We’ve all heard this a thousand times, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but it’s true, There are numerous health benefits of including them in your daily diet. In fact, the soluble fiber found in apples can reduce cholesterol and prevent gallstones as well as hemorrhoids.
Apples do grow year-round, yet they are in peak season during fall and early winter. States that get to enjoy the northern climate, like New York, get to especially enjoy this apple picking season as they get to visit first-hand orchard-filled fruit farms
For those of us who live in a northern climate, especially a place like New York with its orchard-filled fruit farms, apples and autumn are a happy pairing.
Apples are the perfect combination of crisp and sweet-tart flavor, which is why we created 3 healthy recipes that include them.
Sheet-Pan Chicken With Apple, Fennel and Onion
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 ½ to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, patted dry
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium fennel bulb, tough outer leaves removed, cored and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 tart apple, such as Mutsu (Crispin) or Granny Smith, halved, cored and cut into 8 wedges
4 sprigs rosemary
Flaky salt, for serving
How to make Sheet-Pan Chicken With Apple, Fennel and Onion
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pound into a coarse powder with a mortar and pestle or, alternatively, roughly chop. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the fennel seeds, and season well with salt and pepper.
- Place the onion, fennel and apple slices on the sheet pan. Toss with the remaining olive oil and season well with salt. Spread in an even layer. Add the chicken skin side up on top of the vegetables and lay the rosemary (distributing evenly) on top of the chicken. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the onions, fennel, and apples are softened and have begun to caramelize at the edge of the pan.
- Turn the oven to broil and move the oven rack to sit right below it. Remove and discard the rosemary sprigs, and broil the chicken for 1 to 2 minutes until the skin of the chicken is crispy and golden. Season with flaky salt.
Mixed Apples Pie
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 ⅓ cups/300 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup/225 grams cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), preferably high-fat European-style, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
⅓ cup/40 grams spiced cookie crumbs, crushed from crunchy varieties such as Biscoff or gingersnaps
⅔ cup/130 grams granulated sugar
⅓ cup/45 grams cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 ½ pounds/1.5 kilograms apples (about 8), a mix of tart, sweet, crunchy and soft varieties such as Granny Smith, Gala, Opal and Jazz, peeled and cored
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
How to make Mixed Apples Pie
- Make the crust: Whisk sugar and 1/3 cup/80 milliliters water in a small bowl until sugar dissolves, then place in the freezer. In a large bowl, whisk flour and salt, then toss the butter cubes until evenly coated. Using your fingertips, quickly flatten and rub the butter into the flour, while tossing the smushed pieces to coat until the mixture is mostly thick, powdery flakes and pebbles.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the chilled water all at once. Using your fingers, rake the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until mixed. Continue stirring with your fingers, occasionally squeezing the blend gently, until large, shaggy clumps form.
- Press the clumps together and into the remaining dry bits to gather into a single mass. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
- On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out a dough disk into a 12-inch round. Fit into a standard 9-inch pie plate, gently tucking and pressing the dough against the bottom and sides without stretching it. Sprinkle the cookie crumbs in an even layer across the bottom and gently press into the dough. Transfer to the refrigerator. Roll out the other disk into a 12-inch round, slide onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
- Make the filling: Place a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest oven rack and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, cardamom and salt in a large bowl. Cut each apple into 8 wedges, then cut each piece into 1/4-inch-thick slices crosswise. Add to the bowl and pour the lime juice over, then toss until evenly coated.
- Scrape half the apples into the chilled bottom crust and press down firmly to eliminate any gaps. Top with the remaining apples, pressing firmly into a mound. Scatter the chilled butter bits evenly on top.
- Flip the other dough round over the apples to cover, and peel off the parchment. Using scissors, trim the edges together 1/2 inch past the plate’s rim. Fold and tuck the edges under so that they’re flush with the rim and crimp, decoratively, if you want to. With a sharp paring knife, cut 8 (3-inch-long) slits in the center of the top dough, spacing evenly. Think of these slits as a guide for cutting the baked pie into wedges.
- Place the pie on the heated baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbling, 55 to 60 minutes longer. A thin paring knife should slide through the apples easily. Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Apple Cider Pork Chops
Here’s what you’ll need:
4 center-cut pork chops
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2cups apple cider
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1tablespoon whole-grain mustard
How to make Apple Cider Pork Chops:
- Season the 4 pork chops with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning on both sides and let them rest for about 30 minutes.
- While the pork chops are absorbing the seasoning and salt. Slice each apple into 12 wedges. Then melt butter in the preheated pan and add the apple wedges to the pan in one layer. Brown gently on each side for 2 minutes per side.
- Remove cooked apples from the pan and add olive oil and more butter.
- Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon butter to pan and swirl to melt. Place pork chops in pan and brown for about 4 minutes per side. Adjust heat if necessary to keep pork from cooking too quickly. Remove chops and keep warm on a platter in a low oven.
- Turn the heat to low, add butter, then add the chopped onion, saute until tender for about 5-7 minutes, then add the minced garlic and thyme leaves and cook for a minute longer. Then deglaze the pan with wine. Add the flour and stir to incorporate the flour into the fat and liquid to create a paste.
- Add apple cider to pan, raise heat to high and cook down a bit. Then add chicken stock and heavy cream, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Return the pork chops to the pan and add the fried apples. Reheat on low heat.
Want more healthy recipes? Check out my Instagram for fun, easy cooking ideas you can make at home.
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