Skip to content
As peaches, berries and melons begin to fade along with the summer sun, apples take over as Connecticut's big fall crop.
The farm stores at the state's orchards will be brimming with native fruit, while supermarkets will carry a variety of both native apples and fruit grown in the Pacific Northwest.
With just the right contrast of sweet and tart, apples are versatile enough to appear in main dishes and desserts.
From the Big E Apple Crisp contest 1998, first-place winner Patricia Evans of Norwich
Filling 4 cups sliced Cortland apples 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Topping 1 cup brown sugar 1-1/4 cups flour 1 cup rolled oats 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup butter 1/3 cup shortening
Place apples mixed with sugar and cinnamon in the bottom of a greased 10-by-6-by 1-1/2-inch baking pan.
Combine brown sugar, sifted flour, oats and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture is crumbly, and sprinkle over apples. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or till crisp and brown. Makes 6 servings.
Roast Pork Chops with Smothered Apples
From ``Roasting'' by Kathy Gunst (MacMillan, $16). ``This is an ideal family meal,'' writes the author. ``Serve this dish with a good dry red wine or sparkling cider, a greesalad, roasted sweet potatoes and a crusty loaf of bread.''
1/2 tablespoon butter 4 large, tart apples, such as McIntosh, peeled, cored and sliced 4 pork chops, about 3/4 inch thick 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup apple cider with no preservatives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread the butter on the bottom of a medium-size roasting pan or ovenproof skillet. Arrange the apples in the bottom, layering as needed. Place the pork chops directly on top of the apples, sprinkle with half of the herbs and a generous grinding of pepper, and pour the cider on top.
Roast the chops for 15 minutes. Turn the chops over and sprinkle with the remaining herbs. Roast another 15 minutes.
Preheat the broiler and broil chops until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 2 to 4 servings.
Stuffed Baked Apples
(Recipe developed by the Washington Apple Commission - This recipe is inspired by the dessert version of spiced, baked apples. A substantial filling of sausage, breadcrumbs and chopped vegetables turn a whole apple into a main dish.)
1/2 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, removed from casing and crumbled 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 1/2 cup diced onion 1/2 cup diced red pepper 1 garlic clove, minced 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs Salt and pepper to taste 4 large apples such as Golden Delicious or Rome 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 4 cinnamon sticks, about 4 inches long (optional) 3/4 cup chicken stock
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add crumbled sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Scrape the meat into a medium bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the chopped sage and continue to cook 1 more minute. Combine the cooked onion/pepper mixture with the sausage, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
Peel the top one-third of each apple and generously core, leaving about 1/2 inch at the bottom. The opening should be about 2 inches in diameter. Brush the peeled portion of each apple with the melted butter and roll in the Parmesan cheese, pressing lightly on cheese. Reserve any extra butter and cheese.
Lightly pack filling into each apple, and insert cinnamon stick into each, if desired. Sprinkle with remaining butter and cheese. Pour chicken stock into pan. Bake until apples are just tender and browned, about 45 to 60 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 530 calories, 36 grams fat, 90 milligrams cholesterol, 640 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.
Rosemarie's `My Best Apple Pie'
``Do not overwork the pastry,'' she warns. ``Vinegar -- in addition to ice water -- in the pastry helps avoid toughness. She uses some sweet apples in the recipe to cut down the amount of sugar in the filling.
2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons brown sugar 3/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 2/3 cup vegetable shortening 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 5 to 6 tablespoons ice water
1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 tsp. salt 6 assorted apples (2 1/4 lbs.) such as Ida Red, Cortland or Northern Spy, peeled, cored and sliced. 2 Golden Delicious or Jonagold apples, peeled, cored and sliced. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon butter, cut up 1 large egg white, lightly beaten.
Make pastry: Combine flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in large bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle vinegar over flour mixture. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture begins to hold together. Shape pastry into a ball. Divide into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten into two thick disks.
On a floured surface, roll larger pastry disk into a 12-inch circle. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Refrigerate.
Make filling: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Stir in apples and lemon juice. Spoon filling into pastry shell; drizzle with honey and dot with butter.
Roll remaining pastry into an 11-inch circle. Cut out vents with decorative cutter; set aside cutouts. Place pastry on top of filling. Trim and flute edge.
Brush egg white over top of pastry. Top with decorative cutouts, and brush with egg white. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, until filling is bubbly and crust is golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.
Prep time: 50 minutes
Baking time: 55 to 60 minutes
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
From ''Look and Cook: Splend'' by Anne Willan.
