Whether you have an apple tree in your yard or you visit the local orchard each year to pick your own, apple season occurs throughout most of the United States beginning in late July, with apples usually available through late November, depending on local growing seasons and apple varieties. Peak-season apples are so delicious, you will want to have several easy recipes on hand to enjoy as many apples as possible while they last. Quick-preparation dishes ensure you are able to squeeze in sweet or savory apple treats even on the weeknights when time is short.
Stuffed apples are easy enough to prepare in the morning to accompany your breakfast oatmeal or eggs. Core an apple, place it in an oven- or microwave-safe dish and fill its coreless center with any combination of marshmallows, chocolate chips, sugar, butter, cinnamon, raisins or nuts. Bake the apple uncovered in an oven heated to 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or zap it in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes until the apple is tender and the sugar dissolved and bubbly. Campfire stuffed apples are prepared the same way, but wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked over campfire coals. Another recipe variation fills an apple with peanut butter and raisins and forgoes the cooking.
Apples happen to pair exceptionally well with savory cheeses, meats and vegetables and are easily enjoyed in sandwiches and wraps. Include apples in your sandwiches using thinly sliced apples, grated apples or applesauce. Each option enhances flavor and texture in a different way. Apples and sharp cheese between two slices of your favorite bread yield a flavorful afternoon snack or get-together finger food. Experiment by pairing apples with ham, bacon, sausage, blue cheese, vinegar, onions, peppers or any other savory food you enjoy.
An apple crisp is a simple dessert to use as an after-dinner treat or potluck dish. The dish has two parts--the sweet filling and the crunchy, baked topping. Peeling and slicing the apples takes the most time. If you plan to enjoy the crisp at home and like the skins left on, skip the peeling. Fill an oven-safe dish with the desired amount of apples, sprinkle apples with cinnamon and sugar and toss to coat. The topping includes any desired combination of nuts, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, oats and flour. Layer topping over apples and bake the crisp in a 350-degree F oven until the top is browned and the filling is bubbling around the edges, approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Numerous crisp recipe variations include additions such as raisins, dried cranberries and even crumbled sugar cookies.