Fall. My favorite time of year. Rustling leaves. Rich colors. Sunlight that breaks in at an angle. Time to turn slowly inward, to the home, to the hearth, to reading books and poetry.
And of course fall serves up some of my favorite foods: rich stews, soups, roasts, made from and with squashes, pumpkins, root vegetables, brussels sprouts, and of course apples.
Summer apples start to appear in farmers markets in mid-summer, but they don't really start to show in large quantities in the markets with their great variety until mid to late August and then there's a flood of them and apple cider for weeks. So many different varieties, names, colors, textures. So much fun to try different varieties and find new favorites.
Apples are not native to the Americas--they originated around the area of Iran--but they have taken hold well here both agriculturally and culturally. One interesting fact about apples is that they are not true breeding. In other words, you could plant the seeds of an apple you love, and not one of the trees that came from that apple would produce apples like it. Most of the apples produced would, in fact, probably be inedible.
Sadly the vast variety of apples that used to exist is declining, in part because there are very few commercially grown varieties of apples. I hate to see the many varieties of apples and their wonderful names disappearing. So I say, get thee to a farmers market and try some new varieties of apples. Or find a farm where you can spend a day picking apples. Then come home and read Robert Frost's poem, "After Apple Picking" and enjoy the satisfaction of a day in the orchard.
This week's Sunday Supper is all about apples. I wanted to try making a cookie that I imagined a few months ago at the height of summer when I absolutely did not wish to bake: Apple gingersnap cookies. Apple and ginger are fantastic flavors together, and this cookie is no exception.
The cookie dough is easy to make, but you need to plan ahead. The dough should chill for at least 12 hours to let the flavors meld. I used boiled apple cider syrup in this recipe, which I discovered last fall, but you can use maple syrup, molasses, or even honey if you prefer, although doing so will change the flavor and the texture of the cookie a bit. For this cookie, I give the ingredients in milliliters and grams because I started with a gingersnap cookie from my favorite Swedish cookbook, Bonniers Stora Kokbok, and modified the recipe from there. Just about every measuring cup will give you the option of using milliliters, just be aware of the difference.
- 100 ml water
- 400 ml sugar
- 300 grams unsalted butter
- 100 ml apple cider syrup
- 1 Tbsp ground cloves
- 1 Tbsp ground dried ginger
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 250 ml coarsely grated apple (from about 1 peeled, cored apple)
- 1,200 ml flour (plus more for flouring the board)
- 2 tsps baking soda
- Mix half of the flour (600 ml) with the baking soda and set aside.
- Heat water, sugar, butter, apple cider syrup, and spices in a pan on medium heat on the stove until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Then add the grated apples.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter-sugar-spice-apple mixture with the flour-baking soda mixture. Then mix in the rest of the flour in bunches. (It's helpful to use a sturdy silicone spatula for this job.) If the dough starts to get too heavy to stir, feel free to get your hands in there and knead like you would a bread dough. (Your hands will smell amazing afterward, by the way.)
- When the flour has been completely incorporated into the dough, sprinkle some flour on top, cover the bowl with plastic, and refrigerate the dough for 12 hours.
- On the day you plan to bake the cookies, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees (F). Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper (or use silicone mats if you have them).
- Liberally flour a baking board and roll out slightly less than a quarter of the dough very thinly. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes and fill one baking sheet.
- Working on one baking sheet at a time, bake the cookies for 7 minutes. (Feel free to try to vary the time a few minutes up or down to get the consistency you want.)
- Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer them to a cooling rack and re-use the baking sheet for another batch. You will probably end making about 100 cookies, depending on the size of the cookie cutters you are using.
Soups, Salads, Starters, and Breads
Cinnamon Apple Chips- Shockingly Delicious
Apple Celery Salad- In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene
Mini Apple Pumpkin Pancakes – The Daily Dish Recipes
Overnight Apple Cinnamon French Toast- In the Kitchen with KP
Curried Apple and Leek Soup-Soni’s Food for Thought
Endive Spears Topped With Apple, Blue Cheese and Hazelnut Salad- The Hand That Rocks the Ladle
Homemade Apple Jam – My Trials in the Kitchen
Caramel Apple Butter Cheesecake Dip- Chocolate Moosey
Caramel Apple Bread – famfriendsfood
Apple Pie Bread Baker Street
Apple, Bacon & Brie Popovers- I Run for Wine
Apple and Almond Brie Puff Pastry- Family Foodie
Apple, Leek and Gruyere Tarts- There and Back Again
Slow Cooker Honey Apple Pork Loin- The Meltaways
Apple-Glazed Meatballs- The Messy Baker
Apples & Buttons (Ham, Apples and Dumplings)- Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Skillet Pork with Sweet Spiced Apples- Mama Mommy Mom
Chicken Apple Meatloaf with Tarragon Tomato Sauce – Diabetic Foodie
Baked Tilapia Apple Crisp- Daddy Knows Less
Pork Tenderloin with Calvados Cream Sauce Sustainable Dad
#SundaySupper Pulled Pork Sandwich With Pickled Red Onions Kwistin’s Favorites
Harvest Rice- Webicurean
Wild Rice with Apples, Dried Cranberries, and Walnuts – Ruffles and Truffles
Apple Topped Sweet Potato Mash- Momma’s Meals
Warm Spice Pecan Raisin Apple Chutney- Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Double Apple Pot Pie- What Smells So Good?
Apple Walnut Coffee Cake- The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Apple Streusel Cobbler- Big Bear’s Wife
Apple & Moroccan Cinnamon Gooey Sticky Buns- Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
Spiced Caramel Apple Pie-Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence
Apple Pear Kuchen for #SundaySupper (Apfel Birnen Kuchen)- Galactosemia in PDX
Apple Strudel - Magnolia Days
Old Fashioned Apple Crisp with Caramel Sauce-Noshing with the Nolands
Apple Cheesecake- Vintage Kitchen
Caramel Apple Crumble Bars- Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting- From Fast Food to Fresh Food
Cinnamon Apple Dessert Chimichangas- Juanita’s Cocina
Nutella Apple Quesadilla- Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
Apple Crisp Ice Cream- Cravings of a Lunatic
Bavarian Apple Torte- The Lovely Pantry
Streusel Apple Crumb Pie + Pie Freezer Kits- Meal Planning Magic
French Apple Cobbler with Cinnamon-Maple Whipped Cream Weekend Gourmet
Chunky Apple-Apricot Bread Pudding- Comfy Cuisine
Apple Butter Spice Cake – Home Cooking Memories
Apple Pie and Custard- Happy Baking Days
#GlutenFree Deep Dish Carmel Apple Pie- Cooking Underwriter
Apple Brownies That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Country Apple Dumplings- Mom’s Test Kitchen
Apple-Gingersnap Cookies- Tora’s Real Food
Apple and Cranberry Turnovers- Flour on my Face
Applesauce Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze- Hip Foodie Mom
Caramel Frosted Apple Cookies- No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Apple and Pecans Cake- Basic N Delicious
Apple Pull Apart Monkey Bread- Gotta Get Baked
Spiced Apple Ale Small Wallet Big Appetite
Apple Chia Tea- Pippi’s in the Kitchen Again
Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite apple recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat! We’d also love to feature your apple recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!