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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Johnny Appleseed Would Be Happy This Year

By Sherrie Norris

By all accounts, the local apple crops are abundant this year. And that’s a good thing. Area orchards, farmer’s markets and roadside stands are starting to see plenty of these seasonal treats showing up — and in several varieties for eating, cooking and preserving for a cold winter’s day. There’s so much you can do with an apple and we’re happy to help with a few ideas. 

Apple Butterscotch Crunch

1 (12 oz.) pkg. butterscotch morsels

1/3 cup margarine

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup chopped pecans

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups cooked Granny Smith apples

1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 if using a glass dish). In a 3-qt. saucepan over low-medium heat, melt butterscotch morsels and margarine. Stir in graham crackers crumbs and pecans. Press half of the mixture firmly into a greased jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, milk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in apples and sugar and mix well. Pour over prepared crust and top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers. This dish is better the second day.

Cheesey Apples

¾ cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup butter 

1 cup shredded sharp cheese

7 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

6 Tbsp. lemon juice

Combine sugar, salt and flour. Cut in butter until course crumbs form. Mix in cheese. Set aside. Combine apples and lemon juice. Spoon apples into a greased 8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle cheese mixture over apples. Pat down gently. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Healthy Apple Dip

2/3 cup nonfat cottage cheese

1 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. lemon juice

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1 cup grated golden delicious apple

3 Tbsp. chopped raisins

3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

In blender or food processor, blend cottage cheese, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon until smooth. Spoon into bowl; stir in grated apple, chopped raisins and walnuts. Chill covered for 1 to 2 hours. Serve with crackers, vegetable sticks or sliced fruit.

Apple Turnovers

2 cups apples, peeled and sliced

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

½ cup raisins

½ tsp. cinnamon

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

½ cup water

4 Tbsp. butter

1 can of biscuits

1 cup powdered sugar

Crisco shortening

Place apples, 1 cup water, sugar, raisins and cinnamon in a saucepan; cook over medium heat until apples are tender. Mix cornstarch with ½ cup water, add to saucepan and cook until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat, add butter and let cool. Roll out biscuits into 6-inch circles. Place ¼ cup apple mixture on one biscuit circle and close to make a half circle. Seal with a little water on the edge of the biscuit.  Fry in Crisco shortening until golden brown on both sides. Remove from pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar while hot.

French Apple Overnight Breakfast Casserole

4 Tbs. butter

3 large apples, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup raisins

2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 ground nutmeg

French bread, 8-10 slices, 1 inch thick, crusts trimmed

4 large eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large frying pan, melt butter and sauté apples for about 5 minutes. Add raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until apples are tender (approximately 10 minutes). Spread apple mixture evenly over the bottom of a 9 x 13- inch baking dish. Cover apples entirely with bread slices.

In medium bowl, beat eggs until foamy, then beat in the milk and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over the bread slices.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, remove dish from the refrigerator and let it stand while oven is preheated to 375 degrees. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes, or until bread is golden and firm. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.