Apples with Sweetland Apple Orchard

Now is the time to make tasty apple treats using different apple varieties. Gretchen Perbix from Sweetland Orchard and Recipe Developer Mary Jane Miller put Gretchen’s Apples to good use and made delicious apple recipes for the fall.

Apple Harvest Salad

8 cups mixed greens (I like butter lettuce and baby arugula)
1 tart crisp apple, sliced
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots separated into rings
1/2 cup Cheddar Vinaigrette

In a serving bowl, toss greens together. Top with apples, pecans, and shallot rings. Just before serving, drizzle with vinaigrette and toss.

Makes 4 servings

Cheddar Vinaigrette
You’ll end up with some leftover vinaigrette. It will keep in the fridge for at least a week. It may set up when it’s cold, just let it come to room temp and shake it up.

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/3 cup shredded extra sharp white cheddar cheese
2 tsp. fresh thyme

In the jar of a blender, combine all ingredients except the thyme leaves. Blend on high until mixture is smooth. Add thyme and pulse to chop. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Apple Hand Pies

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cups unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small bits
1/3 cup sour cream
2 1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. ice water

3 apples, peeled and finely chopped (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

1 egg
2 Tbsp. Water
granulated sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter and using a pastry blender, cut it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and 1/4 cup water. Add to the flour mixture and, using a fork, gently toss and stir together until large lumps form and all of the flour has been moistened. Add the additional water if dough is dry. Alternately you can pulse the flour mixture and butter together in a food processor then add the sour cream and water mixture, pulsing a few times until a dough forms.

Shape the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour (if preparing ahead of time, the dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the refrigerated dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one half of the dough to ?-inch thickness. Using a 4½-inch round biscuit cutter, cut circles out of the rolled dough. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining half of dough. Refrigerate the dough circles for 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss together the filling ingredients.

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. Spoon about 1 tablespoon filling onto one half of each circle of dough. Brush a little water around the circumference of the dough, and fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a semicircle. Seal the hand pie, and make a decorative edge by pressing the edges of the dough together with the tines of a fork. Refrigerate the assembled hand pies for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water for the egg wash. Remove the chilled hand pies from the refrigerator, and lightly brush with the egg yolk wash. Using a paring knife, cut a few small slits on the top of each hand pie, then sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake until the hand pies are golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the pies from the oven, and let stand to cool slightly before serving.

Tip: The pies can also be frozen, unbaked without the egg wash and sugar for up to 6 months stored in an airtight freezer bag.

Makes about 38

Sweetland 75

1 lemon
3 oz. gin
1 1/2 oz. (about 6 Tbsp.) fresh lemon juice (from zested lemon)
1 oz. simple syrup
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup (4 ounces) dry hard cider
1. Using zester or paring knife, slice peel from lemon in long, thin spirals, each about 4 to 6 inches long. Squeeze juice from zested lemon.
2. In cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into two chilled Champagne flutes and top each with about 2 ounces of hard cider.
3. Curl lemon peel around handle of a wooden spoon or finger to create twist. Garnish drink with twist and serve immediately.
Makes 2 cocktails

Apples and Onions

This is a great topping for pork or chicken. It takes inspiration from one of my favorite books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy.

2 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, peeled halved and sliced
2 large apples, cored and sliced (peeled if you like)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp over medium heat. Remove bacon to a paper towel and drain all but 2 tsp. of the bacon fat.

Add Butter to skillet and melt over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until very tender and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add apples and continue to cook until they are just tender, about another 10 mintues.

Add brown sugar and toss to coat. Cook another 20 seconds or until sugar is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in reserved bacon and serve warm.

Makes 4 servings

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