Apple Apricot Amaretto Salad

This ‘salad’ has kind of an ignoble history, but it turned out to be a spectacular idea. My family does potluck family dinners for holidays. It’s not potluck in the most traditional sense, as my parents almost always do the meat, and one aunt does cheesy potatoes, and my grandmother does rolls and pie, but the point is that everyone brings something. Last winter, I hadn’t had Christmas in mind when I’d gone grocery shopping in early December, so I was kind of scrounging around my kitchen for something to make. I’d asked my dad what I should bring, and he said ‘salad,’ but we didn’t have much fresh stuff in the house and there was too much snow to make it fun to go out and then my roommate was out of town, so I had to get creative.

I spent some time on Supercook, which is an amazing tool because it lets you find recipes from what you have at home. This recipe did not come up, but there had been some recipes that had both apricot and amaretto, and I figured, hey, apples taste good with everything and also I have this bag to get rid of.

It ended up being a hit, such that I made it again for this Christmas and my cousin was really enthusiastic about taking all of the leftovers home.

Ingredients:

  • 6 smallish apples
  • 2/3 of a bag of dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • Amaretto

Cut the apples into bite-size chunks – we have an apple corer that also slices into 8, so I used that and then cut the pieces in half or thirds. Cut the apricots into smallish pieces – I cut them lengthwise and got like 4-6 pieces from each one? Soften cream cheese – I put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir the amaretto into the cream cheese, starting with just a little bit. Some recipes for dressing recommended an electric mixer, but I found a spoon worked fine, just needed a little enthusiasm to get the initial lumps out. Mix in more amaretto until it’s about the consistency of ranch dressing, maybe a little thicker. Toss well – the dressing coating the apples is what stops them from turning brown. I had probably more dressing than I needed, but no one likes brown apples.

I used Macintosh apples because that’s what we had, but it’d also probably be excellent with either Granny Smiths or a mix of types. If the apples are tarter, some sugar in the dressing would probably work really well.

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