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Pat’s Pantry: It’s Apple Season

Apple season is here and it’s time to start baking.  Nothing can beat a fresh apple cake or pie for dessert. Or how about a pork and apple pie for a main dish?

CHUNKY APPLE CAKE

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 cups chopped peeled tart apples

BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, cubed

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda. Gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well (batter will be stiff). Stir in apples until well combined. Spread into a greased 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until top is lightly browned and springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 30 minutes before servings.  Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Gradually add the cream. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Serve sauce with cake. Yield: 12-14 servings.

 

FARMHOUSE PORK AND APPLE PIE

1 pound sliced bacon, cut into 2-in pieces

3 medium onions, chopped

3 pounds boneless pork, cubed

3/4 cup flour

vegetable oil, optional

3 medium tart apples, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon rubbed sage

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup apple cider

1/2 cup water

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup milk

5 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided

Cook bacon in an ovenproof 12-inch skillet until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Saute onions in drippings until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Dust pork lightly with flour. Brown a third of the pork at a time in drippings, adding oil if needed. Remove from the heat and drain. Add bacon, onions, apples, sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper to pork. Stir in cider and water. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for two hours or until pork is tender. Cook potatoes in boiling water in a saucepan until tender. Drain and mash with milk and three tablespoons butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove skillet from the oven and spread potatoes over pork mixture. Melt remaining butter and brush over potatoes. Broil 6-inches from heat for five minutes or until topping is browned. Yield: 10 servings.

 

MINI APPLE PIES

1 tube (7 ½ oz.) refrigerated biscuits

1 tart apple, peeled and finely chopped

1/4 cup raisins

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Flatten each biscuit to a 3- to 4-inch circle using a rolling pin. Combine the apple, raisins, sugar and cinnamon. Place a tablespoonful on each biscuit. Dot with butter and bring up the sides of biscuit to enclose filling and pinch to seal. Place in ungreased muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 10 servings.

 

SUGAR-FREE APPLE PIE

1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate

artificial sweetener equivalent to eight teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pastry for double-crusted pie (9-inch)

8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples

1 tablespoon margarine

Combine the first four ingredients. Line pie plate with bottom crust and add apples. Pour juice mixture over apples and dot with margarine. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Cut slits or an apple shape on the top. Place top over filling. Seal and flute edges. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Increase temperature to 400 degrees and bake 15-20 minutes longer or until apples are tender. Yield: 8 servings.

FOOD FACTS:

To pick up slivers of broken glass, it helps to use a dampened paper towel.

The coldest part of any refrigerator is the top back shelf.

 

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