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What's Cookin: Cakes, pies, dips and more - apples rise to every occasion

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If you've followed my column in the past, you'll know that I love fresh apples so much that I can never limit myself to just one week's worth of recipes. I'm not going to waste space chatting about how good things made with apples are. You already know that, so we'll use the space for an extra recipe. Enjoy!

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Buttery Cinnamon Skillet Apples

3 T. butter

3/4 to 1 c. sugar (depending on the sweetness of your apples)

2 T. cornstarch

1 1/2 c. water

1/4 to 1/2 t. cinnamon

6 large cooking apples, unpeeled, cored and quartered

Melt butter in a large skillet. Mix sugar and cornstarch together and add to melted margarine. Add water and stir well. Add apples and cinnamon. Cover. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are fork tender and sauce is thickened (12 to 15 minutes). Delicious served as an accompaniment to pork, or served as a dessert, for example, served warm over vanilla ice cream or a slice of pound cake.

Southern Apple Pie

1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell

3/4 c. sugar

2 T. flour

2 c. peeled, finely chopped apples

1 c. dairy sour cream

1 beaten egg

1/2 t. vanilla

Topping:

1/2 c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1/4 c. butter

6 T. flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together sugar, flour and apples. Set aside. Combine sour cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Add to apple mixture. Put in unbaked pie shell and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Topping: Mix sugar, cinnamon, butter and flour together. Sprinkle over baked pie. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes.

Caramel Apple Dip

1 (8-oz.) pkg. whipped cream cheese

1/2 c. light brown sugar

1/2 t. vanilla

2 heaping teaspoons caramel ice cream topping

Mix together and serve with apple wedges for dipping.

Pannekooken

2 eggs

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. flour

1 c. chopped apples

2 T. butter

Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix eggs, milk and flour together. Add chopped apples. Melt butter in bottom of glass pie dish. Pour in batter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Top with maple syrup or a scoop of ice cream.

French Apple Pie

1 (9-inch) pie shell, unbaked

8 medium Granny Smith or tart-variety apples

1/4 c. flour

1 c. sugar

1/3 c. butter

1/4 t. nutmeg

1/2 t. allspice

1/4 t. cinnamon

Whipped cream, for serving

Slice half of the apples into the pie shell. Combine the flour, sugar, butter and spices to create a crumb topping. Sprinkle half the topping over the apples. Top this with the remaining apples and then sprinkle with the remaining crumbs. Place a foil cover over the pie and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the foil cover and bake an additional 30 minutes. Cool and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Spirited Baked Apples

4 Granny Smith apples

1/2 c. brown sugar, packed and divided

1/4 c. butter, plus 2 T.

1 t. finely chopped nuts (optional)

1/2 to 1 t. currants (optional)

2 t. cinnamon

1 t. allspice

1/4 c. water

1/4 c. rum or brandy

Heavy or whipped cream

Wash and core apples. Cut a horizontal strip around each apple to prevent bursting. Place apples in a glass baking dish that gives just enough room around them to be able to baste. Fill each apple core with 1 T. brown sugar and 1 T. butter. Add optional nuts and currants. Top with 1/2 t. cinnamon and 1/4 t. allspice. In the baking dish, pour in water and rum or brandy. Sprinkle in the other 1/4 c. brown sugar and dot with 2 T. butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees. Baste every 20 minutes for 1 hour or until tender. (If necessary, add equal amounts of water and rum or brandy to the pan.) Remove and cool apples to room temperature. Serve in a bowl with some of the syrup from the pan, with heavy cream or whipped cream to pass. Makes 4 servings.

Fresh Apple Cake

with Caramel Glaze

1 c. vegetable oil

2 c. sugar

2 eggs

2 t. vanilla extract

3 c. flour

1/2 t. salt

1 t. baking soda

3 c. fresh peeled apples, chopped

Combine oil and sugar. Add well-beaten eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt and soda. Add to first mixture. Stir in apples. Pour into a greased and floured tube or loaf pan and bake at 300 degrees about 45 to 50 minutes. Pour caramel glaze (recipe follows) over cooled cake.

Caramel Glaze

1/2 c. butter or margarine

1 c. light brown sugar

1/4 c. cream or evaporated milk

1 t. vanilla extract

Place butter and sugar in top of double boiler to melt. Blend well; add cream and bring to a full boil. Cool and add vanilla. Pour caramel glaze over cooled cake.

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