Apple Almond Cake and Roasted Cardamom Applesauce. Both were simple and tasty recipes for apple picking families.
Somehow two other apples recipes got lost in the Fall shuffle and now that we’re headed toward cooler weather (only nights so far) here in New York State, I know it won’t be long before it’s apple picking time again. So, today I'm giving you one of the two recipes I've been saving for the right time of year: APPLE-RAISIN BARS WITH RED HOT CINNAMON CANDIES!
The apples pictured above are not ultra shiny (though I did polish them) and they are not blemish-free. But, they fell from the trees at my daughter’s house, were pesticide- free and had a wonderful taste. Taste is important. In my humble opinion, whether you're shopping at a supermarket or a farmers market or picking your own somewhere, it’s important to buy an extra apple for every recipe, an apple that you can bite into and test for taste and texture.
Speaking of shiny apples, I’m reminded of a Fall probably thirty or more years ago when I went to an outdoor political event at a big home on the edge of town. The event itself was forgettable. Not so the apples.
The host family was known for its prolific harvest of pumpkins but for that evening they had brought in bushels of apples and everywhere I looked there were apples. Baskets full of apples, bowls of apples, single apples set out on steps and tables. Hundreds of apples, I’m sure, unless my memory is bigger than reality.
Anyway, every single apple was as bright as a shiny new dime! I checked carefully and couldn’t find one that wasn’t polished to a high finish. Before I left that night, I cornered the homeowner and asked about those beautiful apples. His simple answer was that they used a clean towel to rub each apple till it shone. A good hint to remember for Fall party decorations.
Moving on, here is another way to use up the apples from your trees or from your trip to the pick-your-own orchards...
APPLE RAISIN BARS WITH RED HOT CINNAMON CANDIES
(based on a recipe from Family Circle magazine, December 2003*)
Makes 12 servings
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. powdered cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt (if using kosher or sea salt, use just a bit less than 1/2 tsp.)
2 c. packed light-brown sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened (original recipe says “or margarine”; I never use margarine)
1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (original recipes does not specify, but I always use pure)
1-1/2 cup diced Golden Delicious Apples (I love GDs; the skin is so much easier to chew)
3/4 c. raisins (dark or golden, your choice; could even sub Craisins)
1/4 - 1/2 c. red hot cinnamon candies
1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Grease 9x13-inch pan.
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together.
5. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture. Mix until smooth. Do not over-beat.
6. Stir in apples, raisins and candies, then spread in pan.
7. Bake 35 minutes. Test doneness by inserting toothpick near center. If it comes out clean, the bars are done.
8. Cool completely before cutting.
Pick your own apples in upstate New York.
Keep an eye out for old magazines full of interesting recipes in the giveaway bin at libraries or laid out as reading material at the doctor’s office.