Updated: Feb 23
What’s more apt than apple apps in autumn?
As kids, my brother, David, and I loved fresh-picked apples when the season arrived. Then, apples are at their best - crisp and sweet and tart - just luscious! Our lunches got a lot more interesting. He adored a sandwich of peanut butter and thin apple slices. My favorite was a sandwich of American cheese topped with those thin apple slices.We both liked our particular apple combos for the basic tastes of sweet and tart from the apple and umami from the peanut butter or cheese. But we also loved the texture sensations. The bread (yes - white Wonder) was soft. The cheese or peanut butter had a more substantial softness combined with sticky goodness that stuck to the teeth. As for the apple - wonderful crunchiness -like a potato chip thanks to the thinness of the slices. As apples again come into season, memories of those treats surfaced, quickly followed by the urge to tweak them into adult versions. So here they are - childhood favorites kicked up a notch into intriguing appetizers, all quite simple to make. Crostini with Muenster Cheese, Granny Smith Apple and Sage
The cheese is buttery, soft and full of umami. The apple is titillatingly tart with grace notes of sweetness while the sage adds savory and earthy accents. To prepare:
Fry sage leaves in hot vegetable oil until crisp, about a minute. Blot on a paper towel. Set aside
Sauté very thin slices of peeled Granny Smith apple in butter until softened just a bit. Turn just once, being careful not to break the slices. Set aside.
Lightly toast one side of slices of a good French or Italian baguette. On the other side, broil a layer of Muenster cheese until some brown blisters appear.
Lay the apples slices on top of the bread and add the sage leaves.
Macintosh Apple Balls with Almond Butter and Smoked Almonds
Brother David’s favorite peanut butter and apple combo becomes sophisticated with bite-size balls of apple accompanied by almond butter combined with chopped Smokehouse Almonds. The apple is crisp and sweet with a touch of tang and a hint of spice. The almond butter is smartened up with smoky flavor and crunch from the chopped Smokehouse Almonds. To prepare:
Chop Smokehouse Almonds and combine with almond butter.
Peel the apples. Carve out small balls with a melon baller.
Put a small amount of the almond butter mixture on a serving plate and place an apple ball on top.
Fuji Apple with Maple-Caramelized Bacon
Mouth watering! The complex sweetness of a Fuji apple is combined with the complex sweetness of maple syrup and the savory, smoky goodness of bacon. To prepare:
Cut the apple into slices about 1/4-inch thick.
Partially cook slices of bacon.
Wrap a bacon slice around an apple slice.
Pour maple syrup over and broil until bacon is done.