A trip to Bennett’s Orchard in Ottawa Lake, Mich. was the inspiration for this issue’s apple recipes. Located at 5647 Consear Rd., just a few miles across the state line, the orchard is a fun day-trip idea for families, couples or friends wishing to get outdoors and enjoy the crisp fall air, not to mention score some freshly picked apples for baking sweet autumn treats.
At the orchard, visitors will find a farm market with a variety of apples, produce, mums, and pumpkins. The orchard’s country store features farm fresh eggs, honey, maple syrup, popcorn, baked goods, jams and jellies, and donuts are offered on weekends. An on-site tasting room, Broken Barrel Cider Co., offers freshly pressed apple cider and several unique hard ciders. Try a flight of three while munching on a delicious donut!
Bennett’s Orchard is open through December 22; however, don’t let the season slip by without picking up some of your favorite apples. Happy baking!
I’ve made a few variations of galettes this year including a springtime cherry balsamic version and a summery tomato basil version. It’s only fitting that I created one for fall. In this Salted Caramel Apple Galette, layers of sweetly seasoned, sliced apples are arranged in a rosette pattern then drizzled with salted caramel sauce and topped with chopped walnuts.
Galettes, or rustic pies, are so easy to assemble, especially when using a store-bought refrigerated crust. However, if you have the extra time, feel free to make your own. Don’t forget a whopping scoop of vanilla ice cream on top for the big finish.
Recipe makes 6 servings.
1 refrigerated pie crust, room temperature
2-3 large apples, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch slices, about 4-5 cups.
(I chose Ruby Jon from Bennett’s)
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice to prevent apples from browning
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 to 3 tablespoons of salted caramel sauce
¼ cup chopped walnuts, optional
Vanilla ice cream
Heat oven to 375 F. On a parchment lined baking sheet, unroll pie crust. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine apple slices with brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Over the pie crust, arrange apple slices in a circular pattern, leaving a 2-inch border of crust. Fold the crust up and over the outer part of the filling, leaving the center of the pie open. Press gently to seal the edges. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of salted caramel sauce over the filling, not the crust.
Brush the crust edges with egg. Sprinkle walnuts over the pie and crust, if desired.
Bake 35-38 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.
Tip: after baking 15 minutes, cover the edges of the crust with strips of aluminum foil to prevent over browning.
Allow pie to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before slicing. Drizzle with more salted caramel sauce and finish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
(Recipe adapted from sallysbakingaddiction.com)
Cream Cheese Bars
These rich and creamy dessert bars feature a crisp, buttery crust topped with a layer of sweetened cream cheese embedded with soft apples.
Recipe makes 24 bars.
1 package yellow cake mix
½ cup pecans, chopped
½ cup butter, melted
3 large eggs, divided
8-ounce package cream cheese
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup chopped apples, such as Braeburn
Heat oven to 350 F. Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick spray with flour.
In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, pecans, melted butter and 1 egg, stirring well. Press into bottom of prepared pan.
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and remaining 2 eggs; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add confectioners sugar, beating until smooth. Add apples, stirring to combine.
Spoon over cake mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300 F. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes longer, or until set in the center.
Cool completely. Cut into 24 squares.
(Recipe adapted from Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate Fall 2012)