Apples are unique. They differ from other foods because they're one of the best sources of pectin, a type of fiber. Research indicates that pectin limits the cholesterol the body absorbs and may be an important link to preventing heart disease.
Besides being high in pectin, apples are a source of vitamins A, B1, B2, C and niacin as well as minerals phosphorous, iron, magnesium, iodine, and potassium. Apples are low in sodium. That means that apples help prevent infections, aid growth, are important for eyesight, and help digestion.
Dieters often find apples an ideal food because they're sweet and bulky, yet only have 80 calories per medium apple. They fill you up, not out.
Select the right apple for your needs. Various apples mature at different times and have individual characteristics. Tart, firm apples are for cooking; sweeter apples are best eaten raw. Use the tart, firm apples for pies, desserts, cakes, breads and sauces. Put the sweeter apples in the lunch box or for salads and snacks.
Apples come in all shades of red, yellow, and green. Full color alone is not indicative of quality or maturity. A mature apple has full flavor and aroma, and pleasing flesh texture. The surface should be firm and reasonably free of bruises, blemished, and surface breaks. If the skin looks damaged, it may mean that the fruit is too ripe or was handled poorly.
Apples have good keeping qualities. Handle them lightly - a little care on your part helps them retain their sweet crispness and juiciness. Store small quantities in your refrigerator, in plastic bags in the crisper - between 34 and 40 degrees F. You can keep larger quantities in a cool basement; a cool spot in the garage will do until freezing time.
Because apples can absorb odors from other foods stored in the same area, keep apples in plastic bags. The plastic also helps to retain their own moisture.
To keep cut apples from turning brown, sprinkle the sliced apples with lemon juice or immerse the in a solution that will coat and protect them. One to two tablespoons of juice per one cup of water works well.
Apple ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated. One or two days sitting on the counter top and the fresh crunch of your apples is lost forever.
Winning Apple Recipes
The Wisconsin Apple Growers Association is proud to sponsor the annual State Fair Recipe Contest. Here are some winners and entries from past Wisconsin State Fair Contests!
2018 Wisconsin State Fair Recipe Winner
APPLE BARS DIVISION
App-lava - First Place
Stephanie Paul, Butler, WI
Peel and chop apples and place in a sauce pan. Mix in beer and brown sugar and cook on high until reduced (about half, little liquid.) Mix cream cheese with sugar and cinnamon.
Mix the butter and nutmeg together. Brush butter on the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 pan. Cut the phyllo sheets in half and cover with a damp cloth.
Place first sheet in pan, and brush butter on sheet. Top with another sheet of phyllo dough and repeat. Repeat steps until you have 10 sheets that are buttered.
Spread 1 cup of apples on phyllo dough. Spread as evenly as possible. Top with 4 more sheets of phyllo dough, buttering between. Spread cream cheese mixture, evenly, using an offset spatula. Top with 4 more sheets of phyllo dough. Spread last cup of apples, evenly. Top with 10 more sheets of phyllo dough. buttering between each one. Put extra butter on top layer.
Cut strips 1.5" Wide. Cut strips into 2" bars. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
When app-lava is nearing finishing baking time, boil apple juice in same sauce pan as the apples were cooked in. Reduce to 1/3 cup.
Then apple juice is reduced, add in sugar and mix. There should be at least 4 tbl butter left from buttering of the phyllo dough. Stir in 4 tbl of that butter into the apple juice mixture. Whisk in half n half. Whisk on high until temperature reaches 240 degrees. Pour over bars and let sit for at least 6 hours (uncovered.)
Makes 30 Bars
2017 Wisconsin State Fair Recipe Winner
APPLE CRISP DIVISION
Apple Crisp - First Place
Susan Kelley, New Berlin, WI
FOR THE TOPPING: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine flour, pistachios, walnuts, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, apple pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Stir in butter until mixture is thoroughly moistened and crumbly. Set aside while preparing fruit filling.
FOR THE FILLING: Toss apples, granulated sugar, cardamom, and vanilla bean seeds together in large bowl; set aside. Bring cider to simmer in large skillet over medium heat; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer reduced cider to bowl or liquid measuring cup; stir in lemon juice and set aside.
