Text, recipes and photos by Kelsey Foster
Apples may or may not “keep the doctor away” as the jingle goes, but they are low in sodium and calories, while high in fiber (eat the peel) and vitamin C. Apples are rich in flavonoids which are revered for antioxidant effects, and in phenols which can increase the good cholesterol and reduce the bad cholesterol. Apples are have been reported to protect against brain disease and promote healthy lungs.
Possibly the best attribute of apples is that they really taste good. You can eat them raw, spread them in apple butter, eat them inside turnovers and drink them in apple cider. These fall recipes permeate the house while being made and beckon sharing at tailgate parties, in the neighborhood or among family and friends. Enjoy!
MULLED APPLE CIDER
(Yield: ~ 6 cups)
6 cups apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
6 allspice berries
1/4 tsp. whole cloves
3 strips lemon rind
Optional: 1 cup spiced rum
Combine all ingredients in a large cast iron pot. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking, covered, for at least 1 hour before serving.
Alternatively, you can place ingredients in a slow cooker for easy tailgating and other fall festivities transport.
Adapted from Food Network
RUSTIC APPLE TURNOVERS
(Yield: ~ 3 dozen)
4 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup oats
1/2 cup white flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 Tbl. butter, diced
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
4 sheets (2 17.3 oz. packages) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed according to directions
1 Tbl. milk
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix apples and lemon juice then add oats, flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, stirring to combine.
Create an egg wash by beating egg and milk in a small bowl.
Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sprinkle flour on flat surface and once puff pastry dough is thawed enough to work with, flatten it slightly with a flour-coated rolling pin.
Using a pizza cutter, cut each puff pastry dough into 9 equal sections.
Place an even amount of filling in the center of each puff pastry. Spread a bit of egg wash on each edge of the dough then fold edges over to meet the other side, forming a triangle. Press edges together to create a seal. Press fork prongs onto edges of each turnover.
Transfer the turnovers to baking sheets and bake until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
SLOW COOKER APPLE BUTTER
(Yield: ~ 4 cups)
2 1/2 pounds red apples, peeled, cored and rough chopped
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider (can substitute with water)
1 Tbl. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Place apples in an electric slow cooker and top with remaining ingredients. Secure lid and program for 10 hours on low heat.
When finished, remove lid and using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Alternatively, carefully transfer mixture to glass blender to mix and return to slow cooker.
Program slow cooker to high and let the mixture reduce and thicken, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Transfer apple butter into glass canning jars and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Adapted from Hello Glow
Kelsey Foster is a freelance writer, blogger and California transplant to the New River Valley who writes a clever food and lifestyle blog, aslolife.com, with tips on food, fashion and home decor. For her excellence in recipes, creativity and photography, this column, titled NRV Food Fare, will appear in every issue.