Easier than Apple Pie

Each year the high school FFA (Future Farmers of America) organization sells boxes of fruit as a fundraiser. I was in FFA when I was young, and I always loved the day the fruit arrived in mid-December. We all piled into the cold shop, wearing Carhart coats and thick gloves. The air smelled like apples and oranges, and whatever fruit was left over after sorting went straight into our bellies.

I still buy fruit each year, and that means my counter is covered in apples right now. Eventually, I reach a point at which I know I must eat the rest or surrender the spoils to the chickens. That’s when these two recipes come in handy.

Both recipes call for roasted apples. Here’s the simplest way:

Put some sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. I use about 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon for every six apples. I am often criticized that I don’t own measuring spoons, but I find the palm of my hand works pretty well. Core and cut into quarters your apples and toss in the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Leave the skins on. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Roasted Apples with Honey Yogurt and Mint

Mix Greek yogurt with honey and enough milk to thin it as much as you like. Toast some walnuts in a pan. Drizzle your roasted apples with the honey yogurt and sprinkle with walnuts and torn mint. Grate orange zest on top.

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Roasted Apple Sundae with Rosemary Caramel Sauce

This recipe calls for a rosemary caramel sauce. It’s easier to make than it sounds, especially if you use this cheater recipe. Mix 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of half-and-half, 4 tablespoons of butter, a small sprig of rosemary, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook and whisk gently for 5-7 minutes. Add a tablespoon of vanilla and pull out the rosemary sprig. Cook for another minute for it to thicken. Then pull it off the heat and let it get cool.

Layer vanilla ice cream, roasted apples, and the rosemary caramel sauce. If you have any of those toasted walnuts left, sprinkle them on top.

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