They aren't just for dessert and snacks anymore!
We have an apple tree that blesses us with more apples than any reasonable family could eat. They're great for snacks and really unhealthy desserts, but I am always looking for a way to incorporate them into actual meals. Here are two super awesome and reasonably priced recipes that I found at the most unexpected place: Williams-Sonoma.
Puffy Apple Pancake
1 small apple--I made ours with THREE and it was very good
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk, at room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- Preheat an oven to 400°F.
- Grease a 9-inch glass pie dish with butter.
- Peel the apple, then cut it into quarters and core. I have one of those nifty apple things that does it for me. Using a small knife, cut the apple quarters into small chunks.
- In a small bowl, using a fork, stir together 2 tablespoons of the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Add the apple chunks and toss with the fork until the pieces are evenly coated with the cinnamon-sugar. *NOTE* If you use more apple, you'll need more sugar and cinnamon as well.
- Pour the apple chunks into the prepared dish, spreading them out evenly with the fork. Set aside.
- In a blender, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, the eggs, milk, flour and vanilla. Put the blender lid on securely and, holding the lid down tightly, blend on medium speed until all the ingredients are well mixed and frothy, about 1 minute. *ANOTHER NOTE* I did this part by hand. I think it took less time than getting out the blender and then washing it and putting it away.
- Put the dish in the oven and bake the apple chunks for 5 minutes. Using an oven mitt, carefully pull out the oven rack until the dish is visible. Do not remove the dish.
- Pour the batter evenly over the apples. Slide the rack back into the oven and close the oven door. Bake the pancake until puffed and brown, about 25 minutes.
- Using oven mitts, carefully remove the dish from the oven and set it on a wire cooling rack.
- Dust the pancake with confectioners sugar using a fine-mesh sieve. Cut into wedges and serve immediately. Serves 8.
Once you've had apples for breakfast, why not have them for lunch as well? I made these sandwiches and they were good enough that I am no longer dreading eating apples three or four times a day for the next month and a half.
Peanut Butter and Apple Sandwich
2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon honey
1 Granny Smith apple
2 tablespoons peanut butter, preferably all- natural
2 slices sandwich bread
- Put the cream cheese, vanilla and honey in a bowl. Using a fork, mash together until smooth.
- Put the apple on its side on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the apple in half lengthwise. Then cut each half in half again to make quarters. Lay each quarter on its side and cut away the tough, papery core and seeds. Cut each apple quarter lengthwise into thin slices. *Again, I use the apple machine for this. It takes like twenty seconds to core, peel, and slice one apple!*
- Using a table knife, spread the peanut butter on one slice of bread. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the second slice of bread.
- Cover the peanut butter with a layer of apple slices, and top with the second bread slice, cream cheese side down. Press down lightly. Cut the sandwich in half or into quarters with the sharp knife and serve immediately. Ignore small children begging for a bite. Makes 1 sandwich. You'll need a lot more than that!