Our 10 favourites ways to enjoy, cook and bake with fresh, local apples – autumn’s best fruit!
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” – said someone, who like us, loves apples! And we literally could eat an apple a day and never grow tired of how humbly this fruit is sweet, juicy and crispy at the same time. Like most tree fruit, apples are loaded with flavour, but what makes them so special is there is a kind of apple for every person.
From Royal Galas, Golden Delicious, Ambrosia – for eating, to Granny Smith, Mutsu and Northern Spy – for baking with, we are so lucky to have so many apple varieties available, local and fresh in Ontario! Check out this list of all our amazing Ontario apple varieties from Ontario Apple Growers.
When it comes to snacking on apples they are only 80 – 110 calories and full of fibre and vitamins! Apparently eating an apple can provide the same waking boost as coffee! And lastly, apples are the easiest part of making my lunches for work – just clean it, shine it and toss it in your lunch bag!
And then there’s cooking and baking with apples! There are so many ways to enjoy this amazing fruit. Here’s just 10 of our endless favourites.
1. Apple Pie
Apple pie is my favourite dessert. That’s fact. And my opinion is that my late grandmother made the best apple pie. Now I’m thankfuly to have inherited her secrets and after years of practice, apple pies are my crowing glory and is a huge hit with family and friends. I’m sure I would make grandma proud! It’s all in the crust and using a mix of different apples in the filling for flavour and texture.
2. Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwhich
Apples and cheese go together so well! Mike and I have experimented with apple grilled cheese sandwiches over the years, with combos like Ambrosias and gouda, Golden Delicious and brie and of course Royal Gala and aged cheddar. The best is when you use fresh bread from the bakery sliced nice and thick and use olive oil instead of butter for grilling! The flavours are just amazing!
3. Apple Bundt Cake
The first new recipe I tried this year with apples was an Apple Spice Bundt Cake. I was so excited to finally use my bundt cake pan for the first time. I used this recipe as a base with 3 modifications: egg whites instead of whole eggs (didn’t have eggs!), raisins instead of walnuts and adding freshly grated nutmeg (about a 1/4 tsp). The result: deliciously moist and flavourful – a new favourite!
4. Apple Raisin Galette
Sometime I just don’t feel like putting in the full effort of making a double crust pie. In fact some times I want a quick dessert made with apples I have on hand, but don’t want to make an apple crumble or crisp. The answer is a galatte (sometimes called a crostata). This is perhaps one of the best trends in baking right now. I love how easy and maybe even lazy has been deemed “rustic”. I’m all for that!
5. Apple with Pancakes
One of my favourite things to eat any time, all the time are pancakes. So naturally I will always find ways to eat fresh and local fruit with my pancakes. No matter what’s in season. But whereas peaches or strawberries can be sliced fresh onto pancakes, apples need to be cooked. Unless you have your own jarred batch of apple pie filling like Dana that means making some on-the-go! That’s right, slice up an apple or two and toss it in a sauté pan with sugar, lemon juice, flour and spices and cook for 5-15 minutes depending how you like it – cooked apple slices or almost applesauce like. Yum eitherway!
1. Apple Cheddar Crostata
I know Danielle already mentioned a crostata, but I just had to include this one as well! I made this for the girls’ night we had last month and it was a hit! It is a Martha Stewart recipe, and super easy to make. One thing I loved about the cheddar dough recipe is it made two, so I popped one in the freezer to enjoy later on. With the dough made ahead of time, all I had to do was prepare the filling and put it in the oven. Easy, convenient and delicious!
2. Apple Sauce
The perfect thing to make with all those apples you picked from the orchard. I keep mine simple like my grandma did, no sugar, just lots of cinnamon and maybe some nutmeg and allspice. There is also the option to can or freeze leftovers to enjoy during the winter.
3. Canned Apple Pie Filling
A pantry staple! I purchased this book last month and one of the first things I canned was the apple pie filling. Apple pie is such a classic dessert and with this filling it is perfect for last minute desserts, oatmeal toppings or just plain outta the jar! The only thing I’m worried about is eating through our stash too fast – ha!
4. Apples & Oatmeal
Breakfast is one of my favourite meals. I’d say about 90% of my breakfast meals are oatmeal and I love to switch it up with different versions – savoury with an egg and cheese, sweet with cocoa nibs, chia seeds and maple syrup. There are so many different versions of this wonderful breakfast classic. I love to chop up an apple and warm it up, add a little granola and cinnamon. It tastes like apple crisp, only nice and light version to start your morning off right!
5. Sunken Apple & Honey Cake
I made this recipe last year for thanksgiving. It reminded me of an apple cake my grandma used to make and we all adored. The combination of apples with the honey glaze is so delicious, and the way the apples are presented is different and looks beautiful. Make sure when you cut the cake, everyone gets a full apple in their slice!
What’s your favourite way to enjoy fresh, local apples?