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Fall is prime apple-picking season.
Now's the perfect time to head to the orchard, fill your basket with fresh apples and take them home to bake delicious goodies. But don't just make a traditional apple pie - try something different! Here are three apple desserts we recommend:
1. Apple Blossom Tart
Use fresh Pink Lady apples to create Country Living magazine's recipe - it's equally pleasing to the eyes and stomach.
First, heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss sliced apples, brown sugar, apple pie spice, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and a pinch of salt until apples are coated. Let sit for about 45 minutes.
In the meantime, pulse the spice cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Gradually add melted butter, egg white, remaining granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and then pulse until well combined. Pour mixture out onto a 10-inch tart pan and press along the sides and bottom to create your crust. Place in the oven and bake until edges are brown - this should take about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and confectioners sugar until it reaches a smooth consistency. Then, pour it out and spread it evenly on the bottom of the crust.
Drain apples and start arranging them in the pan. Overlap each apple, starting on the outside edge so that it continues into a spiral shape until the center is closed. Dot the dessert with the cut-up butter.
Place tart in the oven and bake until apples are cooked - this should take about 45 minutes. Remove, transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least one hour. Finish with a brushing of melted apple jelly.
2. Caramel Apple Bread Pudding
This recipe by Taste of Home magazine puts a fall twist on the traditional dessert.
First, heat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare an 8-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Mix the applesauce, milk, brown sugar, egg substitute, vanilla and cinnamon in a large bowl until fully combined. Fold in the bread pieces and apple and let sit until bread is soft - this should take about 15 minutes.
Pour mixture into your prepared cooking dish and place in the oven to cook for 35 to 40 minutes. When an inserted toothpick comes out clean, the dessert is ready. Remove from oven, let cool for 15 minutes and serve warm with whipped cream and caramel topping, or ice cream if desired.
3. Apple Muffins
For a treat that makes a great on-the-go breakfast option or an afternoon snack, try this recipe from Food Network.
First, heat your oven to 400 degrees and prepare a 12-hole muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine the pecans, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt.
Using a large bowl, mix the remaining sugar and oil until fully combined. Then, whisk one egg in at a time. Once the eggs have been fully incorporated into the mixture, whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.
Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the applesauce in two separate batches. In between each batch, mix in the buttermilk. Once the mixtures are fully combined, gently fold in the apple chunks.
Fill each individual muffin slot 3/4 of the way full with batter. Sprinkle each with a generous helping of the pecan mixture.
Transfer to the oven and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out of the muffins clean - this should take about 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.