Apple Turnovers

I should probably be embarrassed by how many of my recipes start with ‘and then this produce had been sitting around long enough that I really badly needed to find something to do with it,’ but I live a no-shame life, so nah.

travis20hasse20original20apple20pie20liqueur

Apple Pie is a Wisconsin specialty

Ingredients:

  • apples
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • sugar
  • flour
  • Apple Pie liqueur
  • Pillsbury crescent rolls

Cut your apples into bits and throw them in a pot with some nutmeg and cinnamon and sugar. Douse it with Apple Pie and put it on medium – you want everything to turn all delicious and filling-like. When it’s close to done, start preheating your oven to 350°F and add a pinch of flour to the apple mix: it’ll help thicken it a bit so you end up with less apple filling all over your nonstick baking tray.

Unroll your tubes of pastry and add a bit of apple filling to each crescent roll before you roll it up. Bake for 12-15 minutes!

They make for delicious portable desserts, and any leftover apple filling can be handed over to a friend who can actually make pastry crust in order to eventually become pie.

Fried Apples

We had a bunch of apples in the fridge from the last time I thought it would be a good thing to buy some and we proceeded to completely forget about them. They were still good! Thank fuck for species that are designed to last. We haven’t been eating that much fruit recently, and I wanted to both empty the fridge and have something sweet. So: fried apples.

Ingredients:

  • butter
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • lemon juice
  • brown sugar
  • apples

I washed the apples (like . . . 7? use however many you want) started the pan on medium-low and started like half a stick of butter melting and started cutting. I cut them into bite-sized chunks, mostly, but if you’re using just one or two apples – few enough to just cover the bottom of the pan with no overlap – if you just cut it into eighths you can get nice presentation at the end.

By the time you’ve got an apple or two cut, the butter should be melted. Add a dash of lemon juice, however much brown sugar feels right, and some nutmeg and cinnamon. For brown sugar, I used like a quarter cup, because I wanted sweet but not super sweet. The more you add, the more it’ll be like caramel.

If you’re doing the thing where you want nice presentation, add the apples all at the same time. If you’re going for vaguely fruit-based dessert topping, just add them as you finish. I just threw them in and then when I was done stirred it and sat down for like half an hour.

If you’re doing a single layer, you probably only need to cook them for ten minutes for them to be soft and caramelized a little and utterly delicious. But for lots, as long as the pan doesn’t get dry, they can get cooked more or less however long you want. I mean, let it go longer than an hour or two and you’re probably going to have caramel-flavored apple sauce, but this is one of those things that’s really not time imperative. If the pan starts getting dry, add a splash or two of water: burnt sugar neither smells nor tastes all that great.

Served hot, it’s absolutely amazing over vanilla ice cream.

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.

Apple Crisp

This is quick and easy to make, and then you can throw it in the oven right before you sit down to dinner and then have delicious warm crisp a civilized time after, if you want.

Crisp ingredients:

  • Apples
  • white sugar
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

So, what I do when I’m going to make this is put something like a quarter or a third of a cup of sugar in a 1 cup measuring cup and a healthy couple dashes of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. When you shake it to mix it all together, you still want it pretty visible that you’ve added spices. Put that beside your work space.

Then start cutting up apples. For this one I used 8 smallish ones, but it pretty much doesn’t matter. Keep cutting apples until you’re happy with how many you have or you run out. I’ve used like 12 before, and it’s still delicious, just deeper. You can cut the apple just in eighths and that’s fine, but I like cutting them into smaller pieces, because then you can get apple and crust and ice cream in every bite. If you’re super fast, this isn’t really a concern, but I work at normal human speeds and usually get distracted, so after I’m done an apple I sprinkle a bit of the sugar and cinnamon mixture over the cut pieces. It stops them from browning – which wouldn’t change the end taste, I know – and also makes sure the sugar’s gonna be evenly distributed throughout.

At some point you’ll want to start preheating the oven to 350°F, but probably not right at the start or you’ll end up like me, telling it to shut up as it beeps its readiness and you’re still not done.

When you’re done with the apples, it’s time for the topping, which takes this from ‘nice healthy fruit thing’ to delicious indulgence.

Topping Ingredients:

  • rolled oats
  • brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • butter
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla

Okay, so the only ingredient there that’s not optional is the oats. You want something to hold the oats together, but it’s a really versatile recipe. For the most recent version I made, I skipped the egg (we were out), sugar (it was all hard in the cupboard and I wanted to get back to work, not fight it), and vanilla (I didn’t want any more liquid, since there’d be no egg to hold the whole thing together), and it didn’t stick together well, but still tasted good. And for the oats – steel-cut. The kind that takes forever to cook and has no flavoring. The stuff that’s meant to cook in half an hour or five minutes or whatever gets distressingly soggy. Steel-cut oats take like a week of forgetting about the leftovers in the fridge before the texture goes weird and awful.

Melt the butter! Add the brown sugar, and make sure it’s all moistened and amenable to mixing. Add like a cup of oats or however much it’ll take to cover the dish you’re cooking it in. I use a 9×13 casserole dish, so if you’re using something substantially larger, maybe grab another egg. Add the egg, nutmeg, cinnamon, and just a splash of vanilla to the oats, and stir with a fork just until the ingredients are pretty mixed: you don’t want to break the oats. It should be damp but not wet and drippy: it’s a crust, not something to mix all up in the apples. Spread it over the top of the apples, trying to get full coverage. Whether or not it’s a big deal if you don’t get full coverage is all based on your preference: generally it’s fine.

Pop it in your preheated 350°F oven for 50 minutes, then serve hot with ice cream and caramel sauce.

If you’re making it ahead of time for something, let it cool completely before refrigerating: condensation dripping on the topping will make the texture gross. When it’s completely cool, though, it refrigerates quite well.