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Along with the cooler temperatures of Fall, happily comes the season of apples - whether you seek out a farm to hand-pick your own apples or trek to your local farmers' market as I do to purchase apples hand-picked by the growers, there is no better taste and texture than a crisp, juicy just-picked apple.

In addition to the two recipes below, one of my favorites is a simple apple tart - using the refrigerated pie crusts from Pillsbury which are delicious and easy to use when you don't have the time to make your own pie crust.

I cut out a 4-inch round of the pie crust for each serving needed. Then place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Peel, core and thinly slice one medium size apple (any variety)  for every two pie crust rounds and toss the slices in a bowl with a cinnamon/sugar mixture.  In a small non-stick skillet, melt about a tablespoon of butter and saut the apple slices until slightly softened.  When the slices are cool enough to handle, arrange them on the pie crust rounds in a circular pattern with each apple slice slightly overlapping the previous slice.  If there is a space in the center of the apple spiral, you can add dried cranberries to this space or just chop up any remaining apple and fill in the hole.

In a heated 350F oven,  bake the apple tarts for approximately 30 - 35 minutes or until the pie crust disks are browned underneath.  Remove the baking pan  from the oven and immediately sprinkle powdered sugar over the apple tarts.  Alternatively, when the apple tarts have slightly cooled, you can brush them with some melted apricot or other flavor jam for a glazed look. I like to serve these these apple tarts with a small scoop of frozen vanilla yogurt and a leaf of fresh mint for a lovely visual effect.


5 whole

Granny Smith, Gala or Golden Delicious apples (or a mixture)

2 whole

lemons, zest removed and juice used to coat apples when peeled


Calvados (optional)




Pinch of salt

Nut Topping

2 cups

walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup

all purpose flour

1 cup

Oatmeal (or crunchy dry cereal

1 teaspoon



dark brown sugar

1 cup

(2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Heat oven to 375F

  1. Peel and remove seeds from apples and cut into approximately 1-inch chunks.  In a 10 x 15 baking dish, toss apples with lemon juice, zest, Calvados (if using), sugar and salt.  Set aside.
  2. For the topping, in medium size bowl mix together all ingredients and with cool hands mix the butter pieces with the other ingredients until all are combined.
  3. Press the topping mixture evenly over the apples, pressing down on the topping to adhere to the apples.
  4. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are cooked.  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream lightly sprinkled with cinnamon.

Yield:  6 8 servings



1 cups

All Purpose flour - King Arthur brand is my favorite

3 Tablespoons




10 Tablespoons

chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1 sticks)

1 large

egg yolk

1 Tablespoon

sweet wine (dessert wine or Riesling)


6 apples

Granny Smith, Gala and Golden Delicious

1/3 cup


1 teaspoon





pinch of salt

4 Tablespoons

butter, cut into bits

Heat oven to 375F.

  1. Blend flour, sugar, salt in the bowl of a food processor until combined.  Add butter using on/off turns.  Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add the egg yolk and wine using on/off turns and mix just until moist clumps form.  Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  2. In the meantime, peel, core and slice apples into -inch thick slices. In a large mixing bowl, toss apple slices with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. Roll out the dough between plastic wrap to at least a 12-inch round.  Transfer dough to a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Spoon apple slices onto the dough leaving a 1 inch border.  Dot the apples with the butter.  Carefully fold up the outer edge of the dough over the apples.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350F and bake for 45 minutes or until crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.

Yield:  6 8 slices

Serving suggestion: serve with a dollop of yogurt lightly dusted with cinnamon sugar.




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