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Apples are a versatile fruit that taste delicious whether baked, fried or served raw. Since apples are naturally sweet, apple desserts can be made without adding as much sugar as some other desserts. There are many different types of apple desserts that can be served after a meal, including pies, cakes, baked apples and low-fat apple desserts. While these dishes are often available frozen or in restaurants, they can be an excellent option for homemade desserts.
When baking with apples, it is common to make pies, crisps and cobblers as a dessert option. A typical apple pie consists of sliced apples mixed with several ingredients and spices baked into a thin crust. It can be served with vanilla ice cream after dinner. Apple crisp or crumble uses similar ingredients to apple pie, but contains a top layer of rolled oats and flour instead of a crust. The result is a messier, juicier apple dessert that many find just as tasty.
Apples desserts can also come in the form of apple cake. To make an apple cake, a cook will combine sliced apples with typical cake ingredients such as flour, eggs, sugar and oil. Nuts, honey and other spices can also be added for texture and taste. Apple cakes are baked in the oven and served hot or cold. It is typical to serve apple cake covered in icing or with whipped cream on top.
Cooks can make simple apple desserts by using just apples and a few other ingredients. The easiest way to make baked apples is to place sugar, butter and cinnamon inside a whole cored apple, and to microwave on a high setting for a few minutes. For crispier baked apple desserts, it is common to place these same ingredients in the oven for as long as an hour. Maple syrup, walnuts or cherries can also be added for flavor. Baked apples can be served hot with ice cream on the side.
There are many healthier options for apple desserts, as well. A fruit salad is a low-fat dessert that can feature apples as its main ingredient, with plain yogurt as an option for a healthy yet creamy texture. Apples served with peanut butter or yogurt can be another healthy apple dessert that is appropriate for children. Some apple desserts, such as cakes and muffins, can be made healthier by substituting yogurt for butter or oil. Apple desserts can also be made with no sugar at all, with apples and a small amount of maple syrup providing the sweet taste.
My mom makes apple dumplings, and they are amazing. She cooks the apples down like apple sauce, and then makes a shortcrust pastry, cuts it into circles, puts them on a cookie sheet and puts a spoonful of apples on each circle. She draws the edges up like a purse, dots them with butter and bakes them until the pastry is done.
Then, there's the sauce. It's a cooked milk, sugar, flour and spice mixture that's good on nearly everything. You can either put the dumplings in a big bowl and pour the sauce over, or serve individual dumplings with sauce. The recipe is well over 100 years old, and it's a good one.
The easiest apple dessert ever has to be an apple crisp. You just peel, core and slice enough crisp apples (don't use mushy varieties like red delicious) to fill a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Add about 1/3 cup of sugar, a tablespoon of lemon juice, maybe two teaspoons of cornstarch, a pinch of salt and apple pie spice, to taste. I like a lot of cinnamon, but that's just me. Mix it all together and put it in the iron skillet. Cook apples for about 15 minutes on medium heat, or until they're pretty tender.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350. In a food processor, mix rolled oats, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, about
1/3 cup of flour and whiz it all together. Add 1/2 stick of butter, cut into small pieces and pulse until it all comes together. When it does, add the topping to the warm apples, and put everything into the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until bubbling and golden.
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