A Five Course Meal For Your Extra Orchard Apples

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Written by Andrew Madison. Photographed by Erika Aoyagi.

As the wind grows sharper and the leaves turn orange, apple orchards around Madison open their gates. People flock to them to stroll between the beautiful trees, take pictures with red noses, and pick apples with gloved hands. New couples, groups of friends, and families mingle with farmers as bags of apples and homemade jam are bought and sold by smiling faces. Farmers have worked diligently all year for this season, and as their orchards open and people begin to enjoy the fruits of their labor, everyone looks forward to the beginning of the holiday season.

However, after the jaunt to and from the orchard is over, the apples themselves are often forgotten. They come back to people’s houses to sit on the counter, and many are unceremoniously tossed out. The experience of the apple orchard is a fond memory, but the months of labor the farmers put into the fruits themselves is forgotten.

Oftentimes, this happens because people don’t know what to do with the extras. I mean, a person can only eat so many raw apples before the taste gets old. However, there are many creative recipes out there that use apples, and many of them are quick and easy to make.

Instead of letting the experience of the apple orchard end with your drive back, consider extending the memory into your home with one or all of the recipes included in this five course, apple-laden meal!

 


Apple, Spinach, and Walnut Salad

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A simple salad incorporating raw sliced apples. It has a strong sweetness from the apples and cranberries that is mellowed by the walnuts and onions. The spinach acts as a tasteful carrier. Great with or without dressing!

Ingredient List & Necessary Tools:

  • 1 Bundle of spinach
  • ¾ pound of walnuts
  • ½ pound dried cranberries
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, sliced

Recipe/Directions

  1. Clean spinach and remove stems from leaves.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss.
  3. Top with extra slices of apple. You can also add a dressing if you’d like!

 


Apples and Camembert

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A simple appetizer that capitalizes on the raw sweetness of the apples juxtaposed with the creamy savoriness of the camembert. Serve with a white wine.

Ingredient List & Necessary Tools:

  • 2 Sweet Apples, sliced
  • 1 Camembert Round Cheese

Recipe/Directions

  1. Place sliced apples on a presentation plate or tray.
  2. Slice small pieces of the Camembert and place on the slices of apple.
  3. Eat together with a light white wine.

 


Apple Butter Rum Cocktail

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A sweet yet strong cocktail that uses apple butter, fruit juices, triple sec, and rum to make a drink reminiscent of apple pie. At the end of the article, there is an extra recipe on how to make the apple butter at home!

Ingredient List & Necessary Tools

  • 2 oz Apple Butter Infused Rum
  • 1 tsp. Homemade Apple Butter
  • ¼ oz Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • ½ oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 Apple for garnish

Recipe/Directions

  1. Measure all ingredients directly into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice to the shaker.
  3. Shake until desired amount of water is incorporated, I prefer roughly 13-15 seconds.
  4. Pour directly into a chilled glass.
  5. Cut an apple fan garnish from the apple and place on top of the drink.
  6. Serve.

 


Curried Apple and Carrot Soup

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A spicy soup perfect for the fall. It has a soft flavor coming from the light ingredients (apples, carrots, onions, celery) that is accentuated by the powerful flavors of the bay, cinnamon, and curry powder. Great for a cold night when you don’t want to eat anything too heavy.

Ingredient List & Necessary Tools

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Celery Stalk, chopped
  • 5 Carrots, skinned and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Curry Powder
  • 2 Large or 3 Small Apples, roughly chopped
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Cinnamon, extra for garnish
  • Pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish

Recipe/Directions

  1. Heat about 1-2 tsp. olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, cooking until the onion is softened and translucent. Toss or stir often to ensure onion does not burn to the bottom.
  2. Add curry powder, carrots, apples and bay leaf. Stir over medium heat for a couple minutes, then add broth and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.
  3. Remove bay leaf. Transfer solids and ½ cup of broth to a blender and puree. Pour the puree back into the soup. Bring back to a low boil and season with pepper and cinnamon. Serve hot with chopped parsley and cinnamon for garnish.

 


Seared Pork Chops and Sautéed Apples

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A classic seared pork chop, spiced traditionally with the addition of powerful smoked paprika. Pork chops have always gone will with the juicy sweetness of apples, and this one-pan rendition is an easy and extremely tasty way to use up a couple of those orchard extras.

Ingredient List & Necessary Tools

  • Olive Oil
  • 2 Pork Chops
  • 2 Apples, sliced
  • Salt/Pepper/Smoked Paprika mixture, ratio to taste
  • ¼ cup White Wine
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • Parsley for garnish

Recipe/Directions

  1. Liberally rub salt/pepper/smoked paprika mixture into the pork chops.
  2. Heat olive oil in a cast iron pan on medium-high heat.
  3. Sear chops for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  4. While searing, slice the apples and chop the onion.
  5. Once the chops are finished searing on both sides, add the butter and garlic to the pan. Using a spoon, throw the butter/garlic mixture over the chops in the pan as the butter melts.
  6. Remove the chops, and allow the meat to rest.
  7. Lightly sauté the apples and onions in the pan, season them, deglaze with white wine, and reduce.
  8. Serve the pork chops over the onions and apples on a plate, garnish with parsley.

 


Apple Pie

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We couldn’t avoid a classic! This no-frills apple pie is fantastic as is, but this recipe is simple enough that a little tweaking to taste is absolutely okay. Adding new spices, some hand-whipped cream, or a decorative crust and egg wash are just a couple ways you could have fun with this recipe.

Ingredient List & Necessary Tools

  • Pie Crust
  • 6 Apples
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup White Sugar
  • ¼ cup Flour
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Butter

Recipe/Directions

  1. Prepare pie crust according to recipe or box.
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees (F).
  3. Chop and toss apples, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Spread into pie. Roughly chop the butter and place small chunks around the pie.
  5. Place top crust, cutting small slits to allow steam to escape. Crimp edges of the crust as desired.
  6. Place aluminum foil around the crust to avoid burning. Place in the oven and bake for 40-50 min, and remove aluminum foil for the final 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 min.

 


Homemade Apple Butter

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Apple butter is a staple of any fall kitchen. An easy, long-lasting spreadable, it can be incorporated into drinks, put on morning toast, added into soups, or just eaten by itself as a warm dessert with some cream. On top of that, if you freeze it, you can make huge batches that will last you until spring!

Ingredient List & Necessary Tools

  • 6 pounds of Apples peeled, cored and sliced
  • ½ cup White Sugar
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla Extract

Recipe/Directions

  1. Mix the apples, sugars, salt, spices, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  2. Place in slow cooker and cook on low for 9-11 hours (based on desired consistency: 9 for a bit chunkier, 11 for a bit softer and spreadable), mixing well every 1-2 hours.
  3. Place into jars, refrigerating one (for up to two weeks) and freezing the others.

This five course meal is just the tip of the iceberg. From meat dishes utilizing sweet apples to cut their savoriness to cocktails with tart green apples for a clean drink, they can be used to add a bit of an interesting edge to any dish.

Throw some of your orchard apples into these recipes and you will find that seasonal meals not only taste amazing, but are fun and easy to make. Before you know it, you’ll have used all your extra apples and have a reason to get some friends together to get some more!

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