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Apple Desserts Other Than Pies

December 1, 2015 - Radio Kitchen - Apple Desserts Other Than Pies

 If you've been shopping at our local markets lately, you might have noticed that we still have a lot of apples coming in.  This is great, and because our local farmers know how to keep the apples fresh, you'll still have them for some time to come.  But as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School has said, there's lot  more you can do with apples beyond apple pie.

One of the best things about apples is that many of the varieties work well in savory recipes.  The apple isn't so sweet that it throws a dish out of balance.  A good apple has good fruity flavor and good balancing acidity, so it can work with a wide variety of ingredients.

For instance, take a chicken breast.  Here's a nice idea from Allrecipes.com that caught our eyes.

            APPLE STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST

2 medium apples (fall varieties) peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbs Italian style bread crumbs
2 chicken breasts, skin removed
1/4 stick butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp corn starch
apple cider (if desired)
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley for garnish

1.  In a bowl, mix the apple chunks, cheese and bread crumbs.

2.  On  a hard surface, flatten the chicken breasts, working between two pieces of waxed paper.  Flatten to about 1/4" thickness.

3.  Spoon some of the apple-cheese mixture onto the chicken breasts, and roll them up.  You can use butcher's string to secure the roll.

4.  Melt butter in a skillet and gently sauté the chicken rolls until brown.  Be careful not to let the heat get too high.

5.  Pour the wine and water into the skillet with, bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to simmer.  Cover the skillet and cook for about 20 minutes.  Remove the chicken and keep warm and moist.

6.  To make a sauce from the pan juices, collect about a tablespoon of juice and make a slurry with the cornstarch.  Pour the slurry back into the juice, stir well, then bring it to a boil.  Continue stirring until the sauce thickens.  Taste the sauce and adjust for salt.  Add a little apple cider if you desire a more fruity sauce.

7.  Pour the sauce over the plated chicken breasts, and garnish with parsley.

One of the most cherished desserts in Baltimore is German Apple Cake. Here's a good version of this dense moist cake.

                GERMAN APPLE CAKE

2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (not olive oil!)
1/4 cup honey
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda            
4 cups apples, peeled, cored and diced

1.  In a large ceramic bowl, combine the eggs, vegetable oil and honey.  Beat well with an electric beater until the mixture becomes creamy.

2.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar, spices, vanilla, salt and baking soda.  Blend well.  Slowly add this mixture to the egg-oil mixture, folding it in with a wooden spoon.  Keep working it until you have a thick uniform batter.

3.  Fold the diced apples into the batter and mix well.  Pour the batter into a greased cake pan.  You can top the surface off with decorative apple slices.

4.  Bake in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes. Check for doneness.  Let it cool on a wire rack.  To serve, dust it with confectioner's sugar.

Here's an updated version of an American classic, the Waldorf Salad.

                WALDORF SALAD COLE SLAW

3 cups well chopped green cabbage
1 red apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 green or yellow apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 carrot, grated
2 tbs finely minced red onion
2 tbs finely chopped celery            
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped walnuts for garnish

1.  In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix the dressing, combining the mayonnaise, sugar and lemon juice.

2.  Pour the dressing over the salad, toss thoroughly, and sprinkle walnuts on top.

Apple soup?  Why not?  Here's a very appealing recipe.

                CURRIED APPLE SOUP

1/4 stick of butter
2 shallots, peeled and minced
2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
2 Yellow Delicious apples, peeled, cored, cut into chunks
1/2 cup butternut squash, cut into 1" pieces
salt
4 cups low sodium chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
freshly ground peppery
yogurt for garnish

1.  In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat and gently sauté the shallots until tender.  Add the spices, stir and cook for one minutes.  Add the apples, squash, a pinch of salt and the broth.  Raise the heat to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook the ingredients for about 15 minutes, or until the apples and squash are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2.  Using a submersible blender, process the soup until it is very well puréed. Stir in the cream and heat the soup until it begins to steam.  Do not boil.  Add ground pepper and serve in individual bowl.  Garnish with a dollop of room temperature yogurt.

 

 

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.