Nothing smells more like fall than a pile of burning leaves in the crisp autumn air, and nothing tastes more like fall than Michigan apples.
Whether you enjoy biting into a delicious apple right off the tree or into any one of a number of delicious dessert recipes, fall and Michigan apples are “mates.”
I’ve published numerous Michigan apple blogs and recipes over the years. There’s just something about apples that inspires me. Apples are probably my very favorite fruit, and I’m especially proud to say that I live in a state that produces so many outstanding varieties.
What some people don’t know is that not every apple is great for desserts. In fact, one of the most popular apples, the Red Delicious, is rarely, if ever, used in desserts, mostly because its flesh doesn’t soften well when cooked, and it lacks the tartness to counterbalance additional sweetness and spices.
Red Delicious apples are a good choice for eating out of hand or in salads, but desserts? Not so much…
Because there are SO many fall apple choices at Nino’s, we’ve created an Apple Guide to help you select the best apples for every use. Before you make your next apple pie or choose the best apples for any of my recipes, it’s a good resource to consider.
When it comes to apple recipes, there are certain ingredients that compliment apples; among them are spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, caramel, chocolate, nuts, raisins, currants, cherries, and vanilla. It’s not surprising that most every dessert made with apples contains one, if not many, of these flavors or ingredients; they’re just natural go-togethers.
Another natural partner for apples is a pastry crust. Most apple dessert crusts are crisp pie-like doughs while others, like puff pastry and filo, are flaky and tender. Even a streusel or crumble topping is a crust. Crusts and apples are just one more example of how most of us associate this wonderful fruit with certain pairings.
Having said this, I have a couple of new apple dessert ideas for you to consider preparing this fall, and I’ve kept them simple and easy to make, so easy in fact that the “recipes” are barely recipes at all. I think with simple explanations, you’ll be able to make these new desserts like a pro. Besides, do you really want to get out your measuring cups and spoons? I don’t think so, but I’ve given you some suggested amounts just in case you care.
Stuffed Apple Biscuits with Cinnamon Sugar Crust: Makes 2 Portions
2 Biscuits Pillsbury Grand Biscuits
2 TBSP Applesauce
2 TBSP Raisins
1 ea. Golden Delicious or Other Pie Apple
2 TBSP Salted Butter
2 TBSP Granulated Sugar
½ tsp Cinnamon
- Open up the biscuit package, and remove two biscuit pieces. Gently pat or roll out into a round shape approximately 1” larger in diameter than your chosen apple.
- Place the 2 biscuit rounds on a baking sheet.
- Place 1 TBSP of apple sauce and 1 TBSP of raisins in the center of each biscuit round.
- Peel apple and cut in half. Then, using a small spoon, core out each half-apple, carving out enough space to provide room for the apple sauce and raisins. (If you want, you can score the top of the apple half in a crisscross pattern. It’s a pretty look.)
- Place each half-apple on top of the apple sauce/raisin mixture (core side down).
- Melt butter and brush each apple half liberally.
- Mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle on each apple half liberally.
- Bake in a pre-heated 350 °F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, and enjoy warm with vanilla ice cream (optional).
Apple Blintz Ricotta & Caramel Sauce: Makes 4 Servings
I happen to LOVE crepes, and a stuffed crepe is basically a blintz. Blintz can be sautéed in butter or baked (I prefer baked).
8 ea. 6” to 8” Crepes
2 ea. Golden Delicious or Other Pie Apple
2 TBSP Salted Butter
½ cup Granulated Sugar
½ tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 tsp Lemon Juice
- Prepare crepes and set aside. Crepes can be made even a day ahead of time, stacked one upon another, and then covered with plastic film and refrigerated. They will not stick to each other.
- Peel, core, halve, and slice apples ¼” thick, and then sauté in the butter 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned and softened.
- Add sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice to the sautéed apples, and cook 3 minutes. Cool mixture until barely warm.
- Lay out crepes on a clean, flat surface, and divide the ricotta mixture between the crepes, mounding each portion approximately 2 inches in from the bottom edge and centered.
- Divide apple mixture in 8 equal amounts, and place a portion on top of each ricotta mound.
- Fold the bottom edge of the crepe over the filling, and roll crepe a half-turn forward to cover the mixture. Next, fold the left and right sides toward the center (again, covering the mounded filling), and finally, continue to roll the crepe forward until you reach the opposite side of the crepe. The final blintz will resemble an eggroll-like cylinder.
- Spray a small casserole dish with non-stick vegetable spray, and place each filled crepe seam side down, spacing each blintz approximately ½” away from one another.
- Bake blintzes in a 375 °F oven approximately 20 minutes.
- Serve 2 blintzes per person (dusted with powdered sugar, if you wish), and top with your favorite caramel sauce.