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The time is ripe for apples.

For centuries apples have stimulated both man's tastebuds and his imagination. It's a matter of record that these flavorful fruits have dropped in at some ripe moments in history. For Adam, the apple temptation proved too great. William Tell saved his son's skin by splitting an apple, and with the help of a plummeting pome Sir Isaac Newton was able to realize the gravity of the situation.

We can thank the Romans for the plentifulness of apples in the world today. They took a shine to the fruit and cultivated the trees throughout Europe. Later North American settlers carried the choicest seeds and propagating wood with them to the New World, and the apple became a staple in the early American diet. In 1649 a farmer named John Endecott traded William Trask 500 apple trees for 200 acres of land. We don't know who got the better deal.

Today, we know more than ever about the inside story of apples. Although the flavor, color, texture and aroma are reason enough to delight in each bite, we know that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is good if not always totally reliable advice nutritionwise. Apples contain modest amounts of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, Niacin and minerals. More important, apples provide high-quality dietary fiber that adds bulk to the digestive tract. Dentists should like apples, too. Their fibrous texture aids teeth cleaning and massaging the gums. What's more, the typical apple contains only about 80 calories.

Although an apple is always an apple, each apple has its own nuance of flavor. That's because each time an apple seed is planted it produces a slightly different variety than its parent tree, which means endless taste possibilities for apple lovers. Some 250 varieties grow in the United States alone. Fourteen of these account for about 90 percent of our commercial production.

The most popular apple in america is the Red Delicious, discovered in an orchard in Peru, Iowa. About 75 million bushels of Red Delicious are eaten in the United States yearly. The Golden Delicious, Jonathan, McIntosh and Stayman have devoted fans, too. Favorite cooking and baking apples include the Rome Beauty, York Imperial, Newtown Pippin and the Gravestein, a German import nurtured in the United States since 1825.

Since apples stored at room temperature ripen ten times faster than cooled ones, it's best to keep apples stored in your refrigerator. Don't put them too close to the freezer compartment, though. Freezing will ruin them. Pay heed to the old saw, " bad apple spoils the bunch...." all bruised and defective apples should be removed from the rest. Only the perfect fruit should be kept for later consumption. If you buy by the bushel, select a cool place in your home for storage--a cellar, garage area or section of the porch. Line the basket with plastic to prevent moisture loss, then cover with a moist towel. The ideal temperature for apple storage is 32-40[deg.]F.

When should you eat apples? Anytime. For breakfast, Apple/Corn Meal pancakes are a vast improvement on the common flapjack. Our corn pancakes below, made with high-lysine corn meal, provide both fiber and energy-giving amino acids. For lunch, try something a little different: Apple-Chicken Salad-light, lean chicken pieces and apples, spiced with herbs in a yogurt sause. Apple juice provides the tang in our Butternut-Squash Souffle, a great supper side dish that will rise to the occasion.

Apples are natural dessert, but traditionally many apple pastries have been laden with excess sugar. We've found recipes, however, that are low in sugar and will still win over people with a persnickety sweet tooth. Consider Gingerbread Cake, loaded with spices, sweetened with a bit of honey and molasses and topped with a tangy lemon sauce. It's healthful and delightfully tasty. Or for a real smoothie, try Apple/Date Pudding or our applesauce with cinnamon.

Golden Apple Bran Muffins

(Makes 30 to 36 muffins)

2 large Golden Delicious apples pared, cored and chopped (about 2-1/2 cups)

1/2 cup corn-oil margarine

1 cup boiling water

3 cups whole-bran cereal

2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

1 cup dates, finely chopped, or raisins

2-1/2 cups white flour, unbleached

2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground

1 teaspoon nutmeg, ground

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Saute apples in margarine 10 minutes or until tender. Pour boiling water over bran; add apples, buttermilk, eggs, blackstrap molasses and dates. Combine flour, baking soda and spices; stir into bran mixture just until combined. Refrigerate in tightly covered container at least 24 hours. For optimum quality use within three weeks. Fill greased muffin pans 3/4 full and bake at 400[deg.]F. 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center come out clean.

Microwave Variation

Fill microwave-proof custard cups, lined with double paper liners 3/4 full. Microwave at medium: 1 minute for 1 muffin, 2 minutes for 2 muffins, 2-1/2 to 3 minutes for 4 muffins, 3-1/2 to 4 minutes of 6 muffins. Let stand 1 minute before serving; serve immediately.

Apple/Corn Meal Pancakes

(Makes 4 servings)

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1/4 cup corn meal

1 teaspoon baking powder

1-1/3 cup buttermilk, low fat

1 egg

1 tablespoon corn-oil margarine, melted

3/4 cup apple, grated

Blend the flour, corn meal and baking powder together in mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, add buttermilk and egg and beat again. Add melted margarin and apple and stir. Bake on nonstick griddle. If desired, serve with homemade apple sauce.

