I only eat apples out of hand in September - no kidding. I think that's the only time you can taste what the flavor of an apple is meant to be. That being said, apples are fantastic to cook with all year. When a recipe doesn't specify a particular type of apple, good all-purpose varieties are Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith and Gala. I avoid cooking with Macintosh (too mushy, although perfect for apple sauce) and Red Delicious (too sweet).
CURRIED SQUASH AND APPLE SOUP
Like all soups, this tastes even better the next day. Serve crunchy pappadums alongside.
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp curry paste (or less to taste)
4 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
2 cups peeled, chopped Granny Smith apples
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
Â½ cup coconut milk
3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped cilantro
Heat oil in large soup pot on medium heat. Add onions and sautÃ© for three minutes or until softened; stir in ginger and curry paste. SautÃ© for one minute; add squash and apples and sautÃ© for two more minutes or until vegetables are coated with spices.
Pour in stock; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer gently for 20 minutes or until squash is soft. PurÃ©e soup in batches in blender; return to heat and add coconut milk. Bring to just under a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for five to 10 minutes to allow flavours to combine. Season well with salt and pepper. Sprinkle some cilantro over each serving.
Makes eight servings.
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS AND APPLE
A recipe from Elizabeth Baird of Canadian Living magazine - great with buttery mashed potatoes and fresh green beans (also in season now).
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 pork tenderloins, approx.
1Â½ lbs total Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups low sodium beef stock
Â½ cup fresh apple cider or pure apple juice
2 tsp cornstarch
Cut onions in half lengthwise, then slice thinly crosswise. In a large skillet heat two tablespoons of the oil over medium heat; fry onions, stirring often, until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in apple slices; cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Keep warm while pork is cooked.
Season pork with pepper. In a large ovenproof skillet heat the remaining oil over medium high heat; brown the pork all over. Transfer to 350F oven and roast until juices run clear when pork is pierced, about 20 minutes (don't overcook - you want it ever so slightly pink in the centre). Transfer to a carving board and tent with foil; let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, pour fat from skillet and discard. Add stock and cider; bring to a boil over medium high heat, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil until reduced to about Â¾ cup. Dissolve cornstarch in two tablespoons cold water; stir into skillet and cook until sauce is thickened. Divide onion mixture among four to six serving plates; fan pork slices on top and drizzle with sauce.
APPLE STRUDEL PIE
Another of my "keeper" recipes from The Vancouver Sun. This pie looks really impressive - don't tell anybody how easy it was to make.
6 apples (about 3 lbs.)
Â½ cup packed brown sugar
Â½ tsp cinnamon (or 1 tsp if you like cinnamon like I do)
Â¼ cup all-purpose flour
Â¼ cup dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
10 sheets phyllo pastry
Â½ cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp icing sugar
Preheat oven to 400F. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Combine apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour; set aside.
In a small bowl combine bread crumbs with granulated sugar. Working with one sheet of phyllo at a time (keep remaining sheets covered with a damp tea towel), brush pastry lightly with melted butter and dust with bread crumb mixture. Fold pastry in half lengthwise and brush again. Place folded pastry in 10-inch springform pan with one short end in the centre of the pan and the other end hanging over the edge. Sprinkle with some of the bread crumb mixture. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets, overlapping each one slightly. The bottom of the pan should be covered, but leave a lot of pastry hanging over the edge. Spoon apple filling into pastry-lined pan. Fold overhanging pastry over the apples so filling is completely covered (pastry will be somewhat ragged looking). Brush top of pie with remaining butter.
Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 50-55 minutes, or until apples are tender when pie is pierced with a sharp knife. Cool for at least 15 minutes before removing sides of pan. Sift icing sugar over top of pie before serving. Makes 10 servings.