In honor of Johnny Appleseed’s birthday, I served apples today, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Anything less would be a snub to the legendary nurseryman.
Besides, we went apple-picking last weekend and like the maniacs that we are, we picked way too many. Thankfully we have willing neighbors and friends to take several pounds off our hands. But that still means half a bushel is somewhere in the house. Of course, we can always eat apples fresh, and we do, but is that a way to celebrate John Chapman (he’s better off with Johnny Appleseed) and his beloved apples?
For the batter
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour (Please don’t ask why you need to add 1 tbsp additional flour. This is an old recipe that I’ve been using for a long time. I must have halved a recipe from somewhere and decided the additional tbsp is necessary to make the batter the consistency I like. But feel free to make your batter thinner (= thinner crepes) or thicker (= thicker crepes) as you prefer.
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
1. Whisk all ingredients together or mix in a blender.
2. Use a small non-stick pan, on medium-high heat. Add a small amount of butter to the pan and swirl to coat bottom of pan evenly.
3. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan, tilt and swirl pan so that batter spreads evenly. Cook for about 30 seconds or until the top of the crepe appears dry, then flip and cook for an additional 10-20 seconds.
For the filling
2 apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1. Heat butter in a saucepan. Add apples and sugar and cook until apples are soft, but not mushy.
2. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove from heat and let it cool before filling crepes.
There is no recipe for this one. Just apples, red onions, lettuce mix, and roast turkey meat, all cut up into uniform pieces, then tossed with balsamic vinaigrette, or your favorite salad dressing.
Again, this one doesn’t need a recipe. Just apple slices, bacon, turkey, smoked gouda, and mayonnaise mixed with sriracha, on Italian bread slices.
First, prepare your favorite stuffing, but add diced or shredded apples. Cut a slit horizontally in the middle of your pork chops, but don’t cut all the way, so that chops open up like a butterfly or a book. You can tenderize the chops by pounding them with a mallet at this point. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff the chops with the prepared stuffing. Fold back the chops, then dredge in flour. You can secure chops with toothpicks, if you like. Brown stuffed chops in olive oil. Then place in a 375° F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through. Served with sautéed or roasted apples on the side.
For the sauce
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
Red cinnamon candies or red food coloring (optional)
In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients, except for butter. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir butter in. Set aside.
For the dumplings
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter (it translates to 1 stick and 2 2/3 tbsp, but who really measures that exactly, so anywhere between 1 stick and 1 stick + a couple of pats is fine.)
1/2 cup cold milk
3-5 apples, peeled and cored
1 egg, beaten
Raw sugar, for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Sprinkle with milk while tossing with a fork, adding milk until soft dough forms. Shape dough into a ball.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into 1/4 inch thickness.
6. Cut out squares large enough to wrap around apples. I used medium-sized apples, and I cut out 6×6 inch squares.
7. Place an apple in the center of each square, and bring corners of pastry up to top of apple, pressing seams, and molding pastry around apple. Repeat with remaining apples. Depending on the size of your apples, you may have enough pastry for 3-5 dumplings. I was able to make 4, with scraps for decorations (leaves & stems). Brush dumplings with beaten egg, sprinkle with raw sugar
8. Place apple in a baking pan, pour sauce around dumplings, and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and apples are tender. If tops of dumplings get too brown (especially the stems), cover loosely with aluminum foil.
So, you think it’s an overkill to eat that many apples in one day? Haven’t you heard the saying,”Apples three times a day, keep the doctor at bay”? What, you’ve never heard of it? Am I the only one?
Did you know Johnny Appleseed Day is celebrated twice a year, September 26th (his birthday) and March 11 (the day of his death). We must really love apples!