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IT’S APPLE SEASON

The apple orchards are full of red shiny apples and bright green ones. So, let’s cook some up.  Let’s can some applesauce and apple butter for the winter. Bake an apple cake for supper and apple muffins to take to the office. – Pat

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

10 cups coarsely chopped red cooking apples (about 3 pounds)

1 cup apple cider

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Yield: 10 servings (1/2 cup).

APPLE ‘N SPICE MUFFINS

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 3/4 cups shredded golden delicious apple

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large egg, slightly beaten

vegetable cooking spray

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in center of mixture. Combine apple, buttermilk, oil and egg in a small bowl; stir well. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moist. Divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans immediately. Serve warm.

APPLE SPICE CAKE

vegetable cooking spray

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup vegetables oil

1/2 cup egg substitute

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground allspice and cinnamon each

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

3 cups unpeeled, cored, finely chopped Granny Smith apples

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon rum extract

1/2 teaspoon black walnut extract

1/2 teaspoon butter extract

Coat a 10-inch bundt pan with cooking spray. Dust with flour and set aside. Beat sugar and oil at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add egg substitute, 1/4 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; add to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt and applesauce, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix after each addition. Stir in apple and remaining ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Yield 24 servings.

OLD FASHIONED APPLE PIE

Double-crust pastry

7-9 medium-size baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 8 cups)

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons butter or margarine

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Roll half of pastry to fit into a 9-in pie plate and set aside. Combine apples, 1cup sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, tossing to coat apples. Spoon mixture evenly into prepared pastry shell. Dot with butter. Roll remaining pastry to place over filling. Trim edges, seal and flute. Cut several slits in top crust to allow stream to escape. Brush pastry with milk and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes more.

APPLE BUTTER

5 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

3 cups water

3 cups sugar

3 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 (1 ¾ oz.) box powdered pectin

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine apples and water in a large Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 20-25 minutes or until tender. Mash. Stir in sugars and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes stirring constantly. Quickly pour mixture into hot sterilized jars, filling to 1/4-inch from top. Wipe jar rims and cover jars at once with metal lids, then screw on bands. Process jars in boiling water bath 5 minutes. Yield 6 pints.

QUICK TIPS

• Pans used for pastry never need greasing. The pastry shell or crumb crust will not stick to the sides of the pan.

• To prevent a soggy crust in custard pies or quiche, brush slightly beaten egg white on the uncooled pastry shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes. Add filling and bake according to the recipe directions.

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