The apple tree is blooming! Fresh apple pie and tarts are on their way. Applesauce will be prepared and canned to use during the winter and early spring.
There’s a middle ground in preparing apples that requires additional work. It’s a fantastic way to prepare a treat for friends and family who have lost their ability to crunch and munch because their teeth can’t take it anymore.
I remember watching my father-in-law trying to pretend he was satisfied with jars of baby food once he lost his teeth from cancer treatments. Even though apricots with tapioca tasted good to me, a perpetual diet of liquefied foods would never be my choice.
The solution? Softened bits of peeled, diced apples cooked with tapioca and spices. I’m a firm believer of aromatherapy, and spices like nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice are among my favorites. A bit of lemon juice perks up the dish if the person’s taste buds aren’t what they used to be.
|Just one apple will do the trick!|
Here’s a recipe for one. Just add an extra apple for each person. I grit my teeth when I use the measured amount “dash” because it means a different amount to every person. My unofficial description of “dash” is a quick, visible sprinkle.
Three excellent apples for this saucy, slightly munchy treat are Winesap, Jonagold, and Pippin.
Apples My Way (an original recipe from me)
1 large apple
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of cloves
Pinch of nutmeg
1 Tablespoon instant tapioca
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Sweetener to taste, if desired
Rinse off the apple. Cut and core. I use a corer/slicer because it’s handy. You can also slice the apple in half from top to bottom and cut out the core as you cut additional slices.
Trim the peel off the apple (yes, there’s a tool for that, although I don’t have one).
Put the slices on a cutting board and finely dice them.
Put all the ingredients EXCEPT the tapioca into a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add the tapioca. Stir the mixture and cover the pan. Remove the cover to stir every few minutes. It takes about 15 minutes to soften 1 diced apple and slightly longer if you’re cooking more than one.
Refrigerate any leftovers and heat them in the microwave for 10- 15 seconds before serving again.
The delicious fragrance floating through the house brightens up everyone’s appetite. Make up a separate pan with apple slices or chunks. Apples My Way are just that – perfect for each person in the family as a snack, dessert or main course.
Which is your favorite type of apple?