BY DANA JACOBI
FOR THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR CANCER RESEARCH
the most popular fruit in America (that honor goes to the humble
banana), but theyre a close second. And right now, while
this years apple crop is abundant at farm stands and supermarkets,
is the best time to discover what you can do with them.
I often use
apples in savory dishes like salads, and not just the well-known
Waldorf. Theyre great when finely chopped and mixed into
tuna salad along with celery and red onion, or thinly sliced
and arranged on top of a spinach salad. They also make a fine
addition to potato salad. I make a particularly colorful one
combining purple potatoes, diced apple and chopped scallions
with a coarse mustard seed dressing. For tuna salad, I find a
crunchy Fuji works best; I prefer the yellow-skinned Crispin,
also called Mutsu, for the spinach and potato salads, because
it boasts a softer, less sweet flesh thats more harmonious
in those dishes.
There are also
the cooking apples, of course, which are delicious
when sautéed because their natural sugar caramelizes.
They go so well with onions that I sometimes sauté a big
skillet of sliced onions and apples in canola oil, season it
with thyme or rosemary, and store it in the refrigerator. Then,
over the next several days Ill use this aromatic and naturally
sweet combination in several ways. One day, Ill sauté
boneless pork chops, set them aside, and warm up some of the
apple-onion combo in the same pan, adding a splash of apple cider.
Then next day, I might combine them with beaten eggs to make
a fine frittata, topped with shredded Fontina cheese. Next day,
Ill chop up what is left, combine it with mashed potatoes,
then form the chunky mixture into patties and brown them until
crisp on both sides in a lightly oiled frying pan. These go fabulously
with roast chicken or a pan-cooked turkey burger.
in desserts is even easier. In this crumble, I combine two or
three varieties often juicy, sweet Cortlands with firmer
Granny Smiths and a Johnagold, with lots of spice.
- Makes 4 servings.
- 4 large, sweet
cooking apples (about 2 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch
- 6 Tbsp. lightly
packed brown sugar, divided
- 2 Tbsp. finely
chopped candied ginger (see note)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup whole
wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup unbleached
- 1 tsp. ground
- 1/4 tsp. ground
- Pinch of salt
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted
butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- Low-fat vanilla
ice cream, if desired
oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking
Place the apples
in the baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, all of the
ginger and all of the vanilla. Using two forks or your hands,
toss until the sugar dissolves and coats the apples.
In a large
bowl, combine the flours, remaining sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and
salt. Add the butter and blend into the dry ingredients, using
a fork or your fingertips, until the mixture is fluffy and resembles
sand. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples.
Bake the crumble
45 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling, the apples tender
and the topping is browned. Set aside 20 minutes to cool slightly.
Divide the crumble among 4 dessert bowls. Serve (topped with
low-fat ice cream, if desired.)
Note: For the ginger, use
the candied ginger not coated with sugar crystals, or rinse the
ginger to remove the excess sugar and pat dry with a paper towel
(without ice cream): 230 calories, 6 g. total fat (4 g. saturated
fat), 43 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. protein, 3 g. dietary fiber, 55