Apple Sauce

(Makes 1-1/2 to 2 qts.)

20 Yellow Delicious apples

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup Tree Top concetrated apple juice

1 Teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or to tase

Core apples, peel and cut into chuncks. Put apples, water and juice in a heavy saucepan. Bring to boil. Turn heat down, cover and simmer until apples are soft. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Can also be used with corn-meal waffles. (Recipe on page 15.) Freeze leftover applesauce.

Apple Chicken Salad

(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, diced

1 cup celery, sliced

1/2 cup pitted black olives, sliced

3 red apples

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

1/3 cup plain yogurt

Salad greens

Combine chicken, celery and olives. Dice apples without peeling. Combine mayonnaise, rosemary and yogurt; add apples and chicken mixture. Toss to coat evely. Line individual salad bowls with salad greens. Heap apple mixture in center.

Apple Corn Muffins

(Makes 12)

1-1/2 cups high-lysine corn meal

1-1/4 cups whole-wheat flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 cups apple, pared, cored and chopped

1 egg

1-1/2 cups milk, skim

2 tablespoons corn-oil margarine, melted

Mix together the dry ingredients and stir in the chopped apples. Add the egg, well beaten, then the milk and margarine, and drop into oiled muffin tins. Bake in 350[deg.]F. oven for 25 minutes.

Butternut Squash Souffle

(Serves 4 to 6)

4 cups butternut squash, steamed or boiled

2 tablespoons Tree Top apple juice concentrate

1 teaspoon oranged rind; grated

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

a teaspoon allspice

2/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 egg whites Corn-oil margarine

Process squash in blender to puree consistency. Add apple-juice concentrate, orange rind and seasonings. Blend and transfer to a mixing bowl. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry. Fold into squash, gently stirring down from the middle and lifting up from the sides, until just mixed. Prepare a souffle dish by lightly coating with corn-oil margarine. Bake at 400[deg.]F. for 25 minutes until top begins to brown.

Molded Apple Dessert Salad

(Makes 8 servings)

1 package (3-1/2 oz.) lemon jello

2 cups hot water

1 large avocado, peeled and diced

1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced

2 cups unpeeled red apples, diced

1/2 cup blanched almonds, slivered

Dissolve jello in hot water as directed on package. Pour into 6-cup mold to a depth of about 1 inch. Chill until almost set. Meanwhile chill remaining gelatin until consistency of unbeaten egg white; fold in avocado, celery, apples and almonds. Spoon into mold on top of clear gelatin. Chill until set. Unmold and serve.

Gingerbread Cake

(Makes 12 servings)

2-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 egg

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

1/2 cup apple sauce

3 tablespoons ginger, grated, or 1 rounded teaspoon dried ginger

1 cup very hot water

Combine dry ingredients in small bowl and mix well. Set aside. Beat egg. Add honey and molasses and beat 3 minutes with mixer. Beat in apple sauce, ginger and water. Add dry ingredients to wet. Stir until blended. Lightly oil and flour an 8"X8" baking pan. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350[deg.]F. for 1 hour. Lemmon Sauce topping follows:

Lemon Sauce

(Makes 12 servings)

1 cup boiling water

1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon Dr. Bronner's barley malt

1 tablespoon water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Dissolve arrowroot or corn starch in 1 tablespoon of water. Put all ingredients except lemon juice and nutmeg in a saucepan. Stir and simmer for 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and nutmeg. Simmer a few more minutes until thick, stirring constantly. Serve over Gingergread Cake.

Apple Date Pudding

(Serves 6)

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup date sugar (powdered dried dates)

2 tablespoons corn-oil margarine

2 cups unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup nuts, chopped (walnuts or pecans)

1 cup dates, finely chopped

Mix oats, spices and date sugar. Cut in margarine until mixture is crumbly. Place half of mixture in well-oiled baking dish. Spread a layer of apple sauce on next, followed by the nuts and dates. Top with the rest of the mixture. Bake at 350[deg.]F. for 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Sweet Potato Pie

(Makes 8 servings)

1-3/4 cups sweet potato, mashed

1 egg and 1 white

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup Tree Top apple-juice concentrate

1/4 cup orange juice

1 cup evaporated skim milk

1/2 cup skim milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Put all ingredients in blender and puree. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425[deg.]F. for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350[deg.] and bake for 45 minutes or until pie is set. Pie-shell recipe follows:

Pie Shell

1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached flour

1/4 teaspoon salt substitute

1/2 cup corn-oil margarine

1/8 cup plus approximately 3 tablespoons ice water

Combine flours and salt substitute. Add the margarine and cut in until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Add the ice water until the mixture lightly floured board. Knead 10 times lightly. Roll out the crust.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Fleet, Randal
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Sep 1, 1984
Previous Article:Emphysema; stalking the susceptible.
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