Apples are one of the most cultivated and consumed fruits in the world. They are tasty, crunchy, and have many health benefits. Red delicious and Granny Smith apples are known for their antioxidants. Apples are also full of a fiber called pectin. Pectin is classed as a soluble, fermentable fiber, a combination that gives apples a huge list of health benefits.

Apples are one of the most cultivated and consumed fruits in the world. They are tasty, crunchy, and have many health benefits. Red delicious and Granny Smith apples are known for their antioxidants. Apples are also full of a fiber called pectin. Pectin is classed as a soluble, fermentable fiber, a combination that gives apples a huge list of health benefits.

Eating apples helps reduce tooth decay by lowering levels of bacteria. Researchers state that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. They also state that apples gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s disease. Apples also help to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, and help to lower cholesterol.

Apples aid in correcting diarrhea and constipation and also irritable bowel syndrome. Also red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin which is believed to fortify your immune system, especially when you are stressed out.

So, as the saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This may be a true statement for our health.



Apples and Root Vegetables Oven-Roasted

5 large carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise, then cut crosswise in half

1 pound parsnips, peeled, sliced diagonally

¼ cup Italian salad dressing

1 teaspoon orange zest

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 Gala or Granny Smith green apples, cored and cut into 8 wedges

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl add sliced carrots and parsnips. Add salad dressing, orange juice, and orange zest; toss together to mix well. Drizzle this mixture over vegetables and toss to evenly coat. Spread vegetables onto rimmed baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Add apples and cheese to baking sheet and stir to combine. Bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables and apples are tender.


Warm Apple Compote

A compote is a dessert from medieval Europe made of whole or pieces of fruit in a sugar syrup.

1 ½ tablespoons butter

1 large apple, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoon Chinese Five-spice or ground cinnamon

¼ cup light brown sugar

In a skillet melt butter over medium low heat. Stir in apple pieces, lemon juice, and cinnamon.

Cook stirring occasionally until apples soften about 5-7 minutes. Lower heat to low and stir in sugar. Cook, stirring gently until mixture becomes syrupy, about 2-4 minutes. Makes about 1-cup.

Serve warm as a topping for pancakes, ice cream, or oatmeal.


Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes

Your favorite pancake mix, prepare according to package directions

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 medium apple peeled, cored and grated

In a bowl mix together pancake mix according to package directions, add cinnamon and grated apple. Fry in a skillet, serve warm and topped with warm apple topping.

Warm Apple Pancake or Waffle Topping

Makes about 4-5 cups.

1 cup apple cider or apple juice

¼ cup brown sugar

3 large cooking apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons cider

2 teaspoons cornstarch

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large saucepan bring 1-cup apple cider and brown sugar to a boil over medium high heat. Add apple slices, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring until the apples are tender, about 10-12 minutes.

In a small bowl stir together 2-tablespoons cider and 2-teaspoons cornstarch. Stir into the apples and cook, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Serve warm and refrigerate any leftovers.


Orange Glazed Apple-Stuffed Pork Chops

4 thick-cut-bone-in pork loin chops, about 5-ounces each

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 McIntosh, Gala or Granny Smith green apple, cored and coarsely chopped

½ cup sweet onion, chopped

½ cup Sweet Orange Marmalade plus 2-tablespoons, divided

2 teaspoons lemon Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a shallow roasting pan with cooking spray.

In a skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add apple and onion; cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add 2-tablespoons orange marmalade and 2 teaspoons lemon pepper, and stir to coat. Remove from heat.

Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket into each pork chop by slicing crosswise into the side edge of the chops and almost through to the other side (the bone side).

Spoon apple mixture into pocket and transfer stuffed chops to prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine 1-cup orange marmalade and 1-teaspoon lemon pepper. Mix well, spoon mixture over pork chops.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, until pork is tender and cooked through (still slightly pink in the center is perfect; or use a meat thermometer and remove pork from oven when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees).


Apple Pie Crescent Rolls

1 Granny Smith green apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 8- ½-inch slices

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 8-ounce can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice or ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Parchment paper line a cookie sheet. Set aside.

In a small bowl, toss together apple slices in melted butter; set aside. Separate crescent roll dough into 8-triangles.

In another small bowl, stir together brown sugar and cinnamon. Divide mixture evenly among the triangles. Top each triangle with an apple slice. Starting at the long side of each triangle, wrap dough around apple. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Brush rolls with remaining butter.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crescent rolls are a deep golden brown and apples are softened. Cool 5-8 minutes before serving.


Easy Puff Pastry Apple Tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 large egg, beaten

3 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ cup peach or apricot preserves, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface With a rolling pin, roll into an 11 x 10-inch rectangle. Cut a ½-inch strip from each side.

Place puff pastry rectangle on a baking sheet. Lightly brush top edges with beaten egg. Place strips on edges to form a tart; trim to fit. Pierce bottom of puff pastry all over with a fork.

Arrange apple slices overlapping in a single layer on tart bottom. Lightly brush pastry edge with beaten egg. Sprinkle sugar evenly over pastry and apples.

In a 375 oven bake for 25 to 30 minutes until pastry is puffed and golden, and apples are tender. Remove to a serving platter. Brush apples with melted preserves. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Apple Brown Sugar Pie with Raisins

This is a special apple pie for a special occasion and guests. Pre-baking the apples helps to reduce the liquid in the pie and prevents gaping sunken holes in the pie. Raisins may be omitted, if desired. Brushing piecrust with egg white helps to prevent the crust from getting soggy.

2 prepared refrigerated 9-inch piecrusts

1 egg white, slightly beaten with 2- teaspoons water

4 pounds Granny Smith green apples (or half McIntosh and half Granny Smith) about 3 1/2 to 4 cups, peeled, cored, and sliced apples

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice or ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 stick butter, cut into pieces, room temperature

1 cup dark raisins (Optional)

In a cup beat egg white with water and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place one 9-inch piecrust in a 9-inch pie plate. Brush bottom of piecrust with ½ the beaten egg white.

In a large bowl toss together sliced apples, granulated sugar, and 3-tablespoons flour. Divide between two rimmed baking sheets; place apple slices on baking sheets. Bake in a 350 oven rotating baking sheets once, until apples are just tender, 20-25 minutes.

Let cool; then transfer apples and accumulated juices to a large bowl. Add butter, brown sugar, Chinese Five-Spice, salt, raisins, and 1- tablespoon flour; toss to combine. Chill for at least 1-hour.

Pour apple mixture into prepared piecrust; spread out evenly. Top with second piecrust, fluting edges to seal. Cut 8-slits in top to vent. Brush top with last half of egg white, and sprinkle with 2- tablespoons granulated sugar.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet; bake for 30 minutes (crust should be slightly golden). Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake until juices are bubbling, apples are tender, and crust is a deep golden brown, about 45-55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool at least 4- hours before slicing. Serve with ice cream, if desired.


Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing, and second place for her Sweet Blueberry Pepper Jelly in 2015; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.