1 onion 1 garlic clove 1-inch piece fresh ginger root 2 to 3 butternut squash (about 3 pounds) Juice of 1/2 lemon 2 to 3 tart apples (about 3/4 pound) 3 tablespoons butter Salt and pepper to taste 1 quart chicken stock 1/4 cup apple juice
Prepare the vegetables and apples: Peel onion, cut lengthwise, then vertically to dice. Finely chop garlic clove (skin removed). Peel and finely chop gingerroot. Peel squash, cut, remove seeds and fibers, and cut into 34-inch chunks. Peel apples, remove core and seeds, and cut into 34 inch chunks. Put apple cubes in bowl, pour lemon juice over them and toss so evenly coated.
Make the soup: Melt butter into large pot. Add onion, garlic and ginger; cook until onion is soft (about 2 to 3 minutes). Stir in cubes of squash and apples. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour in the stock, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until squash and apples are tender (about 40 minutes).
Remove the soup from heat, cool slightly, then puree with a hand blender. (Puree the soup in batches if using a regular blender or food processor.)
Reheat the soup, then add the apple juice, and stir well to mix. If the soup is too thick, add a little more stock. Taste for seasoning.
To serve: Ladle into warmed bowls. Sprinkle top with nutmeg or dill or croutons.
Submitted to The Hartford Courant recipe exchange in 1997 by Bette Kelly of Bloomfield. She got it from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine in 1960.
1/2 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts 4 cups thinly sliced apples 1 cup sifted flour 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 well-beaten egg 1/2 cup evaporated milk 1/3 cup melted butter
Mix 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and 1/2 cup walnuts.
Place apples in bottom of greased 8 1/4-by-1 1/3-inch round ovenproof cake dish or 10-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture.
Sift together dry ingredients. Combine milk, egg and butter. Add dry ingredients all at once and mix until smooth. Pour over apples. Sprinkle with remaining walnuts.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Top with whipped cream, sprinkle with cinnamon or serve warm with ice cream.
from `One Bite Won't Kill You,'' by Ann Hodgman (Houghton Mifflin, 300 pages, $15).
2 pounds caramels 1 cup heavy cream 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee crystals A pinch of salt 1 teaspoon vanilla Six to 8 apples cut into wedges or chunks
Unwrap all the caramels. Put them into a double boiler over boiling water. In a separate pot, bring the cream to a boil with the instant coffee and salt. As soon as it reaches the boiling point, pour it over the caramels .
Stirring frequently, melt the caramels, and blend them thoroughly with the cream. Add the vanilla .
Pour the mixture into a fondue pot, if you have one. Otherwise, you can just leave it in the double boiler. Serve with the apples .
This serves six to eight people. If you're making it for a smaller group, you can make only half a batch.
Chocolate Fondue With Apple Wedges
From the Washington Apple Commission. (It should taste even better with Connecticut apples, don't you think?) The recipe calls for rum flavoring, but we substituted vanilla.
1/3 cup heavy cream 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (we used chocolate chips instead) 1 teaspoon vanilla Four apples
In a small fondue pot or heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat cream. Add chocolate, and stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
Stir in vanilla. Keep warm over very low heat .
Just before serving, cut the apples into wedges for dipping.
Here's an easy, easy method from Hartford Courant staff writer Mary Jo Kochakian's kitchen for making an apple pie. (You will be a hero in your family.)
Deep-dish frozen pie crusts. (You only need two, but we bought the kind that has three in a pack. Apples 1/4 cup flour 1/4 cup sugar Cinnamon -- just enough for a few pinches, or a few sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Let frozen pie crusts soften up on the counter while you get the rest of the pie ready.
You need one crust for the top and one for the bottom.
Peel several apples, then slice them up, being careful to cut away any core that might end up on the slices. Try to make the slices on the thin side, because thick chunks won't mush up during baking. We needed about four heaping cups of apple slices. (Six apples, in our case.) Put the apple slices into a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix the sugar, the flour, and a few shakes of cinnamon (we used two shakes), and pour over the slices.
Put the apple filling into the bottom pie crust. (It should be full, but not so full that apples are falling out.) Then take the second pie crust. Hold it over the pie and gently help it out to form the top crust.(Don't worry if there are cracks in the crust. Just pinch any cracks together. ) Pinch the edges of the two crusts together, and poke a few holes in the top. Bake for about 35 minutes at 350 degrees.
When you take it out, the crust should look golden. If the crust looks like it's not baked, leave it in a few more minutes.