NORTHWOODS COOKS: Apple extravaganza

Celebrate September apple crop with delicious desserts!

Apple crumb cake is just one of the delicious desserts that can be made in autumn. For variety, try swirling the cake with caramel or spreading caramel under the crumb topping. Adobe Stock.
Aleksa Torri/torriphoto -

Apple season is underway and there are many ways to make use of the wide variety of fruit available at local grocery stores and markets.

The website contains a “pick of the month” apple chart that shows which variety of apples are best for baking and which are best for eating. It also highlights which apples are in season each month. These desserts can be made using a variety of apples.

This recipe comes from the free magazine “My Food and Family.”

Apple Crumb Cake


1-1/2 cups chopped Granny Smith apples (about 2 medium apples)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

2-1/4 cups flour, divided

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1-1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened and divided

2 eggs


2/3 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss ables with 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine 1-1/4 cups flour, baking powder and baking soda. Beat 3/4 cup each butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla and mix well. Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition. Stir in apple mixture. Spoon into greased and floured 9-inch round pan. Melt remaining butter and add to the combined remaining sugars, cinnamon and flour in medium bowl. Mix well. Stir in nuts and sprinkle over batter. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely.

This apple crisp is a modified version of Julia Child’s recipe.

Caramel Apple Crisp


Mix together:

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

3 tablespoons cold butter or margarine, chopped into small pieces

Put half of the crumb mixture on bottom of greased casserole dish. Add 2 cups sliced tart apples and sprinkle with a mixture of 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Cover with the other half of the crumb mixture. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 40 minutes. When done, the topping should be golden brown and apples should be tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm topped with ice cream or whipped cream and drizzled with caramel ice cream topping.

Reporter Robin Fish said this is one of his favorite apple recipes.

Apple Upside-Down Gingerbread

2 large apples, cored, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup butter or margarine for pan plus 1/2 cup melted butter with apple mixture

2/3 cup packed brown sugar, divided

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup white sugar

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup brewed black tea

Pour 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine into 9-inch square baking pan. Arrange apple slices over butter. Sprinkle apple slices with 1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar, and set aside. Combine 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine, egg, molasses, white sugar; and 1/3 cup packed brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and nutmeg.

Brew 3/4 cup of hot tea. Slowly mix flour mixture into sugar mixture, alternately with tea. Pour flour-sugar-tea mixture over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool 3-5 minutes, then loosen sides and invert cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to or by mail to the Park Rapids Enterprise, 203 Henrietta Ave. North, Park Rapids, MN 56470 and they may appear in a future issue.

Related Topics: FOODRECIPES
Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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