Heat butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add apple mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until apples begin to soften and become translucent, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove pan from heat and gently stir in cider mixture until apples are coated. (For the Fair, I transferred the apples to a 13 x 9 inch pan, but the recipe can be completely made in an oven-proof skillet.)
Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit, breaking up any large chunks. Bake until fruit is tender and topping is deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack until warm, at least 15 minutes, and serve.
2016 Wisconsin State Fair Recipe Winners
APPLE PIE DIVISION
Rum Raisin Apple Pie - First Place
Christine Foris, Milwaukee, WI
Soak golden raisins in spiced rum for at least one hour. While raisins are soaking, peel, core and slice apples. Mix with tapioca powder, sugars, cinnamon, lemon juice and salt. Let sit for at least 10 minutes; Add raisins and mix well, let sit while laying out crust. Combine the three nuts in a bowl and mix. Remove 1/3 cup for bottom crust and 1/3 for top of pie. Add the remaining 1/3 to fruit and mix well.
Place pie crust in bottom of pie plate. Press 1/3 cup nuts in the bottom of the pie crust. Pour filling into crust. Top with cubed butter. Roll out top crust. Place on top of the filling. Press top and side crust together with fingers. Spritz top of crust with water or egg whites mixed with water and top with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on rack for 1 hour. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Apple Pie with Cinnamon Cream Topping - Second Place
Eileen Stutt, Wauwatosa, WI
Cinnamon Cream Topping
For the crust: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine shortening, flour, sugar and ground almonds with fingers or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Using well-floured fingers, press dough into bottom and up sides of a tart pan with a removable bottom Spread jam over crust.
For the filling: Combine sugar, cornstarch, orage zest and cinnamon. Add apples and toss to coat. Arrange apple mixture in crust. Dot with shortening. Bake for 30 minutes.
For the topping: Combine topping ingredients with a fork until crumbly. After pie has baked for 30 minutes, sprinkle with topping. Bake pie for 15 minutes more. Remove pie from oven and cool on a wire rack.
For the cream topping: Beat vanilla sugar, whip it, cinnamon and shipping cream until thickened. Decorate pie with cream topping.
Wisconsin Maple Bacon Apple Pie - Third Place
Lois Trongard, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
To make the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Work in the shortening until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Dice the butter into 1/2" pieces, and cut into the mixture until you have flakes of butter the size of a dime. Add the water 2 T at a time, mixing with a fork as you sprinkle the water into the dough.
When the dough is moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it, transfer it to a piece of wax or parchment paper. It's OK if there are some dry spots in the pile. Use a spray bottle of water to lightly spritz these places; that way you'll add just enough water to bring the dough together without creating a wet spot.
Fold the dough over on itself three or four times to bring it together, then divide it into two pieces, one about twice as large as the other. The larger piece will be the bottom crust; the smaller piece, the top crust. Pat each piece of dough into a disk about 3/4" thick.
Roll each disk on its edge, like a weel, to smooth out the edges. This step will ensure your dough will roll out evenly without a lot of cracks and splits at the edges later. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate foe 30 minutes before rolling.
Lightly grease a 9" pie pan that's at least 2" deep. This will make serving the pie easier after it's baked.
To make the filling: Combine the sliced apples, Apple Pie Liquor and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, pie enhancer, salt and spices Sprinkle the mixture over the apples and stir to coat them. Stir in the boiled cider or apple juice concentrate.
Roll the larger piece of pastry into a 13" circle. Transfer it to the prepared pan, and trim the edges so they overlap the rim of the pan by an inch all the way around. Spoon the apple filling into the pan. Dot the top with the diced butter.
Roll out the remaining pastry to an 11" circle. Cut decorative vent holes, if desired; or weave a lattice. Carefully place the pastry over the apples.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Roll the overhanging bottom crust up and over the top crust pinching to seal the two. Crimp the edges of the pie, then place it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up the crust while the oven finishes heating. Take pie out of refrigerator and place 5 slices of bacon evenly across the top of the pie crust. Weave the other 4 pieces over and under the first 5.
Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 40 minutes more, until you see the filling bubbling inside the pie. Check the pie after half an hour of baking time and cover the edges with foil or a pie shield to keep them from browning too quickly, if necessary.
When the pie is done, remove it from the over, brush with maple syrup and cool it completely before slicing. Makes 1 pie.
2015 Wisconsin State Fair Recipe Winners
Badger Apple & Kale Salad - First Place
Named for the Red and White colors in the salad.
2015 Wisconsin State Fair - 1st Place
Susan Hogg, Greenfield
To create candy pecans: melt butter in large (10") skillet, add pecans and 4 Tbsp. sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until browned — being careful not to burn (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Spread on waxed paper to cool — break apart any that are stuck together so they cool/dry separately. Set aside to top salad before serving.
After dicing apples, be sure to coat in lemon juice to prevent browning (and for flavor).
In large bowl, tear curly kale and curly fresh lettuce. Add apples, kohlrabi and pear. Set aside 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds and pecans, but add remaining ingredients and toss with Apple Vinaigrette Dressing (see below).
Apple Vinaigrette Dressing:
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Keep refrigerated (refrigerate about an hour before serving to mix flavors well). Shake or whisk and pour on salad, then toss salad before serving. Add pecans and 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds to top salad before serving.
Wisconsin Apple Crunch Salad - 2nd Place
Wisconsin State Fair 2015 - 2nd Place
Elaine Mason, Oconomowoc
PLACE INGREDIENTS IN MEDIUM SALAD BOWL
WHISK DRESSING IN LARGE BOWL. POUR OVER SALAD JUST PRIOR TO SERVING STORE IN REFRIGERATOR
Apple Cranberry Salad - 3rd Place
Wisconsin State Fair 2015 - 3rd Place
Jan Schwart, Franklin
Chop with.skins left on the following:
Place in white soda to prevent browning while preparing the apples. Drain and add the following:
Blend well and add to apple mixture. Refrigerate in a covered bowl for 1-2 hours before serving.
Apple Salad - 4th Place
Wisconsin State Fair 2015 - 4th Place
Terry Magestro, Oak Creek
Combine apples and vegetables. Combine sour cream and cider vinegar; salt and sugar to taste. Add to mixture along with walnuts. Toss to mix. Sprinkle bacon on top. Serves 3.
2014 Wisconsin State Fair Winning Recipes
APPLE PIE DIVISION
Crunchy Pecan Topped Apple Pie
Sheila Bethia - 1st Place
Mix together in a bowl.
Mix all, except the 3 Tbs of butter together.
Blend dry ingredients. Cut in Crisco until it looks like course corn meal. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix with fork until it comes together. Shape in patty. Cover with saran wrap. Chill 2 hours. Roll out between 2 floured saran wrap or wax paper sheets to 1/8" thick. Place carefully into pie pan.
To assemble, pour filling into prepared pie crust. Sprinkle topping over filling. Tap down slightly with fingers so it looks even. Then dot 3 remaining tablespoons of butter all over filling. Bake in a preheated 425º oven for about 12 minutes. Then turn down oven to 400º and continue baking until golden and bubbly for about 30-40 minutes.
Apple Currant-Almond Pie
Barbara Zagrodnik - 2nd Place
1/2 c dried currants
Soak currants overnight in apple brandy.
In food processor, pulse flour and salt; pulse in butter and shortening until it's in crumbs. Pulse in egg yolks until mixed then add 8 tablespoons water, pulse until dough holds together.
Transfer to work surface and gently pat together in half and flatten each into disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or longer.
On lightly floured surface, roll out each disc of dough into circle; line a 9" pie pan, trim edges.
In a large bowl, toss together apples, currants, almonds, white sugar, brown sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Place in pie shell, dot with butter. Top with remaining dough. Cut vents in top and decorate top of pie with apple cookie cutter shapes. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in bottom third of 425º oven for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350º and bake for another 40-45 minutes. Cool on rack.
Caramel Apple Pie
Terry Mayestro - Third Place
In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt.
