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Apples: Fall’s Culinary MVP

Instagram has officially transformed into an informal botanical study of red, orange, and yellow leaves. People have taken their coats out of storage, shaken out their scarves, and ironed their sweaters. Cutesy pumpkins line the window displays of every store. It’s fall y’all! And luckily for us New Englanders, this crisp, sunny weather gives us apple season. Fall cuisine is known for being especially comforting and yummy (for lack a of a better word!). For fall, think soups, baked goods, and hot drinks! Apples, with over 2,500 varieties grown in the US alone, are just as diverse in the kitchen. If you cared to, you could create apple-oriented dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, drinks, and snacks – more than enough to keep you away from the doctor for years. Here, we will explore a few recipes that play with the adaptability of apples in sweet and savory dishes.

Roasted Apples and Butternut Squash

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Source: The Gunny Sack

What you’ll need:
• 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
• 5 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 2 to 3 large Granny Smith apples, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 cups)
• ¼ cup maple syrup
• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
• ¼ cup chopped, toasted pecans

Directions:
1. Heat your oven to 375F.
2. Put the butter into your baking dish, and melt it in the oven (this takes about 5 minutes).
3. Stir the cinnamon and nutmeg into the melted better. Then, toss your squash into the sweet mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
4. In the meantime, mix together the apples, maple syrup and vinegar.
5. Add the apple mixture to the squash mixture, cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
6. Finally, when the squash and apples are cooked, remove from the oven and sprinkle with pecans.

Blue Cheese, Bacon, and Apple Pizza

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Source: foodie crush

What you’ll need:
• Store-bought or homemade pizza dough
• 2 small apples, thinly sliced
• 1/3 cup maple syrup
• 12 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese
• 4 slices cooked bacon, cut into thick pieces
• 1/2 cup roasted garlic cloves
• 3 ounces blue cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
2. Place the sliced apples in a small bowl and pour the maple syrup on the sliced apples and set aside.
3. Divide the pizza dough ball into 4 sections, reserving half of the dough for another use. Stretch the dough and place on a small baking sheet, working the dough into a rectangle. If the dough springs back, let it rest for a few minutes then continue to spread it into the corners of the baking sheet.
4. Layer the dough with half of the shredded Italian cheese then top with slices of the apple, half of the bacon, garlic cloves and chunks of blue cheese.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden. Drizzle with additional maple syrup, cut and serve immediately.

Mature Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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Source: Fabtastic Eats

What you’ll need:
• 4 slices thick bread
• 4 tablespoons cinnamon honey butter (store bought)
• 1 large apple, sliced thin
• 4-6 ounces extra sharp white cheddar
• 4 tablespoons hot pepper jelly (store bought)
• 1 cup arugula

Directions:
1. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat.
2. Smear the cinnamon honey butter on both sides of all four slices of bread. Place the bread on the heated griddle. Toast until golden brown and crispy (3 minutes).
3. Flip the bread. Reduce the heat slightly to medium-low.
4. On two of the slices, top with the cheddar cheese and apple slices. Drop spoonfuls of the hot jelly across the top. Cover to melt cheese.
5. Top with arugula and top with other slice of bread.

Baked Whole Apples

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Source: Le Crem de la Crumb

What you’ll need:

• 1/2 cups brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon flour
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 3-4 large gala apples

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
2. Wash and core the apples.
3. Mix the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl. Then, put the mixture inside of the cored apples.
4. Place a tablespoon of butter on top of each apple.
5. Place water (or apple juice for extra sweetness) inside a baking dish, and place the stuffed apples in the dish.
6. Bake the apples for 45 minutes or until soft. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Caramel Apple Sangria

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Source: DIY Ready

What you’ll need:

• 1 bottle of white wine
• 1 bottle of sparkling apple cider
• ¼ cup of caramel syrup
• 4 apples, chopped

Directions:

1. Chill the white wine and apple cider.
2. Combine white wine and apple cider with caramel syrup and add chopped apples.
3. Serve chilled!

Don’t know what to do with all those left over apple peels?
• Apple peel jelly
• Apple tea
• Apple smoothie

Most of all, I want to encourage you to explore the bounty of the season! Experiment and let me know if you come up with any fun ways to use apples.

-Camille Bergsrud

Cover photo source.

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