Thursday, October 20, 2016

Apples: Halloween and Autumn Uses



Autumn and apples - a match that is divine! A crisp, organic, locally-grown apple has a flavor that no store bought apple from some other state can compare to. If you can just get some locally grown ones to eat, you will feel rewarded beyond belief. But, apples aren't just for eating at this time of year. Let's see what you can do with a bushel  - 


Caramel apples are hard to eat with their rounded surface and tough peel, so how about allowing your family or your guests to make bite-sized ones the way they want? Containers with candies, nuts, coconut, chocolate sundae sauce, caramel sauce, and peanut butter. Put slices of apple on wooden skewers and let them have at it! 




Get a bag of apples, peel them and carve them into screaming faces. Let them float in the punch bowl. I suggest you scoop a face out of both sides in case the apples flip over in the punch.



Another fun way to do caramel apples is to use a tiny fruit scoop and make small balls on toothpicks. Dip into caramel, roll into toppers like crushed nuts or candies and place on waxed paper to set.



Instead of bobbing for apples, go for atmosphere. Maybe set up a bonfire outside where everyone can cook hot dogs and makes smores, but at the drink table, consider putting a barrel or a metal pale with apples carved out to hold tea candles. 




It doesn't get better than taking a thick apple slice, cutting out a wedge for an open mouth and using almond slivers for teeth! 




Cut tart Granny Smiths in half. Scope out interior, leaving a bit of flesh and pour melted caramel sauce in it. To keep them from wobbly while setting, place the halves atop of a wine glass or glass with small opening and set in the fridge to chill, then slice. These are really good tart and sweet!




Apple pie is a standard, but how about tossing in some cut up caramel candies or red hot candies? 



Apple cider is the expected drink of the Halloween season. There are tons of great recipes available. Sally's Baking Addiction site (LINK) had a great recipe that takes a simmer in the crockpot and makes your home smell like a haven for autumnal freaks! A variety of apples, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and water ... mmmm




Shrunken apple heads are awesome and make for a creepy display on your buffet table. Here's a a great video on how to make them - 






Apple Pie Vodka and spritzers





(LINK - great site!)


For the Homemade Apple Pie Vodka
4-5 Granny Smith apples, sliced
3 cinnamon sticks
Approximately 2 cups Everclear (190 Proof)
1 3/4 cup filtered water
1/4 cup simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar, cooked on the stove until combined fully)

For Apple Pie Spritzer
3 ounces Apple Pie Vodka (1 shot)
1/4 cup Apple Cider or Apple Juice
Club Soda to top

Instructions
For the Homemade Apple Pie Vodka
Fill a 32 ounce mason jar with the sliced apples and cinnamon sticks. Use more or less apple as as needed to fill the jar all the way to the top.
Pour in the Everclear. Use more or less Everclear to fill to the brim.
Seal the jar and shake lightly to make sure that all of the apples are fully submerged and touched by the Everclear.
Refrigerate for a minimum of 48 hours.
When ready to continue, pour the Everclear through a fine mesh strainer to remove the fruit and cinnamon. Return the flavored vodka to the mason jar.
Pour in the simple syrup and filtered water. Stir to fully combine.
Seal tightly and store in the fridge until ready for use; up to 2 or 3 weeks.

For Apple Pie Spritzer
Fill a glass to the top with crushed ice.
Pour in the Apple Pie Vodka, Apple Cider, and then top with Club Soda. 


Sandwich
On a croissant, place chutney, melted brie, and very thin slices of granny smith apple

Salad
On your salad, add granny smith apple chunks, gorgonzola, dried cranberries, and candied walnuts. Use a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.


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