Cut in shortening with a pastry blender till fine crumbs appear. Sprinkle with water and toss till well blended. Press firmly into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out to a 13" circle. Fit loosely into a 9" deep dish pie plate. Trim and flute edge.
Caramel and Garnish:
Preheat oven to 400º Combine apples, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Set aside. Mix sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir into fruit along with the cinnamon and vanilla. Pour fruit mix into pie shell. Put on center rack of oven and bake 30 minutes.
Make crumb topping. Combine the first flour ingredients in food processor, chopping nuts coarsely. Scatter butter over mix and pulse processor till mix resembles fine crumbs. Refrigerate till ready to use.
Remove pie from oven and reduce oven to 375º Sprinkle crumbs over pie, spreading evenly. Return to oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool for 1 hour. Combine butter, water, caramels in the top of a double boiler. Melt over hot, but not boiling water. When melted, whisk till smooth, then drizzle over pie. Place pecan halves nicely on pie and then sprinkle chopped pecans over pie.
Jazzed Up Candy Apple Pie
Beth Campbell - Fourth Place
Preheat oven to 375º. In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Mix well and press into a 9-10" pie plate and up the sides. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until golden brown in color. Pour the caramel into the shell and sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped pecans. refrigerate pie shell while making apple filling.
In a large pan combine the melted butter, apple slices, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Cook over medium high heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the apples are softened and tender. Let cool for 10 minutes and pour into the pie shell. Reduce the oven to 350º.
Cream Cheese Topping:
In a medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer on low speed, combine the cream cheese and sugar for about a minute. Add the egg, lemon juice and vanilla and beat for 1 minutes or until fully blended. Pour over the apple filling in the pie shell. Bake for 30 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove the pie from the oven and let cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Top with whipped cream, caramel and pecans and either drizzle on top or swirl with a knife. Slice and serve. Yield: 8 to 10 slices.
2013 Wisconsin State Fair Winning Recipes
Wisconsin Apple Cream Cheese Praline Cake
Elaine Mason, Oconomowoc 1st Place
In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs, oil, applesauce, almond extract and sugars. Add dry ingredients. Add apples and nuts.
Cream Cheese Filling:
In a separate mixing bowl, blend together filling ingredients. Pour half the cake mixture into a prepared angel food pan. Spoon cream cheese filling over mixture. Top with remaining cake mixture.
Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool.
Heat brown sugar, butter, and 3 Tbs of milk in a medium sauce pan. Bring to boil over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring often. Add to powdered sugar and 3 Tbs of milk. Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle chopped pecans over frosting and place half pecans on edge of cake.
My Best Apple Cheesecake
Jim Papala, Cudahy 2nd Place
In a bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar, pecans, and cinnamon; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a lightly greased 9 inch springform pan. Place pan on baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Place pan on wire rack.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in vanilla. Pour over crust. Toss apples with lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon; spoon over filling. Return pan to baking sheet.
Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen. Drizzle with 4 Tbs caramel topping. Cool one hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
Remove sides of pan. Drizzle with remaining caramel topping; sprinkle with pecans. Keep refrigerated.
Awesome Apple Cobbler
Donna Westray, West Allis 3rd Place
Preheat over to 350°. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, egg, and milk for the topping; set aside. Cube 4 apples and slice the remaining apple. In a bowl, combine the cubed apples, cranberries, sugar, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. In an 8" x 8" pan, melt the butter. Pour apple mixture into pan and pour topping over all. Arrange the apple slices in the center like a flower. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
Scotch Caramel Apple Crisp
Kim Skadahl, Milwaukee 4th Place
Heat oven to 375°
Tip: Crush graham crackers and peanuts in separate plastic bags. Use a rolling pin.
Mix oats, graham crumbs, brown sugar, flour, peanuts, cinnamon and melted butter until well blended; set aside. In a bowl, mix together caramel syrup, schnapps and corn starch. Add apples, stir until coated. Lightly spray 8" x 8" baking pan with no-stick cooking spray. Pour mixture into pan and flatten out. Sprinkle butterscotch chips over the apple mixture. Sprinkle with oat topping. Bake 35-40 minutes until apples are tender. Cool slightly before serving.