Baking with Fresh Nova Scotia Apples

It’s the beginning of peak season for apples here in Nova Scotia, and you’ll find them piled high at farm stands right through to October – although local apples are available pretty much year-round. Here are two ways to make use of your market haul.

CLASSIC BAKED APPLES

6 medium sized apples, washed
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup apple juice

Preheat oven to 375°F . Core 2/3 of the way down each apple. Arrange apples upright in 9×13″ baking dish. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon and evenly fill the core of each apple (about 1 tbsp). Pour the apple juice around the apples.

Bake uncovered for about 45-60 minutes. Baste with juices every 15 minutes. The apples should be cooked only until they are slightly puffed and tender. Check them after 30 minutes, as the cooking time will vary according to type and ripeness of apples used.

Allow the apples to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

From our contributor Elisabeth Bailey:

This is a main dish apple pie—low on sugar and high on protein, you can eat it guilt-free for breakfast or any other time of the day. You may also use pears in this recipe or a combination of apples and pears. If you’re not terrific at rolling out and shaping pie crust – it’s certainly not my strong point! – feel free to press torn pieces together for both the bottom and top crusts. It won’t be quite as pretty but it will taste just as fabulous, I promise. Don’t let fear of a tricky technique keep you from enjoying your kitchen adventures, in this or any other recipe.

If, on the other hand, you’re very clever and crafty with dough, you can cut out shapes from the top crust with a small cookie cutter to make steam vents instead of cutting slits, or you can cut the top crust into strips and weave a lattice. Have fun with it!

APPLE CHEDDAR PIE
Serves 8

2 1/4 cups flour (white, wheat, or a combination)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup cold milk
3 pounds apples, any varietal or a mixture, peeled, cored, and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine flour, cheddar, butter, and milk in a mixing bowl or food processor. Cut together until dough just holds together. Wrap ball of dough in plastic and put in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a mixing bowl combine chopped apples, sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, nutmeg, and salt. Stir until apples are thoroughly coated.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Divide into two parts and roll into two large rounds. Arrange one in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Transfer filling on top of bottom crust, then gently transfer larger trust to the top and seal edges to top of bottom crust. Cut several slits in the top crust to vent steam. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 375°F and bake until crust is browned and filling is bubbling-hot, about another 40 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes, then serve warm or cool.

You’ll also find a dynamite recipe for Apple Zucchini Soup here.

Updated from posts originally published in 2012 and 2016

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