Cooking with All Those Apples: A Top 10 List

It's officially apple-picking season (truly officially, as October is National Apple Month), so it seems only right to share some ideas for apples. Everywhere I turn I see photos of friends plucking juicy fruit from trees, placing it in woodsy-looking mini barrels or baskets, destined for cinnamon-y pies or fragrant cobblers. This time of year, I crave the chill of autumn and the warming sip of hot cider. I crave Vermont. I spent four years in Burlington for college and the state has never left my soul. And in Vermont in fall, we picked apples. Now that I live in Southern California, I admit that I feel a bit nostalgic for the postcard-worthy foliage scenes, the smell of fresh maple syrup and the plethora of apples that had us cooking all season long.

If you've been apple picking, or even to the grocery store lately (I saw Granny Smiths the other day for .49 cents a pound!), you might well have an apple stock you are looking to use. What to do with 'dem apples?

Here is my top 10 list:

1. Celebrate America and make a pie. Try my Quick Cinnamon Apple Tarte.

3. Stuff a pork roast. Try my recipe for Sausage- and Apple-Stuffed Pork Roast.

4. Saute apples with cabbage for a savory side dish, perfect to accompany your favorite autumn roast.

5. Have some fun with the kids making Caramel Apples.

6. Give the oven the day off and make a slow-cooker cobbler.

7. Make homemade applesauce: Cook 8 chopped and peeled apples in heavy pot over medium heat with 1/2 cup water or juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, a squeeze of lemon or orange, and a dash of cinnamon for about 30 minutes. Mash or serve chunky.

9. For a healthy frozen treat, try my Applesauce Granita with Maple Yogurt.

10. And perhaps my favorite: Polish it on your shirt and eat it.

And now I'm off to search for the nearest apple-picking orchard to take my kids. Surely even San Diegans need to pick apples, right?

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