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Sunset's apple classics (recipes)

When you cook apples, you discover different facets of each variety's unique personality. Some kinds tend to retain their shape, and others melt into sauce. Some give up lots of juice, others very little. Cooking times vary widely. And the flavor may become more or less intense.

Our chart on pages 90 and 91 points out distinctive qualities of 22 varieties and shows how testers rated each one when prepared in traditional ways. Here are our updated recipes for four apple classics. The pie recipe has been adjusted to suit each kind of apple (see chart at right).
Apple Arithmetic
1 pound of apples consists of about:
2 large apples
3 medium-size apples
4 small apples
3 cups peeled and sliced apples

Two-way Applesauce

For chunky sauce, peel apples, using juicy ones that cook quickly. For smooth sauce, use peeled or unpeeled apples, and rub through a strainer (discard peel residue,- red-skinned varieties will tint sauce pink). Apple juice sweetens the sauce. Combine 1 quart peeled, cored, sliced apples (or 5 cups unpeeled, cored, sliced apples) with 1/2 cup apple juice or water in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until fruit is soft and begins to dissolve, 4 to 20 minutes, depending on variety. Add juice to thin or if liquid cooks away.

If desired, mix in 1 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar or firmly packed brown sugar and ground cinnamon to taste. Rub unpeeled apple mixture through a food mill or coarse strainer; discard peels. Makes about 2 cups, 4 servings.

Per serving: 77 cal.; 0.2g protein; 0.4g fat; 20g carbo.; 0.9 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Micro-baked Apples

The microwave is more than a time-saver for baking" apples; it also helps preserve the fruits' natural color and shape. If you use apple juice for liquid, many varieties may be sweet enough with the least amount of sugar suggested.
 4 medium-size to large apples
 1/2 cup apple juice or water
 2 to 5 tablespoons granulated or
firmly packed brown sugar
 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 2 tablespoons lemon juice (omit for
tart apples)

Remove apple cores from stem end to within 1/2 inch of base; peel top third of stem ends. Arrange apples, peeled end up, in an 8- to 9-inch-wide microwave-safe dish. In a small bowl, mix together apple juice, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice; pour over apples.

Cover dish with microwave-safe plastic wrap and cook at full power (100 percent) until apples are tender throughout when pierced, 6 to 20 minutes, depending on variety. After 5 minutes, rotate apples in dish a half-turn and baste with juices in dish. Continue cooking, checking doneness and basting about every 2 minutes.

Remove apples to a serving dish and spoon cooking liquid over them. Serves 4.

Per serving: 121 cal; 0.3g protein; 0.5g fat; 31g carbo.; 2.6 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Apples with raisin-rum sauce. Prepare apples and juice mixture as for micro-baked apples, preceding. Arrange apples in dish and fill cores with 1/2 cup raisins (pour excess into the dish); pour juice mixture over fruit. Cook as directed, then remove apples to serving dish. Add juice or water to pan liquid to make 1 cup; pour into a 1 - to 1 1/2-quart pan. Mix in 2 teaspoons cornstarch blended with 3 tablespoons light rum. Stir on high heat until boiling. Spoon over apples. Serves 4.

Per serving: 204 cal.; 0.9g protein; 0.6g fat; 47g carbo.; 5mg sodium; 0mg chol.

Sauteed Apple Slices

These apple wedges glazed in butter and sugar make a sparkling companion for pork, lamb, chicken, or sausage.

Quarter 2 medium-size to large unpeeled apples; remove cores and cut fruit into slices about 3/4 inch thick. In a 10- to 12- inch pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine over medium heat; when bubbly, add apples and turn to coat with butter. Cover and cook until apples are tender when pierced, 2 1/2 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar and cook, uncovered, turning gently as needed, until liquid evaporates and apples brown lightly, 3 to 16 minutes. Makes about 4 servings.

Per serving: 71 cal; 0.2g protein; 3g fat; 12g carbo.; 29mg sodium; 7.8mg chol.

Classic Apple Pie

We baked pies with 22 different apple varieties, fine-tuning the ingredients for each one. Although typical recipes call for as much as a cup of sugar for a 9-inch pie, we found that a quarter of that amount was ample for sweet apples, and let more of the apple flavor come through. Use the greater amount of sugar if apples are underripe and extra firm, or if you prefer sweeter desserts.

For pastry, use refrigerated crust, pie crust mix, or your own recipe. The bran cereal in this recipe virtually disappears in the baking, but it helps keep the bottom crust crisp and flaky.
 8 cups thinly sliced, peeled, cored
 Sugar (see chart on page 242)
 Quick-cooking tapioca or
cornstarch (see chart)
 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or
ground nutmeg
 Lemon juice (see chart)
 Pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie
 1 cup bran flake or raisin-bran flake
cereal (optional)

In a large bowl, mix apples with sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon juice; set aside. Roll out half the pastry on a floured board to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Line pan with pastry. Sprinkle cereal over pastry, then pile in apple mixture, heaping it in the center. On a floured board, roll out remaining pastry to cover pie. Lay pastry over fruit; flute edges and cut vent holes in the top.

Bake on the lowest shelf of a 425[deg] oven until top is browned and filling is bubbly, 45 to 55 minutes. If browned after 30 minutes, cover loosely with foil. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Per serving:204 cal.; 1.5g protein; 7.9g fat; 34g carbo.; 138 mg sodium; 0 mg chol. (TABULAR DATA OMITTED)
COPYRIGHT 1990 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Oct 1, 1990
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