ve never had grilled apples, they’re delicious. This would be a great dessert for the kids at a fall event or if you are tailgating. You can sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar or serve them with caramel sauce. At least you know your kids will be eating fruit for dessert.
I also chopped apples and sautéed them in butter, then seasoned them with cinnamon and sugar. Once the apples softened, I used them as a filling for crepes drizzled with maple syrup. They were delicious and they will make another appearance.
Grilled Apples with Caramel
2 firm apples, such as Empire or Granny Smith
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. prepared caramel sauce for garnish, if desired
Peel the apples and slice into circles about 1/4 inch thick. Add the apples to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, making sure to coat both sides of each slice, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Heat a grill to medium high and set the apple slices on the grill. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until char marks are visible and the apple has softened slightly. Remove from grill and drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired.
Apple Cranberry Pie
2 prepared pie crusts
5 c. apple, peeled and chopped
2 c. fresh cranberries
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. butter, chilled and chopped
1 T. milk
1 2 tsp. sanding sugar
Place one pie crust in the bottom of a pie dish and press to cover the bottom and sides of the dish. Prick the bottom a couple of times with a fork, then set in an oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the crust turns a light golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Add the cornstarch, sugars and cinnamon to a medium bowl and whisk together. Add the apples and cranberries to a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the cornstarch and sugar mixture to the apples and cranberries and mix. Mound the apple mixture into the baked pie crust, then dot with butter. Place the remaining pie crust on top and press crust along the edges to seal. Make a couple of vents in the top crust using a knife. Brush the top of the crust with milk, then sprinkle with sanding sugar. Set in an oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown.
1 package prepared crepes
4 medium apples. peeled and chopped
2 T. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. brown sugar
maple syrup for serving, if desired
Add the butter to a sauté pan and set over medium high heat. When the butter is melted, add the apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. Cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently, until the apples have softened slightly and are lightly browned, then remove from heat. Spread a crepe on a plate and spoon about 1/2 cup of apple filling in the center. Follow the directions on the crepe package to fold, then drizzle with maple syrup before serving, if desired.