Apples are one of my absolute favourite fall fruits. Crispy, crunchy, yummy goodness. As long as it isn’t one of those red delicious apples, I’m all over it. With autumn being in full swing in Portland, we thought this would be the perfect week to dedicate a dinner to this versatile fruit. We had an apple and pear salad, pork chops topped with sautéed apples and shallots, and apple spice cupcakes with salted caramel frosting.
Yeah, you read that right. Salted caramel frosting. I had extra frosting left over after I had frosted the cupcakes so I sliced up some apples and dipped in it. No shame. And the apple slices make it healthy, right?! 🙂
We continued our apple-themed weekend last night with a trip to a local cider bar. A few of us did kind of break the apple theme by ordering cranberry or peach ginger cider, but it totally still counts. We stayed until they kicked us out for closing up the place and we had a great time. Lots of laughs, fun conversations and really good cider.
Try out the recipes and let us know what you think!
Apple and Pear Salad:
- 1 bag lettuce, any kind
- 2 apples, cut into cubes
- 2 pears, cut into cubes
- 4 tbsp. goat’s cheese
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- Cranberry dressing
- Combine the lettuce, apples, pears, goat’s cheese and almonds in a bowl. Drizzle over some dressing and toss to combine.
Pork Chops with Apples and Shallots:
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 pound medium shallots, halved or quartered lengthwise
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored, cut into eigths
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 pork chops
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper
- Heat broiler; set rack 4 inches from heat. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high. Add shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Cover pan; reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking until shallots are soft, about 5 minutes more.
- Add apples and wine; cover, and cook until apples are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated and apples are tender, 2 to 4 minutes more. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
- While apples are cooking, season pork chops generously with salt and pepper; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. To serve, spoon warm apple mixture over chops.
Apple Spice Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting:
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar (you can use dark brown, if you want to)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt (I omitted this because I thought the batter was salty enough)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 small apples, chopped into fine pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Line muffin pan with baking cups. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, sugars, milk, and vanilla until completely smooth. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slowly add the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Slowly mix in the apples.
- Fill each baking cup about 2/3 full and bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.
- Make the frosting: While the cupcakes are cooling, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted, add brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add salt. Allow to bubble for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency. Frost cooled cupcakes and adorn with caramel sauce and sprinkles. Cupcakes stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for 5 days.