AS AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE
Autumn is prime apple time. It seems fitting, then, that John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) was born in the fall on September 26th, 1774. He was a humble Christian nurseryman from Massachusetts. Although poor for most of his life, Johnny got to know thousands of folks. He read the Bible to many of them because he could read and they could not. As Johnny headed west across the frontier as a missionary planting spiritual seeds, he also planted many apple seeds. The seeds and saplings that he gave away to local Indians and settlers helped to build the orchards of the Midwest. Johnny continued planting apple trees till he was well into his 80's. By the time he went home to be with the Lord, he had planted over 100,000 acres of trees. Johnny always cut his apples in half across the middle of the apple because he told the people, "There's a little bit of heaven in every bite." If you cut your apple like Johnny did, you will see the star in the middle of the apple. Don't forget to celebrate Johnny's birthday and eat an apple cut the way Johnny did. If you like apples, you will enjoy the following apple recipes, activities, books and websites.
1 cup diced Granny Smith apple
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and allow flavors to blend about 1/2 hour. Serve with chicken, pork, beef or low fat tortilla chips. Serves 4.
Apple Bread Pudding
10 cups bread, cubed
Peel and cube apples. Boil in the apple juice until soft. (or microwave for 8 minutes until done). Cut bread into ½ inch cubes & set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, apples, apple sauce, sugar and spices, vanilla. Add the bread cubes and mix well. Stir in the raisins. Spray 14, one-cup individual soufflé cups or ramekins with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon the pudding mixture evenly into the ramekins. Place the ramekins in a large flat baking pan and pour hot water around the cups. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until set.
Candy Apple Pie
1 3/4 cups unsweetened apple juice
Peel and core the apples. Slice thinly. Combine 1 1/2 cups apple juice, candies, food coloring, vanilla, and apples in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer until apples are tender, stirring frequently. Combine 1/4 cup apple juice and corn starch; stir into apple mixture and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool. Spread apple mixture into pie shell, and chill for several hours. Before serving, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. (This pie tastes just like a candy apple, but it's a lot easier to make and not as messy, plus the wonderful aroma permeates the whole house.)
Apple Oven Pancake
2 tablespoons stick margarine or butter
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a 9-inch pie plate in oven. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over butter. Put apple slices on cinnamon/sugar mixture. Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl, using wire whisk or hand beater. Beat in other ingredients just until mixed (do not overbeat). Pour batter over apple slices. Bake 30-35 minutes or until puffy and deep golden brown. Loosen edge of pancake and turn upside down onto heatproof serving plate. 2-4 servings.
Chewy Apple Brownies
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Combine flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; beat into butter mixture. Mix just until flour is moistened. Fold in apples and nuts. Spread into greased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
To make a clove apple you will need: 1 large red apple, ½ cup whole cloves, and a toothpick (optional). Press the sharp point of each clove into the apple. Push it in only until the head of the clove shows. You may need a toothpick to help you get started. Continue until the whole apple is covered with cloves, or you can make some artistic designs on the apple with the cloves. Display your apple on a dish or in a bowl out of direct sunlight.
BOB FOR APPLES
Fill individual buckets or one large bucket with water. Add apples and try to "catch" them with your teeth.
ANNIE ATE APPLES, by Lynette Ruschak. (Every one of Annie's fifty-one young friends is up to something delightfully daffy in this amusingly alliterative trip through the alphabet, from Andrew adoring ants to Zeke zapping zebras.)
APPLES AND PUMPKINS, by Anne F. Rockwell. (A little girl goes with her parents to a farm where they pick apples and choose "the best pumpkin of them all.")
THE APPLE PIE TREE, by Zoe Hall. (Two young sisters describe the changes that occur in their backyard apple tree throughout the seasons of a year.)
AUTUMN IS FOR APPLES, by Michelle Knudsen. (Sparse rhyming text details a child's impressions of an apple-picking trip, from the morning flapjacks to the last juicy bite of apple.)
HOW DO APPLES GROW? by Betsy Maestro. (From winter's snow-covered buds through pollination and growth to ripening and harvest.)
JOHNNY APPLESEED, by Steven Kellogg. (This picture book tells the story of a great American frontier hero with colorful, detailed illustrations.)
RUSS AND THE APPLE TREE SURPRISE, by Janet Elizabeth Rickert. (Russ longs for a swing set in his backyard instead of an apple tree. Then Russ and his Dad pick apples, and Russ bakes a pie with his mother and grandmother. Russ soon discovers the apple tree has a surprise for him.)
THE SEASONS OF ARNOLD'S APPLE TREE, by Gail Gibbons. (Arnold enjoys his apple tree: its buds and blossoms in the spring, its sheltering boughs in summer, the tasty apples in the fall, and the bare branches that hold strings of popcorn and berries for the birds in the winter.)
TEN APPLES UP ON TOP, by Dr. Seuss aka Theo. Le Sieg. (A story in rhyme about animals who carry ten apples on their heads and what happens when they all fall down.)
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