Driving home from my exercise class this morning I noticed the row of trees which always signal the height of fall with their gorgeous colors, has begun to change. Fall is well and truly under way. Mornings are cooler. Dusk comes earlier. The air is crisper.
And the many varieties of apples begin to make their appearance in local grocery stores. Washington State has wonderful apples. But I don’t have to tell you that, right? You know it already. The quality is superb. The selection so amazing it can be daunting to pick which ones to purchase. (I like Galas and Honeycrisps for eating, Fujis for applesauce, Granny Smiths and Honeycrisps for pies, if you’re wondering.)
In addition to being the best fruit to pack in a school lunch, apples are, of course, the poster child for love and/or temptation. Eve is supposed to have eaten one; medieval poets made the apple a symbol of love. Nuns were warned not to eat them. A loved one is “the apple of your eye.”
And an apple a day is supposed to keep the doctor away.
I’ll let you decide if the apple deserves the responsibility heaped on this tasty fruit. I’m content just knowing it’s a versatile and, now, readily available ingredient for snacks and desserts. The following is one example:
Baked Apple Cups–for 2
1/2 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tblsp. melted butter
1 tblsp. sugar
1 apple (Honeycrisp would be my choice) cored and sliced thin
1 tblsp. brown sugar plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp. lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut puff pastry in half and brush with melted butter.
3. Place into greased muffin tin, forming the pastry into a cup.
4. Combine remaining ingredients (except brown sugar for sprinkling.)
5. Divide apple mixture between two cups and sprinkle with brown sugar.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
7. Serve warm with whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream.