Apple Roses

September-November: National Apple Months

Highlander’s late father and late sister, Nancy Z., and her family lived in Tyler, Texas, the “Rose Capital of the World”. While visiting this East Texas city, we toured the beautiful Tyler Municipal Rose Garden and Tyler Rose Museum. The garden officially opened in 1952 after several years of preparing the grounds. There are 14 acres featuring 35,000 rose bushes and more than 500 varieties of roses. The 7,500 square-foot museum, opened 40 years later in 1992, is located by the garden and showcases Tyler’s rose-growing industry and regal gowns, crowns and memorabilia collected from the annual fall Rose Festival (since 1933).

Inspired by the flowers from Tyler, we made “apple roses”, a dessert using puff pastry and thinly sliced apples. This is a simple and sweet reminder of the town where Highlander’s dad and sister are resting in peace. Apple roses are also appropriate to make during National Apple Months.

Recipe

(Adapted from Puff Pastry)

Ingredients

  • 2 apples (red delicious)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

Directions

Fill a large bowl halfway with water. Stir in the lemon juice (this helps prevent the apple slices from browning too much). Wash and dry the apples. Cut them in half down the middle. Discard the core. Cut into paper thin slices (if it is too thick, the slices will not be as flexible when rolling). Microwave for about 3-5 minutes to soften the apples. Set aside.

Unwrap the thawed puff pastry onto a lightly floured clean surface. Use a rolling pin to stretch the dough to a 12×9 inch rectangle. Slice into 6 strips (2×9 inches long). In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water with the apricot preserves. Microwave for about a minute. Stir. Brush this mixture on the strips of puff pastry.

Drain the apple slices. Pat dry. Place an apple slice partly above the top edge of the strip. Place another apple slice to overlap with the previous slice. Repeat until you reach the end of the strip. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Take the bottom edge of the puff pastry and fold up in half. Carefully roll the strip from one end to the other.

Set in the well of a lightly greased cupcake pan. Continue making the rest of the apple roses. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until the puff pastry is cooked through (see Notes). Remove the apple roses from the pan and let cool slightly on wire racks. Place on plates. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar. Serve warm.

Notes

  • To prevent the apple skins from burning too much, remove from the oven after 30 minutes and cover loosely with foil. Continue to bake until the puff pasty is cooked through.
  • Try the rose-flavored tea cupcakes or the rosé wine cake recipes.
  • Search our blog for other apple recipes.

Apple Chicken Patties

Apple Chicken Patties

September: National Chicken Month

September-November: National Apple Months

Have a hearty breakfast (or snack) before going to school (or work) by cooking up some apple chicken patties. These tasty treats can be made the night before then heated up in the microwave for a quick bite before heading out for another busy day.

The combination of sweet apples and ground chicken are complemented with the herbs and spices for a doubly delicious dish for National Chicken and National Apple months.

Recipe

(Adapted from Emeril Lagasse on the Food Network)

Ingredients

  • 1 large apple (sweet or tart)
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • cooking oil

Directions

Peel, core and finely dice the apple. Mix in a large bowl with the ground chicken. Mince the garlic and add to the ground chicken mixture.

Apple Chicken Patties

Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Add the dried herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary and marjoram) and mix well. Shape into 2-inch patties. Place on waxed or parchment paper on a flat tray. Cover and refrigerate for an hour to firm up the patty mixture.

Apple Chicken Patties

Heat a little oil in a non-stick skillet. Remove the patties from the refrigerator and fry on one side until brown. Add a little more oil, if necessary, flip and brown the other side, making sure the patties are cooked through. Transfer the patties on paper towels to absorb excess grease. Yield: Approximately one dozen.

Apple Chicken Patties

Notes

  • Lean ground meat makes the patties a little dry. Mixing ground chicken with a little ground pork may make them more moist.
  • Search our blog for more recipes containing apples and chicken in observance of National Apple and Chicken months.

Apple Cheddar Bacon Mini Pies

Apple Cheddar Bacon Mini Pies

September-November: National Apple Months

Apple pie is a popular apple dish to make during the National Apple Months from September to November. Instead of a sweet apple pie, try a savory one instead: apple cheddar bacon mini pies. They are like a small yet hearty quiche full of flavor from apples and applewood smoked bacon.

Islander brought this dish instead of a dessert to the culinary book club meeting at the local library this month, following the apple ingredient theme. Most members brought the typical, sweet apple dishes so they very much welcomed Islander’s contribution to balance out the buffet.

Try something different than the traditional apple pie and make a savory apple cheddar bacon mini pie during National Apple Months.

