Apples
Make sweet and savory main dishes and desserts with apples, one of the favorite fruits of the fall harvest. (Heather Ainsworth, The Associated Press)

Apples are the perfect fruit to use for crunch in a salad, sweetness in a savory main course, or as the filling in a traditional or more unique pie.

Aside from the pain of peeling, apples are easy to work with in the kitchen and yield great results.

Here are some ideas using apples that you might want to try as the temperatures dip into the 70's and the hint of fall may really be near.

----------------

Waldorf Sandwiches

1 can (20 ounces) crushed unsweetened pineapple

3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast

1 medium red apple, chopped

1 medium green apple, chopped

1 cup sliced celery

1 cup light mayonnaise

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

16 hard rolls, split

Drain pineapple, pressing out excess juice and reserving 1/4 cup. In a large bowl, combine pineapple, chicken, apples and celery. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, poppy seeds, sugar, lemon peel, vanilla and reserved pineapple juice. Pour over chicken mixture and toss well. Chill. Serve on rolls. Yield: 16 sandwiches.

Per sandwich serving: 268 calories, 9 g total fat, 31 percent calories from fat, 2 g saturated fat, 16 mg cholesterol, 394 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 10 g protein.

(Recipe courtesy of "Taste of Home Low-Fat Country Cooking)

----------------

Skillet Apples with Cranberries

6 large cooking apples, such as Granny Smith's, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground nutmeg

1/4 cup dried cranberries

Whipped cream

Toss the apple slices with the lemon juice in a medium bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 1/2 cup water until there are no lumps. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and apple slices and saute, stirring constantly until the apples are tender and just beginning to turn golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg, add the cranberries, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream.

(Recipe courtesy of "In the Kitchen with David," David Venable, qvc.com)

----------------

Apple Broccoli Salad

6 medium tart apples, chopped

3 cups broccoli florets

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

1-1/2 cups mayonnaise

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine the apples, broccoli, onion and raisins. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and salt; pour over apple mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, stir in the bacon and walnuts. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "America's Best Church Supper Recipes," Reiman Publications)

----------------

Apple-Brie Spinach Salad

4 large apples, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

4 tablespoons maple syrup, divided

8 cups fresh baby spinach

1 round (8 ounces) Brie or Camembert cheese, cubed

1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted

Dressing:

1/4 cup apple cider or juice

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, minced

Place apples on an ungreased baking sheet; brush with 2 tablespoons syrup. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 3 minutes. Turn; brush with remaining syrup. Broil 3 to 5 minutes longer or until crisp-tender.

In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, cheese cubes, pecans and apples. In a small saucepan, combine the dressing ingredients; bring to a boil. Pour over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yield: 10 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes," Reiman Publications)

----------------

Apple Bundt Cake

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

1-1/2 cups vegetable oil

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups diced peeled apples

1 cup chopped pecans

Butter Cream Sauce:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and oil. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to batter (batter will be very stiff). Fold in apples and pecans. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch fluted tube pan. Bake at 325 for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

For sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add the sugar, cream and vanilla. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and sauce is heated through. Slice cake; serve with warm sauce. Refrigerate leftover sauce. Yield: 12 to 16 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "America's Best Church Supper Recipes," Reiman Publications)

----------------

Apple-Raisin Pork Chops

8 bone-in pork loin chops (3/4-inch thick)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups apple cider or juice

3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard

3 medium red apples, sliced

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup dried currants

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil in batches on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return all chops to the skillet.

Combine cider and mustard; pour over meat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 13 to 18 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove chops to a serving platter; keep warm.

Add the apples, onions, raisins and currants to the skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until apples are tender. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into apple mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with pork chops. Yield: 8 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes," Reiman Publications)

----------------

Caramel-Pecan Apple Pie

7 cups sliced peeled tart apples

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons sugar

4-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping, room temperature

1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

Streusel Topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons cold butter

1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping, room temperature

In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and vanilla. Combine the pecans, sugars, cinnamon and cornstarch; add to apple mixture and toss to coat. Pour caramel topping over bottom of pastry shell; top with apple mixture (shell will be full). Drizzle with butter.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, pecans and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over filling.

Bake at 350 for 55 to 65 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is browned. Immediately drizzle with caramel topping. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 8 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes," Reiman Publications)

----------------

Apple Gingerbread Cake

1 package (14-1/2 ounces) gingerbread cake/cookie mix

1-1/4 cups water

1 egg

1 cup chopped peeled apple

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons brown sugar

In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, water and egg until combined. Add apple; stir to combine. Transfer to a greased 11 by 7-inch baking dish. Combine the pecans and brown sugar; sprinkle over the top.

Bake at 350 for 23 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 9 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "Taste of Home Almost Homemade 2012," Reiman Publications)

----------------

Autumn Harvest Cobbler

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups cold water, divided

6 large tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup dried apricots, halved

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Topping:

2 cups biscuit/baking mix

3/4 cup 2 percent milk

1 tablespoon coarse sugar

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Whipped cream

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and 1-3/4 cups water. Bring to a boil. Stir in the apples, raisins, apricots and lemon juice. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine the cornstarch and remaining water until smooth. Stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine biscuit mix and milk just until blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto hot apple mixture. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and lemon peel.

Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream. Yield: 12 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "Taste of Home 2012 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes," Reiman Publications)

----------------

Sour Cream Apple Pie

1-1/2 cups sugar, divided

7 tablespoons flour, divided

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 cups pared, cored, diced apples

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

1/4 cup butter

Mix 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. Add egg, sour cream, vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth. Add diced apples and pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 5 tablespoons flour, and butter to resemble crumbs. Cover the pie with crumbs and bake 15 minutes longer.

(Recipe courtesy of "Recipe Hall of Fame Dessert Cookbook," Reiman Publications)

----------------

Cookie Sheet Apple Pie

3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup shortening

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup milk

8 cups sliced peeled tart baking apples

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup crushed cornflakes

1 egg white, beaten

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add eggs and milk; mix to form dough. Chill for 20 minutes.

Divide dough in half; roll one half to fit the bottom and sides of a greased 15 by 10-inch baking pan. Arrange apples over crust. Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornflakes; sprinkle over apples. Roll remaining dough to fit top of pan and place over apples. Seal edges; cut slits in top.

Beat with egg white. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350; bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 16 to 20 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "America's Best Church Supper Recipes," Reiman Publications)