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Experiment with apple varieties

September 19, 2012
By ESTHER MCCOY - Food editor (emccoy@heraldstaronline.com) , Weirton Daily Times

Summer and fall are perfect times to try the many varieties of Ohio apples. This year, why not experiment with some specialty varieties?

Ohio produces around 40 different varieties, some Ohio originals, according to the Ohio State Extension, and the apple production in Ohio and part of West Virginia is thought to have been started around 1806 by John Chapman, nicknamed Johnny Appleseed.

He carried apple seeds in a small leather bag and planted them in good soil. He stressed using good seeds to ensure excellent apple production.

Article Photos

Maggie Elizabeth McHugh, daughter of Travis and Amy McHugh, came from Beckley, Va., to Smithfield, where she enjoyed picking apples. -- Esther McCoy

Each variety of apple possesses its own appearance, flavor and texture characteristics.

Apples should be free of bruises, decay and shriveled skin. The fruit should be ripe when picked to have good flavor, texture and storing ability. They should also be well colored. Check for a background color that is greenish-yellow to yellow.

To store, keep in the refrigerator at 32-35 degrees. Store in a perforated plastic bag. Check often for any signs of rotting and discard spoiling apples. Wash apples by rinsing in cool water just before eating or adding to a recipe.

Varieties of Ohio apples are many. Their categories and what they are used for are:

There is a common health saying that is not just folklore but something that research has proven to be true - "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."

Florida State University studies showed that women who ate apples every day had 14 percent lower total cholesterol and a 3 percent rise in HDL, the good cholesterol, after one year. Their C-reactive protein levels went down 32 percent as well.

The results were shocking because the women made no other changes to their health habits, Bahram Arjmandi, Phd, RD, said in the Woman's Day magazine.

What gives apples their super fruit power is the fiber which improves cholesterol and contains quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that may help fight inflammation.

With the appearance of apples in the fall comes apple pie, named America's top choice in many tests.

But eating pie can add a few pounds and inches to the waistline.

The author of "Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength" writes if one is powerless to resist the dessert or pastry tray, that using the undominant hand - the left if you are a righty - can strengthen the willpower as it will take longer to eat the dessert.

Apples and nuts can be made into a healthy appetizer. Just use low fat cream cheese instead of the regular kind and serve this with wheat snack crackers. This recipe is from an Ideals Cookbook.

Apple Nut Log

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon apple juice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup peeled or unpeeled eating apples

1 cup chopped pecans

Combine cream cheese, apple juice and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Blend well until smooth. Pour lemon juice over chopped apples and make sure all slices are covered to keep the apples from getting brown. Add apples and 3/4 cup pecans to cheese mixture. Blend well. Shape into a 6-inch log and roll in remain remaining chopped nuts, adding more if needed to look attractive. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with wheat snack crackers.

An apple cobbler is an easier way to make a dessert that tastes somewhat like apple pie. This is from Five-Star Recipe Collection, and the most time-consuming part is the peeling of the apples.

Apple Cobbler

6 cups peeled, sliced cooking apples, Granny Smith, Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious or Jonathan are suggested

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, divided

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup half and half

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 egg beaten

Place sliced apple, 1 cup chopped walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Spread in a greased 11-by-7-inch baking dish. Set aside. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir well. Combine half and half, melted butter and egg; stir well. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just until blended. Pour batter over apple mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until lightly browned. To serve, spoon into individual serving bowls and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or just sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This recipe is from a very old Crisco Cookbook, a type of shortening for those who might not know. The cover is torn off, so I don't know the exact title of the cookbook. It is for a rolled cookie with an apple and apricot filling.

Fruit Filled Cookies

1/2 cup Crisco

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 3/4 cups sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup milk

Blend shortening, sugar, egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, which have been sifted together, alternately with milk to shortening and egg mixture. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured board or pastry cloth and cut with floured cookie cutter. Place rounded teaspoon of filling in center of round and cover with second cookie round. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet in at 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

Filling:

1/2 cup dried apricots

1 cup diced and pared apples

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoons lemon juice

Cook apricots and apples in water until tender. Add remaining ingredients, except lemon juice. Cook until thick. Add lemon juice and cool. Makes 4 dozen 2-inch cookies.

This recipe was in the 26th-annual Pillsbury Bake Off Cookbook. It combines apples, crushed cheese crackers and brown sugar. The filling is spread on Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls and folded over. They are then placed in ungreased muffin cups, brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with reserved cheese cracker crumbs.

Cheese and Apple Crescent Puffs

2 cups, 2 medium, peeled, chopped apples

3/4 cup crushed cheese snack crackers

3 tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cans, 8 ounces each, Pillsbury refrigerated quick crescent rolls

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine first four ingredients, saving 1/4 cup crackers, and mix well. Separate dough into 16 triangles. Spoon a tablespoon apple mixture on the widest part of each triangle. Fold in corners over filling; roll to opposite point, sealing edges. Place point-side down in ungreased muffin cups. Brush with butter. Sprinkle with reserved cracker crumbs. Bake 18 to 21 minutes. Serve warm if desired.

Note: To reheat the puffs, wrap in foil; heat at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

This is another Crisco Cookbook recipe. They make excellent lunch box treats as they can be held in the hand.

Lunch Box Turnovers

Pie crust:

3/4 cup shortening

2 1/4 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup very cold water

Filling:

2 apples, or 1 1/4 cup chopped apples

1/4 cup sugar

Dash of cinnamon

2 teaspoons flour

1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon shortening

Sift salt and flour together in a bowl. Take out 1/3 cup flour. Cut in shortening with two knives or a pastry blended into remaining flour until the pieces are the size of small peas.

Mix 1/4 cup water with the 1/3 cup flour and mix to make a paste. Add flour paste into the shortening-flour mixture.

Mix and shape dough into a ball. This can be refrigerated for an hour or used as is. Roll to 1/8-inch thick and cut out 4-inch squares. Divide dough into two parts.

Pare and slice apples and combine with other filling ingredients. Cook over low heat several minutes to make sure that it is thick enough not to run out of the crust. Cool and place filling on half of each square.

Fold pastry to form a triangle. Seal edges and flute with the fingers or a fork. Cut or prick small steam vents. Bake in 425 degree oven about 15 minutes.

(McCoy can be contacted at emccoy@heraldstaronline.com)

 
 

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