One of the best parts of fall is the apple — the crispness of the bite, the sweetness and tartness of the flavor and the juice running on your hand. I like apples just about any way you prepare them.
An apple is defined as a sweet, round thin-skinned fruit of a tree that grows in temperate zones. The apple is presumed a native of Southeast Asia. Of the thousands of classified varieties, fewer than 20 are commercially imported in the United States. I prefer and make the most of domestic apples, especially ones that are locally grown.
Apples come in a variety of skin colors — pale green, very green, yellow, and all the shades of red. The flesh of apples ranges in color from white to creamy white, sometimes with yellow, green or red tints.
Choose apples that are firm without bruised spots. Scald, which is an irregularly shaped tan or brown area, has a tougher texture than unblemished skin but does not seriously affect eating quality. Apples are at their peak now and will continue to be at their best through the holidays. Controlled storage apples are available the rest of the year.
You will find fresh apples sold singly, by weight, in various containers such as pecks and bushels. Apples are also sold canned, bottled applesauce, canned apple pie filling, as cider and apple juice. In today’s market you will also find fresh sliced apples and dried apples.
An easy snack I makes uses fresh apples, a heavy-duty apple slicer that can slice the whole apple into eight slices and butterscotch or caramel sauces for ice cream toppings. Picture in your mind an apple that is gone through the slicer and then caramel is drizzled over it and followed by whipped cream, chopped pecans and a maraschino cherry on top. How could you not enjoy this?
One of my favorite ways to enjoy apples is fried — they are so quick and so easy. Fried apples work well with waffles and pancakes, pork, chicken and turkey.
Often I cook without using exact measurements, but some of my readers have asked for that. So for a nice serving of fried apples I suggest the following (Remember, I like having some extra planned-over to eat as a snack, with oatmeal for breakfast.
- 3 cups sliced apples
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet. I like using one that has a coating, so I don’t have to worry about sticking or burning. I have the heat on medium. Once the butter is melted, I add about 3 cups of sliced apples. To speed up the cooking process, cover the apples and stir or turn until they are tender. As a result of covering the apples you will have more juice to thicken and that is good.
While the apples are cooking, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and corn starch. Once you have the apples cooked as tender as you want, sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over them and gently stir until all are coated and just cook a few more minutes. The fried apples are ready to enjoy. They can be kept warm or refrigerated for later.