Friday, November 8, 2013

Fall Fruit...and two recipes!

One of my favorite things about the fall in Pennsylvania is the bounty of amazing apples I get from the growers market. I belong to a CSA from North Star Orchards,, where we get a huge share of seasonal fruit each week, starting in August and running into November. In August, they start with peaches and plums and as summer fades, apples and asian pears make up the share. They have heirloom varieties of apples, types you never see in the grocery store. Now that I've had these, I can't buy them in the store...the ones from the orchard are so full of amazing flavor.

Asian pears are my favorite fruit of all. I grew up eating these in Japan, calling them Nashis, and was so excited when I started finding them in the US. North Star Orchards has the best and quite a few different varieties. They are the juiciest, sweetest fruit imaginable. Perfect to eat alone or cut up in a salad (they don't brown as apples do when cut). Also you can make a wonderful fall bruschetta, by placing a slice of Nashi, a crumble of bleu cheese or slice of brie and a dollop of honey on a crostini and stick in the oven till the cheese melts a bit. Yum.

To make a delicious fall inspired salad, use fresh greens or tender farm market lettuce, tossed with the dressing below and then topped with either cut up apple or nashi and dried cranberries, crumbled bleu or feta or goat cheese, and sweetened nuts, such as the Honey Roasted Almonds or Sweet and Spicy Pecans from Trader Joes. So easy and so good!

Apple Honey Salad Dressing

  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 T apple cider
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T honey
Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and shake to combine. I usually double the recipe so I have enough for several nights. This recipe came from Nort hStar Orchards.

Sometimes, the apples get away from me, and I'll make a simple baked applesauce that is scrumptious; it takes like the inside of an apple pie! If there are leftovers, it is great added to oatmeal or I put a dollop in a bowl of greek yogurt. This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light.

Baked Apple Sauce

  • 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, tossing to coat the apples. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for an one hour and 15 minutes total or until the apples are tender and mash when stirred. Be sure to stir once, after about 45 minutes.

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