But I really love just plain old apples, the fruit. If you haven’t tried my easy recipe for baked apple slices you should. They make wonderful toppings to meats or cake slices and are delicious as a stand-alone treat too.
Lately I’ve been into heirloom apples. Like heirloom roses and tomatoes, they are older or antique varieties that have not been hybridized. Their shapes, colors, and flavors tend to be more natural and less perfect than the few types traditionally available in American grocery stores. It’s nice to mix it up a little with these “new” flavors.
I didn’t get my hands on too many sweets when I was a kid. My mom never had many unhealthy snacks around and since my parents didn’t give allowances I had no source of income to buy candy. So when apple season came along each fall our house was full of fresh apples. I loved their crunchy sweetness. And when they’d been around awhile the luscious red orbs were peeled, pared and turned into homemade applesauce, which makes a wonderful side for pork dishes.
When I think about apples and October I also think about Halloween. As a kid I hated the healthy households that gave out apples instead of candy. Like I said, we had lots of those at home. And while I was terrified by the stories of awful people inserting razor blades and pins into the apples they gave to trick-or-treaters there was one good thing that came out of it--I noticed a drop in the number of houses giving out fruit the year after those stories came out.
My Dad worked for Kraft Foods in those days and he always brought home bags of their caramels to give to the kids who arrived on our front porch on Halloween. Thoughts of those two October treats have prompted me to try lots of apple and caramel combinations, like caramel apples on a stick. I’ve never had great success with those. And I’ve learned that lots of people can’t eat them anyway. Anyone with braces, permanent retainers, or crowns should probably eat their apples sliced.
So I came up with some yummy caramel (or other candied) apple slices that will work for people across most dental situations.
Candied Apple Slices
· 2 Apples, washed
· 2 T Fresh Lemon Juice
· 2 T Honey
· Cooking Spray
· 2 T Flour
· 1 tsp Nutmeg
· 4 Caramels, unwrapped, or 4 T Caramel syrup, or 2 T Heath Chips
· Preheat the oven to 375°.
· Slice off the top 1/4 of the apples, and about 1/8” off of their bottoms to make them level.
· Scoop out the core but leave 1/4” of the bottoms intact.
· Slice the apples lengthwise, down to 1/4” from the bottom and 1” apart around the entire base of each apple.
· Place the apples on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray.
· Fill apple centers with 1 or 2 caramels, (depending on apples’ size) or other filling listed above.
· Emulsify lemon juice and honey.
· Sprinkle each apple with half of the flour.
· Pour the honey and lemon mixture over the top of the two sliced apples.
· Sprinkle each with a little nutmeg.
· Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve on a platter.
· Pull slices away from apple base and eat.
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