Recipe

(Adapted from Betty Crocker)

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1 pound) applewood-smoked or regular bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced (equivalent to one cup)
  • ½ cup sweet or white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Bisquick mix
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Directions

Cook the bacon (fry or bake), drain the grease, let cool and crumble into pieces. Peel and dice the apple.

Apple Cheddar Bacon Mini Pies

Chop the onions. Place in a large bowl with the cheddar cheese. Chop the sage and add to the bowl. Sprinkle the salt and mix well.

Apple Cheddar Bacon Mini Pies

In a separate bowl, stir the Bisquick mix with milk. Beat the eggs into the Bisquick mix until the batter is smooth. Mist a standard-size muffin pan with cooking spray.

Apple Cheddar Bacon Mini Pies

Place a scant tablespoon of the batter into each of the 12-15 compartments. Divide the apple-cheddar-bacon mixture and scoop into each compartment (about ¼ cup or 4 tablespoons). Top with remaining batter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for five minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Apple Cheddar Bacon Mini Pies

Notes

  • As a shortcut, use two packages (3 ounces each) of pre-cooked real bacon bits and pieces.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing apples as an ingredient.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cakes

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

October: National Apple Month

After seeing some fall foliage at Lost Maples Natural State Park in Vanderpool, Texas, we decided to have lunch with our friends in nearby Medina—the Apple Capital of Texas. We stopped in a cute café and ate hamburgers with applewood smoked bacon. For dessert, we chose from an array of apple-flavored treats, such as pie, dumplings, bread, cobblers, cookies and even ice cream! The “Apple Store” (not to be confused with the one that sells Macintosh computers, iPads, iPods and iPhones) has souvenirs, gift items and other products from Love Creek Orchards, such as jellies, jams and sauces and butters. We also walked around the grounds to see a variety of dwarf apple trees.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

Celebrate the season with a recipe that includes the quintessential fall fruit—apples. Make mini applesauce spice bundt cakes during National Apple Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from Southern Food)

For the applesauce spice mini bundts

  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspooon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the applesauce with the sugar and oil. Beat in the eggs. Add vanilla. Mix until smooth.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Gradually add this to the wet mixture and combine well. Fold in the raisins and walnuts.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

Pour batter into a well-greased mini bundt pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from the oven. Carefully invert the pan onto a wire rack. Cool the cakes completely.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

For the caramel glaze

(Adapted from Southern Food)

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the pinch of salt. Stir in the brown sugar until cooked. Pour in the cream and bring to a boil over medium heat. Keep stirring until thickened (about two minutes). Remove from heat and let cool for about an hour.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

Line a lipped pan with foil. Place a wire rack with the mini bundts on top. Drizzle the caramel glaze on the cakes and let flow to the sides. Decorate the tops with fall-themed candy sprinkles (optional).

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

Notes

  • We used Wilton brand jumbo leaves mix sprinkles to decorate each mini bundts for the fall season.
  • Some sources state that National Apple Months are from September until November. National Apple Week is the second week of August.
  • Learn more about apples from the U.S. Apple Association website at http://www.usapple.org/.
  • Search our blog for more apple recipes.

Apple Butter Muffins

Apple Butter Muffins

October: National Apple Month

Our friends Pat and Phyllis S., who, like Islander, are Hawaii ex-patriates now living in South Texas, brought back some apple butter from Branson, Missouri, when they went on a road trip there.  Apple butter reminds us of applesauce but it is sweeter, spiced and slightly thicker with a warm caramel color.

Like our applesauce cupcakes, these apple butter muffins are a yummy quick breakfast or snack. Whenever we bake them, we are reminded of the fun times we have with our friends, especially of our own road trip with them through the Texas Hill Country where we stopped to eat lunch at an apple-themed restaurant in Medina, the Apple Capital of Texas.

Bake a batch of apple butter muffins during National Apple Month to share with good friends and warm your hearts throughout the autumn season.

Recipe

(Adapted from Recipe Girl)

For the muffins

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) butter, unsalted, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the topping

  • 1 tablespoon sugar, granulated white
  • generous pinch of ground allspice

Directions

In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Melt the butter and cool slightly.

Apple Butter Muffins

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the apple butter. Stir in the melted butter. Mix in the vanilla.

Apple Butter Muffins

Pour in the flour mixture and blend until moistened. Use a large scoop to put the batter in cupcake papers or a greased muffin tin.

Apple Butter Muffins

Make the topping by combining the sugar with the pinch of allspice. Sprinkle on top of the muffins. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 12-15 apple butter muffins.

Apple Butter Muffins

Notes

  • Thanks to Pat and Phyllis S. for the apple butter.
  • Search our blog for more recipes containing apples as an ingredient.