How do you like them apples?

It finally feels like fall.

Apple of my eye: Savor the Fall flavor with these apple-based recipes.

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

Gloating? A sudden exclamation of surprise for good fortune? “How do you like them apples” is an expression that supposedly originated during the first World War, when the Allies’ anti-tank grenade was colloquially called a “toffee apple” because of its bulb-like appearance on a stick. The phrase was a taunt against the enemy.

Lost for a while, the phrase was picked up by the Beat Generation. And who can forget Matt Damon’s famous line using the quote in the movie Good Will Hunting, when he pounded on the pub window, taunting the rich grad student who didn’t get the girl’s telephone number.

How do I like them apples? I like apples, especially in the recipes below, of course.

APPLE DUMPLINGS

Pastry Wrap Dough:

2¼ cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1/4 cup Crisco, chilled

1/2 cup butter, chilled

1/3 cup ice cold water

In a a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar.

Cut in the Crisco and butter with a pastry cutter, two knives, or by hand.

Add the chilled water and mix. Refrigerate for at least ½ hour.

When ready to assemble and bake, roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into 5-inch by 5-inch squares.

Apples and Sugar/Cinnamon:

6 medium apples

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

Peel and core apples, working one at a time.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

In a cup, mix together the egg and milk.

Center each apple on a crust square, and sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top and in the center hole.

Bring crust corners over top center of the apple, folding and overlapping them to seal.

Repeat with each apple. Use dough scraps to make leaves for top.

Brush dumplings with egg/milk mixture.

Bake in a 11×7-inch (or larger) pan at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Apple Dumpling Sauce

2 cups milk

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla

5 Tbsp. sugar

1½ tsp. cornstarch

3 egg yolks

Combine and scald the milk and cream, in a medium pot.

In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks.

Mix 2–3 Tablespoons of the warm milk/cream mixture into the egg mixture, then return this combination to the remaining milk/cream mixture. (This avoids curdling).

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until it thickens.

Serve hot over apple dumplings. (Can reheat in microwave.)

RED CABBAGE AND APPLES

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. sugar

½ cup red wine vinegar

1 cup water

6 whole cloves

2 onions, chopped

2 unpeeled cooking apples, cored and cut into eighths

1 head red cabbage (remove outer leaves and chop), cored, cut into eighths.

Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt butter in a Dutch oven or heavy pot. Add sugar, vinegar, water and cloves. Add remaining ingredients, gently combining.

Bring to a boil and mix. Cover and simmer for 2 hours or oven bake for 1½ hours. Drain, if necessary, before serving.

PORK CHOPS AND APPLES

4 pork chops, ¾–1 inch thick, fat trimmed

3 baking apples, pared, cored, and sliced

1 onion, chopped

Salt and Pepper

3 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp. flour

12 oz. beer

Paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter well a large, flat casserole dish, at least 2 inches deep.

Layer apples, onions and chops, in that order, in the dish.

Season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter.

Whisk in the flour and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring.

Add the beer in a slow steady stream, stirring constantly until thickened.

Pour this butter/beer mixture over chops to lightly cover them, making sure the liquid reaches the apples and onions.

Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake uncovered for 1½ hours.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the North­east Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

Don’t forget:

Send in your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $100 ShopRite gift card. Mail your recipe to Readers’ Recipes, c/o Northeast Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Or email your recipe to WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com. Please include name, address and telephone number.