The fall harvest of apples is seemingly endless; when I was speaking to Hue Tran of DJ Market, she told me that she averages 26 different varieties at this time of year and even more by October. This is the time of year to explore all the small-crop varieties that can only be found at local markets.
apple, fennel and sage chicken sausages
Use a tart apple, like a macintosh or cortland. In a pan over medium heat, melt 1 T. butter and 1 T. olive oil. Once the pan is hot add 4 chicken sausages and brown on both sides. Arrange the sausages around the outside of the pan and, in the centre, add 1 large sliced red onion, salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until the onion is translucent. Turn the sausage from time to time. Add 1 small fennel bulb, finely sliced, and continue to sauté and turn the sausages for 15 minutes, or until the sausages are done. Remove them from the pan, turn the heat up to high, add 1 apple, skin-on and sliced, 6 sage leaves, finely sliced, 1 crushed garlic clove, and sauté until the apples have heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve on a crusty roll or with buttered pasta. Serves 4.
cumin-crusted scallops with apple, radicchio slaw
Hands down, this is a granny smith recipe – the tart, watery flesh is perfect. The fact that this apple doesn’t discolour after being sliced makes it perfect for salads. In a bowl, put 1 granny smith, julienned, 1 radicchio, finely sliced and 1 shallot, finely sliced. Add the juice of 1 orange, 2 T. champagne vinegar and ١/٢ t. Sriracha hot sauce. Salt to taste, gently toss and set aside. In a small bowl, put ١/٤ c. cornstarch, 1 t. ground cumin, 1 t. salt and ١/٢ t. smoked paprika. Mix well. Rinse and blot dry 12 sea scallops. Dredge them in the cornstarch mixture. Place a skillet over high heat and allow it to get very hot before adding enough canola oil to cover the bottom. Sear the scallops quickly. To serve, arrange the slaw on four plates and place 3 scallops on top of each. Serves 4.
apple and roast garlic-crusted pork loin
A sweet, fleshy apple like a gala or spartan will work nicely. Cut the top off 2 garlic heads so that all the cloves are exposed. Place on a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap and bake in a 350°F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Salt and pepper a 3 lb. pork loin, place on a baking pan and roast in the oven for 40 minutes. On a chopping board, squeeze out the roasted garlic and, with the side of a knife, work it into a paste. Place the garlic in a bowl with 2 apples, peeled and grated, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 t. salt, 1 egg and ١/٢ c. bread crumbs. Mix well. Remove the roast from the oven, pat the apple mixture evenly over the roast and return it to the oven to bake for another 40 minutes. Let the roast rest for 5 minutes before carving. Serves 4.
apple currant chutney
Use a softer-fleshed apple, like a red delicious or pink lady. In a pan over medium-low heat, put ١/٤ c. canola oil, 4 cardamom pods, 4 cloves, 1 t. coriander seeds and 1 t. chile flakes. Gently fry for about 2 minutes, then add 1 onion, finely diced, sauté for about 2 minutes. Pour in 1 c. apple cider vinegar, 1 c. sugar and 1 T. salt, increase the heat to high and bring to a rolling boil for 2 minutes. Add 6 apples, peeled and diced, and simmer, stirring from time to time, until the apples start to break down, about 5 minutes. Add ١/٢ c. currants, stir to incorporate and remove from heat. Cool and spoon into a container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before using. Makes 6 cups.
This recipe will easily make a large batch for preserving. Spoon the hot chutney into sterilized canning jars and, using new sealer lids, tighten snugly. I use the oven to seal the jars. Place the jars in a shallow pan on the middle rack, in a preheated 270°F. oven. Pour about 2 inches of boiling water in the pan and bake 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack, then ensure that the lids have sealed – this may take up to an hour.
Use a starchy apple, like a spa or bramley. In a buttered 8x12-inch casserole dish, put 6 peeled and sliced apples, 1 c. sugar and the juice of 1 lemon. Mix. Butter 8 slices of white bread. Remove the crusts and cut each slice on the diagonal. Arrange on top of the apples, so the slices slightly overlap. Sprinkle ١/٢ c. sugar and 1 T. cinnamon over top and bake in a 350°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the apples are bubbling. Serve warm with ice cream. Serves 4.
crab apples in a black pepper cinnamon syrup
Crab apples can be a lot of work, but this recipe is the answer – easy and delicious with ham or turkey. Into a pot put 2 c. water, 2 c. sugar, 2 T. black peppercorns and 2 cinnamon sticks. Bring to a rolling boil and allow to boil 5 minutes. Add 24 crab apples and bring back to a boil. Place a lid over the pot, remove it from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slowly. When cooled, place in a glass jar and refrigerate for a couple of days before using. This will be good in your fridge for up to 3 months. Makes 24.