Fall = Apples-In-A-Dish

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Baked Apples 006

The ultimate comfort food, baked apples are synonymous with Fall at Colonial Pines Inn. Thanks to dear long-time guests from Alabama, the Bradleys, who like to make a day trek to a nearby orchard as part of their visit to Highlands, we usually have a bushel of exceptionally fresh, very large apples on hand.  This year, due to some very sad circumstances, the Bradleys were not with us for the first time in 28 years.  We missed them even more than we missed the apples, but the Keenes, another generous couple from Florida, heard me talking about the Bradleys and showed up that evening with a surprise bag of gorgeous apples!!  We have some nice guests, don’t we???

The apples shown above are Honeycrisp and here’s how I like to use them to make APPLES-IN-A-DISH:

Choose large apples about 3″ in diameter.  Core and cut in half through the middle, being sure to remove all the seed hulls. Place them cut side down in a baking pan with about 1/2″ water with a little sugar added.  Bake covered at 350 about 30 minutes, then check regularly until the apples reach a soft consistency.  Because each apple may bake at a different rate, remove the ones that are ready and continue to bake those that aren’t.  When done, use a spatula to place the apples cut side up in a 3″ glass dish, pouring a little of the remaining liquid over each apple.   To make a delicious topping, saute chopped pecans in a little butter, add an equal amount of dried cranberries and golden raisins.  Add a little cranberry juice and simmer with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and a splash of maple syrup. Top warm apples with the pecan mixture and serve immediately.  They can also be made ahead, refrigerated, and microwaved just before serving.

Another variation, PINK-APPLES-IN-A-DISH, can be made with large, ripe Rome apples which, with their dark red skins, bake up pink.  Use the same method as above for baking.  Add a little cranberry juice to the pan liquid before pouring over the apples.  Instead of the above topping, place a generous dollop of Red Currant Jelly into the apple holes just before serving.  The warm apple will turns the jelly into a lovely red sauce!

Either variation makes a beautiful additional to a holiday meal and if there are any apples left over, use them to dress up a humble bowl of oatmeal like my husband Chris does!

Highlands is enjoying a late Fall this year, and Leaf-Season rooms are still available through the end of the month. We’d love to have you as our guests!

Wherever you are, we wish you a Color-Full Fall!

Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast

(828) 526-2060

(866) 526-2060 Toll-Free

Pumpkin Bread with Fresh Cranberries

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Pumpkin Cranberry Bread 004

The perfect Fall bread to serve with a cup of hot cider!  One 29 oz can of pumpkin is the correct amount to  make this recipe in (4) 4X8 or (3) 5X9 loaf pans and it will take a large, heavy-duty mixer for this volume.  I buy lots of cranberries to freeze for year-round use and they can be added to this recipe without thawing.  Be sure to use DARK brown sugar for a richer flavor.  This bread is even better after freezing, and cuts cleanly with a chef’s knife while still frozen.  If you’re not using the whole loaf, just slice what you need, thaw, and ENJOY!!

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 lb. plus 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 29 oz can pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 oz whole cranberries (not dried)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour (4) 4X8 or (3) 5X9 loaf pans.  In a large heavy-duty mixer, combine eggs, dark brown sugar, and oil, beating well.  Add pumpkin, vanilla, salt, soda, baking powder, allspice, cloves, & cinnamon.  Add flour, mixing well.  Add fresh cranberries (if frozen, there is no need to thaw).  Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 350 for one hour.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.  If not serving immediately, wrap and freeze.

Come visit us in the mountains for Fall Leaf Season!

Colonial Pines Inn Bed & Breakfast, Highlands NC, (828) 526-2060 www.colonialpinesinn.com

Bon Appetit! – Donna Alley