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Falling temperatures. Falling leaves. Fall flavors!

Whereas Summer encourages lighter eating, Fall is a season of warm, rich, luscious flavors. And the colder weather makes experimenting in the kitchen even more enticing. While you’re at it, your home will be filled with the intoxicating aromas of the season.

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away…but they didn’t say how that apple should be eaten. The apple is one of our favorite Fall foods. Whether you enjoy it simply on its own, dipped in caramel, cooked into sauce, added to savory dishes or baked into pies, crumbles, strudels, crisps, cakes, muffins, etc, the mighty apple figures prominently on the autumn harvest table. We’ll show you three of our favorite ways to get your apple a day.


Breakfast Apple Crisp

What’s better than weekend brunch? Weekend brunch at home in the pjs, surrounded by the sweet scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and apples baking!

What you need:

8 medium baking apples, like Macintosh or Rome

1 c. orange juice

1 c. rolled oats

½ c. packed brown sugar

1/3 c. slivered almonds, toasted

1 TBS all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

1/3 c. butter, melted

1/3 c. honey

1 6-to-7-oz container Greek yogurt

Remove a 1/2-inch slice from tops of the apples. With a melon baller, remove core, stopping about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the apple. Arrange the prepared apples in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish (3-quart rectangular) and brush with 1 tablespoon of the orange juice. (If necessary, remove a thin slice from the bottoms of the apples so they sit flat in the baking dish; brush with some orange juice.)

In a medium bowl combine oats, brown sugar, almonds, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in butter until combined. Fill and top apples with oat mixture. (At this point, apples can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours.)

When ready to bake, pour remaining orange juice around the apples and cover with foil. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 50 minutes. Remove foil; bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until tender. Cool about 30 minutes. Transfer to a platter or plates and drizzle with honey. Serve with yogurt.

Serves 8.

Apple, Potato and Onion Gratin

If gratins bring to mind heavy, gooey, fatty affairs, this recipe will surely change your mind. This just might become your new favorite fall side dish!

What you need:

12 TBS butter, divided

2 lbs onions, sliced

2 TBS chopped fresh thyme

4 tsp sea salt, divided

2/3 c. water

2/3 c. dry white wine

4 tsp sugar

2 ½ lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds

2 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, halved and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, thyme, and 2 teaspoons salt; sauté until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; sauté until onions are tender and begin to color, about 8 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Add remaining 6 tablespoons butter, 2/3 cup water, wine, and sugar to skillet; stir and swirl skillet to combine. Bring to boil. Cool onion mixture to lukewarm.

Combine potatoes, apples, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and onion mixture in large bowl; toss gently to blend. Transfer to prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Cover dish with parchment paper, then cover with foil, shiny side down. Bake gratin until potatoes are tender, about 55 minutes. Uncover and bake until top browns and juices bubble thickly, about 20 minutes longer.

NOTE: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature. Re-warm, loosely covered with foil, in 300°F oven for 20 minutes. Let gratin stand 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 8.

Apple Spice Drop Cookies

No time to bake a pie? These cookies should hit the spot in about half the time.

What you need:

½ c. unsalted butter

2/3 c. granulated sugar

2/3 c. packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1 egg

2 TBS milk

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. finely chopped apple

1 c. chopped walnuts

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves; beat until combined. Beat in egg and milk. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, the apple, and the nuts with a wooden spoon. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake in a 375°F oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. Store cookies in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Makes about 40 cookies.