Sunday, September 16, 2012

Meatless Mondays: Apples Make the Meal

I just bought my first bag (of the 2012 season) of McIntosh apples at my local farmstand. My sister invited me to join her and my niece next weekend at the Lenox Apple Squeeze, and I just posted about the West Stockbridge Apple Pie Contest. Clearly, it is apple season!

Photograph © 2008 by Scott Dorrance, taken at Champlain Orchards.
Excerpted from 
Dishing Up Vermont.

As you may have guessed, Storey’s cookbooks have several variations on apple pie and plenty more apple recipes for every meal of the day. Here are a few recipes to get you eating meatless with a seasonal favorite.

Apple Puff Omelette

This is a good way to make an omelette for four people so that everyone eats at the same time. You can prepare the apples the night before and heat them in a skillet for a couple of minutes the next morning. You can also keep canned apple slices in the pantry and substitute those in a pinch.

2 large apples (Cortland, Jonathan, Ida Red)
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. 
  3. Heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet, and sautรฉ the apples for 5 minutes over low heat. 
  4. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the apples. Toss, and continue to sautรฉ the apples for about 10 minutes, until they caramelize. The mixture will be thick and syrupy. 
  5. Spoon the mixture into an 8-inch-square baking dish, and keep hot in the oven. 
  6. Separate the eggs. Whisk the yolks and the granulated sugar in a small bowl until fairly thick. 
  7. In a large bowl beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff and shiny. Fold into the yolk mixture, a third at a time. 
  8. Pour the egg mixture over the apples, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The omelet will be puffed and golden. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately. 
Yield: 4 servings

Recipe excerpted from Apple Cookbook by Olwen Woodier © 2001, 1984 by Storey Publishing, LLC

Field Greens with Candied Apples, Roasted Walnuts, and Apple Vinaigrette

Recipe from Champlain Orchards

The orchard owner’s mother, Audrey Suhr, created this recipe. The warm apples and walnuts add a nice contrast to the bed of cool field greens. The salad is lovely served as a first course for company or special occasions.

1 cup apple cider, preferably locally made
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup hazelnut or walnut oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup walnut halves
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 crisp apples, such as Gala or Cortland, peeled, halved, cored, and cut lengthwise into ⅛-inch-thick slices
1 (12-ounce) bag field greens
1 cup crumbled blue cheese or Gorgonzola

  1. Bring apple cider to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Lower heat, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until juice is reduced by half and appears slightly syrupy. Remove from burner; set aside to cool. Once cooled, vigorously whisk in vinegar, oil, chives, and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place walnuts on a baking sheet, and toast, stirring frequently, until crisp and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Coarsely chop walnuts.
  3. Meanwhile, melt sugar in a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it just begins to turn golden and melt. Carefully add oil, then apples. Sautรฉ apples, stirring constantly, until they are slightly soft but still crisp. Remove from pan, and transfer to a plate until you are ready to use.
  4. Place greens in a large bowl, and drizzle with the vinaigrette, lightly coating all ingredients. Add the walnuts, candied apples, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle additional vinaigrette over the top to taste, and serve at once.
Yield: 6–8 servings

Recipe excerpted from Dishing Up Vermont © 2008 Tracey Medeiros

Baked Apples and Cheese

What a wonderful combination — freshly grated cheddar cheese and apples, good enough to eat between two pieces of whole-grain bread. The leeks add a winning quality to this custard dish. Served hot, warm, or cold, it’s a good choice for a light main meal or a brunch buffet.

1 large leek
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups canned apple slices, drained
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1½ cups half-and-half or light cream
3 eggs
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Wash the leek, and discard the outer layer and any of the tougher green leaves. Cut into ¼-inch rings. 
  3. Heat the butter in a skillet, add the leek, and sautรฉ for 5 minutes. Put into an 8-inch-square baking dish.
  4. Layer the apple slices on top, and sprinkle with the cheddar.
  5. Beat the half-and-half, eggs, nutmeg, and pepper. Pour over the cheddar.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the custard is set and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Yield: 4 servings

Recipe excerpted from Apple Cookbook by Olwen Woodier © 2001, 1984 by Storey Publishing, LLC

Heritage Apple Pie

Photograph © 2011 by John Valls.  Excerpted from Dishing Up Oregon.

Recipe from Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery

When the holidays arrive, the bakers at this Portland coffeehouse and bakery go into overdrive turning out pie after pie to fill holiday orders. A filling made from heritage apple varieties makes this homespun pie a well-loved local favorite.

Piecrust Ingredients
2⅓ cups pastry flour (see Note)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1⅛ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup plus 6 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
5–8 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Note: If you can’t find pastry flour, make your own. To make 4 cups of pastry flour, combine 2⅔ cups of all-purpose flour with 1 1/3 cups of cake flour. Reserve any extra flour for another use.

Apple Filling Ingredients
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
2½ pounds heritage apples, such as Cox’s Orange Pippin
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Heavy cream
Turbinado sugar

  1. Make the piecrust: Mix the flour, granulated sugar, salt, and baking powder together in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade attachment. Add the butter to the bowl, and pulse until the dough resembles a coarse meal.
  2. Transfer the dough to a medium bowl. Work 5 tablespoons of the ice water and the apple cider vinegar into the dough with your hands. Incorporate up to 3 tablespoons more water as needed if the dough is dry and needs additional water to come together.
  3. Divide the dough into two equal balls. Shape each ball into a 5-inch disk on a lightly floured work surface. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  4. Make the filling: Mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl. Peel and core the apples. Cut the apples into 1/2-inch cubes, and toss them in the sugar mixture to prevent them from browning.
  5. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the chilled pastry dough from the refrigerator, and let the dough rest at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  6. Roll out one of the disks of dough on a lightly floured work surface into a circle large enough to line a shallow 9-inch pie pan. Transfer the dough to the pie pan, and trim the edges of the dough with a knife or kitchen scissors so it is even with the rim of the pan. Fill the pie pan with the apples, and dot the filling with the butter.
  7. Roll out the second disk of dough, and set it over the apple filling. Crimp the edges of the dough together, and cut a few small, decorative steam vents in the top of the crust with a paring knife. Brush the top of the crust, but not the crimped edges, lightly with the heavy cream, and sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top.
  8. Bake the pie until the crust begins to turn golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F. Tent the rims with foil or a pie protector if the edges are browning too quickly, and bake the pie until the crust is golden brown and the apple juices are bubbling, about 50 minutes longer. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack to cool for 1 hour before serving.
Yield: Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

Recipe excerpted from Dishing Up Oregon © 20011 Ashley Gartland

For more great vegetarian recipes, download the FREE digital edition of Serving Up the Harvest — download available September 1–30, 2012.


Meatless Monday posts are my effort to pitch the idea of eating meatless one day or one meal a week — for health, for the well-being of animals, and for the environment. I encourage you to give it a try. I also suggest trying variations of these recipes with the produce you have on hand. Additionally, if you are not yet ready to go a full day meat-free, try using these veggie-packed recipes as the focus of your meal.

Our Meatless Monday Recipe Archives:
Braised Chard Pizza and Farmhouse Salad
Mini Frittatas and Shaved Zucchini Salad
Beet Soup, Roasted Plum Quesadillas, and Peach Kuchen
Garden Vegetable Pasta and Grilled Eggplant-Tomato-Basil-Mozzarella Stacks
Indian Spiced Eggplant and Pad Thai
Corn Risotto and Corn Sauce
Spicy Tomato Basil Soup

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