Special of the Day: Back to School Spotlight on Apples

02 Sep Special of the Day: Back to School Spotlight on Apples

Brandied Apple Crepes with Maple Cream

Brandied Apple Crepes with Maple Cream

George-Sydne-food-300x204

Back to school time stirs up sweet memories of my first career in teaching with fresh-faced fourth graders coming to class on the first day of school bearing shiny red apples for their teacher.

One of the most nutritious and delicious additions you can make to your student’s sack lunch is an apple because of its long list of health benefits including boosting brain function, decreasing tooth decay, strengthening heart health, aiding digestion, improving immunity, curbing risk of cancer and diabetes and lowering cholesterol.

Using apples as an ingredient in your baking and cooking is another easy way to provide quality nourishment to your family. Most apples readily available in the produce department of local grocery stores including Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady, are suitable for both eating raw and cooking with, but a few have special qualities worth noting.  Fuji aples, for example, are sweeter and crisper than most other apples and have a longer shelf life, so are an excellent choice for packing in a lunch. Golden Delicious apples are an all-purpose apple, good for eating as is or used in baking or cooking. In addition, Golden Delicious apples keep their color longer than other varieties, so they are a smart selection if you are serving apples sliced with cheese or in a salad. Red Delicious apples are best when eaten raw as they do not stand up to heat well. However you slice it, apples are a smart choice when it comes to heading Back to School.

Wishing everyone a Happy First Day of School in this week’s Special of the Day: Back to School Spotlight on Apples and recipes for Almond Apple Turnovers, Brandied Apple Crepes with Maple Cream and Roast Pork and Apple Sandwiches on Raisin Bread. Enjoy!

Recipes and food photography by Sydne George.

Almond Apple Turnovers

Almond Apple Turnovers

Almond Apple Turnovers

(makes eight turnovers)

Recipe by Sydne George

3 cups apples, peeled and sliced

½ cup sugar

1 tsp. almond extract

17.3 ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. almond extract

1 ½ tbsp. heavy cream

¼ cup toasted almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, simmer apples and sugar for 8 minutes. Do not overcook.

Remove from heat, stir in almond extract and cool.

Unroll thawed puff pastry sheets on work surface.

Cut sheets in half horizontally and vertically, making a total of eight rectangular sections.

Using a slotted spoon to remove liquid, spoon 2 tbsp. apple filling in center of each pastry section.

Lift the bottom right corner of each pastry section up and to the left to meet the top right corner, making a triangle and covering the filling of each turnover.

Using a fork, crimp the edges of each turnover, sealing the filling inside.

Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool completely on cooling rack.

Mix powdered sugar, almond extract and cream in a small bowl until completely smooth.

Transfer to small plastic baggie and snip one corner to make small opening.

Squeeze icing out of the snipped corner onto the cooled turnovers and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Enjoy!

Brandied Apple Crepes with Maple Cream

Brandied Apple Crepes with Maple Cream

Brandied Apple Crepes with Maple Cream

Recipe by Sydne George

(Serves about 6)

Reminiscent of my mom’s famous apples crepe with vanilla sauce, this recipe uses cornstarch in the crepes, making them gluten-free.

Make the brandied apples:

2 tablespoons butter

2 cup chopped apples

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons brandy

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Dash of salt

In a small sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter.

Add apples and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add brown sugar and stir to combine.

Reduce heat to low, add brandy, corn starch and cook until slightly thickened.

Add salt, stirring to combine.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Make the maple cream:

1 cup cream

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon maple extract

3 tablespoons ricotta

Whip cream until peaks form, add maple syrup and beat to combine.

Fold in ricotta until incorporated.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Crepes:

1 cup milk

3 eggs

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled

¾ cup cornstarch

Dash of salt

1 tablespoons sugar

In a blender, combine all crepe ingredients in order. Mix on high until well blended, about 15 seconds. Scrape sides of blender with rubber spatula if necessary.

Heat a crepe pan or small saute pan with a non stick surface over medium high heat. Brush pan lightly with melted butter. Carefully pour about 2 tablespoons batter from the blender into the pan, swirling the pan so the batter covers bottom.

Cook until edges begin to lightly brown, about 15 seconds.

Using a small table knife, lift an edge of the crepe, pick it up with both hands and flip it over.

Cook the other side of the crepe about 15 seconds.

Remove crepe from pan and cool, layering sheets of waxed paper in between.

Repeat with remaining batter, brushing pan with melted butter before pouring batter to prevent sticking.

When ready to serve, spoon brandied apples in middle of each crepe and roll.

Top crepes with dollops of maple cream.

Enjoy!

Roast Pork and Apple Sandwiches on Raisin Bread

Roast Pork and Apple Sandwiches on Raisin Bread

Roast Pork and Apple Butter sandwiches with Apple Slices on Raisin Bread

Recipe by Sydne George

(makes 4 sandwiches)

2-pound pork tenderloin (you’ll have extra for leftovers)

1 cup tablespoon apple butter, divided

8 slices raisin bread

1 Gala or Pink Lady apple, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread ¼ cup apple butter over the top of the pork tenderloin and roast for an hour. Remove from oven and let rest. (Pork can be cooked ahead and refrigerated).

Spread both sides with apple butter to cover.

Slice pork into thin slices and layer 2-3 pork slices atop apple butter.

Arrange apple slices on top of pork.

Place second half of raisin bread on top, cut in half diagonally and secure with frilly toothpicks.

Enjoy!

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the Day” are archived at sydnegeorge.com.

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