The party was late this year, and small because kids and families are busier than ever, but I liked the quiet intimacy. Besides, there were still kids running around and lots of little groups chatting. Oddly, one of the main topics this year was ghosts. A few of my friends are sensitive to spirits and told stories of haunted houses and visits from deceased relatives; others who have never seen ghosts were fascinated.
And of course, there were a lot of apple treats: Swedish Apple Pie, my Grandad's Cooked Apples, my Apple Enchiladas, Sis's new Apple Dumplings, Apple Tart, Apple Turnovers, Apple Bacon Leek Quiche, Apple Crisp, Apple Doughnuts. Yum, yum, yum.
I love this tradition, but I wondered this year--will we still have it when the kids are out of the house? At least I have several years not to worry about that.
Until then, here is a look back at the years I can find: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016 and a compilation of apple recipes here.
Grandad’s Cooked Apples
I remember Grandad teaching me how to make these, with Mom standing by, at the old stove at Raucous in a small dingy saucepan. We stirred forever and he wasn’t good at clarifying what “jells” meant but they are incredible, especially served with fresh cream.
4 Jonathan apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
Cook with lid on until boils, then uncover and simmer until liquid jells (about 30 minutes). Serve with cream.
Apple Enchilada Dessert
This was on the menu at the Cinco de Mayo party for MOMS Club when I agreed to run for president. They were very good (6/06).
1-21 oz can apple pie filling
6-8" flour tortillas
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water (some suggest reducing to 1/3 cup)
Preheat oven to 350. Spoon fruit evenly onto all tortillas, sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll
up tortillas and place seam-side down on lightly greased 8x8 pan. Bring margarine, sugars, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Pour sauce evenly over tortillas; sprinkle with extra cinnamon on top, if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes (some suggest adding an extra 10 minutes baking time or broiling for 5 minutes at the end).
Makes 6 large enchiladas. May be cut in half to serve 12.
Apple Ideas for Next Year
Apple Brown Betty
1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 ½ cup sugar
3 cups l/4-inch bread cubes
2 tablespoons melted butter
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 lbs large apples
2 to 4 tablespoons cold water (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Combine the nutmeg and the sugar and set aside 2 tablespoons. Put the bread cubes in a bowl and toss with the rest of the sugar mixture, the melted butter, and the lemon rind. Peel, core, and slice the apples into fairly thick wedges. Line the bottom of a heavy 1 1/2-quart casserole with 1 cup of the bread cubes.
Layer half of the apples over the bread and top with 1/2 cup of the bread cubes. Layer the rest of the apples in the casserole and sprinkle with water. Cover with the rest of the bread cubes and evenly sprinkle the reserved 2 tablespoons ofsugar over the top. Put the lid on the casserole or cover tightly with foil. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Take the lid off the betty, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until apples are tender and the topping is brown.
4 medium cooking apples
1/4 cup raisins, dates, or other dried fruit
1/4 cup nuts, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup apple juice or water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Core apples; peel a strip from the top of each. Place apples in a 2-quart casserole. Combine the fruit, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon into centers of apples; top with 1 tablespoon butter each. Add liquid to dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender, basting occasionally with the cooking liquid. Serve warm with ice cream, light cream, or yogurt, if desired.
Better Homes and Garden
I loved this at the MOMS Club Thanksgiving potluck!
6 large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup of water
juice of 1 lemon
2 cups rolled oats (I used the quick cooking kind)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) melted butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the apples, water and lemon juice in an 8x8 inch baking pan. In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Pour in the butter and stir to make a crumbly mixture. Spread the topping in an even layer over the apples and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and browned.
Mommy Hungry's Apple Crisp
This is the first recipe we really invented together and it is our favorite evening snack, dessert, apple food.
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
¼ teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
¼ cup butter
chopped pecans (optional)
Mix and bake in greased pan at 375°F for approximately 30 minutes.
Alternates: We don’t even measure anymore, just make enough mixture to cover apples. Also, this can be made with other fruits, including pitted cherries, raspberries, and blackberries.
PDA's Apple Pie
Now this is my signature apple pie, made for all holidays. And as Grandma always used to say, “Apple pie without cheese is like a hug without a squeeze!” Mama didn’t believe until she tried it.
¾ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg
6 sliced, peeled apples
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pie crust and crumb topping
Peel and slice apples, soaking in water and lemon juice to prevent browning. Heat oven to 425°F. Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir in apples. Cover with crumb topping. Cover edge of pie with aluminum foil, shiny side out. Bake 40-50 minutes, removing foil for last 10 minutes.
1 cup flour
½ cup firm margarine
½ cup packed, crumbly brown sugar
Mix with fork and sprinkle on top of pie.