Fall Recipes Preview: Apples, Almonds and Pie!

Get a head start for the Fall with these yummy baked apples!

New York City got a taste of fall this week, with temperatures dropping to the low seventies and gusty winds kicking up. Since Mother Nature dropped a little fall preview on us New Yorkers, Signature9 decided to give a fall preview as well with our favorite early autumn recipes, compiled from around the net. We’ve got crispy nuts, spicy apples and – of course – pie! Enjoy!

Jamie’s Cranberry Spinach Salad

Toasted almonds are the essential ingredient here for bringing this salad from summer to fall. It’s different and perfect for a last-minute dinner. Serves 8.

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered

1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

1 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons minced onion

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving. {AllRecipes}

Baked Apples

Fall is prime apple season, and thousands of recipes that spotlight the delicious fruit can be found. Below is an easy one to prepare beforehand if you’re having guests. Add chopped walnuts for extra fall flavor.

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup sugar

6 same-size Granny Smith apples

2 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 teaspoon-size pieces

1 cup apple juice

6 sprigs fresh mint

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Core apples, making sure not to puncture the bottom of the apples so that the juices will remain. Remove skin from 1/2-inch around top of apples at the opening. Fill each cavity with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Top each apple with a teaspoon of butter. Place apples in casserole dish and pour apple juice around them. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from heat, garnish with fresh mint, and serve. {Food Network}

Grape Pie

What would fall be without pie? Take a break from the standard apple and pumpkin pies with this one of a kind.

1/2 cup  packed brown sugar

1/3 cup  all-purpose flour

2 to 3 tablespoons  snipped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon ground sage

7 cups  seedless red or black grapes, halved

1/4 cup  port wine or red grape juice

1 egg white

1 tablespoon  water

Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Prepare Pastry for Double-Crust Pie. For filling, in a large bowl stir together brown sugar, flour, and sage; stir in grapes and port wine. Transfer the filling to the pastry-lined pie plate. Roll remaining dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Cut slits to allow steam to escape. Place pastry on the filling; trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate. Fold top pastry under bottom pastry. Crimp edge as desired. Place pie on a baking sheet.

In a small bowl combine egg white and water. Brush top of pie with egg white mixture. Cover edge of pie with foil. Bake for 25 minutes; remove foil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes more or until top of pastry is golden brown and filling bubbles through slits in crust. Remove from oven; cool at least 6 hours. Pie can be baked up to 24 hours ahead. Loosely cover and store at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.

Pastry for Double-Crust Pie: In a medium bowl stir together 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 2/3 cup shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the flour mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon water at a time until all the flour mixture is moistened (about 8 to 10 tablespoons total). Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten 1 dough ball. Roll dough from center to edges into a 12-inch circle. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin; unroll into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim pastry even with the rim of the pie plate. Fill pie and continue as directed. {Better Homes and Garden}

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