Swedish Apple Pie (with a touch of molasses)

Servings: 8 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 60 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

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Swedish Apple Pie - a rich and delicious pie that is really quite effortless.

Last week I finally understood the old saying, “As easy as apple pie.”

I love apple pie but I can’t say I’d ever consider it “easy”. Not that apple pie is really difficult to make but there is pastry to be made and chilled and rolled and crimped. Swedish Apple Pie, however, is different. It really is simple. It’s a bit like a “dump it” cake in that you simply mix the topping ingredients in a pot, pour it over the apples and bake. The result is a rich and delicious pie that is really quite effortless.

Swedish Apple Pie - a rich and delicious pie that is really quite effortless.

This is a slightly adapted version of a recipe that my mom discovered in a Hannaford Fresh Magazine on a trip to Maine last year. It was on the very last page, submitted by a reader.

We have been baking Swedish Apple Pie with local Cortland apples but any good pie apples will do. Be sure to use a deep-dish pie plate.

Baking Tip: Why you should combine apple varieties in your baking

When cooking with apples, mix and match varieties to get the best combination of flavors and textures. Some apples break down more easily when they cook, like McIntosh, and others hold their structure better (think Cortlands). By combining different varieties in a pie you’ll be able to combine flavours and textures.

(More baking tips)

Swedish Apple Pie with Molasse Recipe

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 5 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2″-thick wedges
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (can use half whole wheat)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ginger

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Fill a deep  10″ pie dish with the sliced apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle over the molasses.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, flour, egg, salt and ginger.
  4. Pour over apples, covering as evenly as possible.
  5. Bake until crust is golden brown and crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Adapted from Hannaford fresh Magazine, November – December 2015

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Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread Cake

Servings: 8 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 95 minutes

Cooking time: 75 minutes

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Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread is a rich and very moist cake with beautifully balanced spicing. Serve on its own - no frosting or ice cream necessary.

Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread is a rich and very moist cake with beautifully balanced spicing. Serve on its own – no frosting or ice cream necessary.

My mom has been baking this Upside Down Apple Gingerbread for years.  It’s a recipe she clipped out of a magazine sometime in the late 1960’s. The recipe was so popular that it made its way into her giant handwritten cookbook.

 

Sometimes old recipes are the best.

I rediscovered the recipe the other day when I was flipping through an old stack of handwritten recipe cards from my university days. The cake caught my eye because I have been buying bushels of apples at our local farmers market and all things apple were top of mind.

  • Pain d’épices renversé aux pommes
    Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread is a rich and very moist cake with beautifully balanced spicing. Serve on its own – no frosting or ice cream necessary.

 

Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread is a rich and very moist cake that needs no accompaniment. If you can’t resist serving something alongside, choose whipped cream or crème fraiche.  (Anything sweeter might be over the top.)

It is especially good served warm.

 

I lined my pan with parchment paper because I was paranoid about the cake sticking. It worked but the apples didn’t caramelize like they would have against the bottom of a metal pan so next time I’ll skip the parchment paper like I did with this recipe for Rhubarb Upside Down Cake.

Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread Recipe

Ingredients:

For the topping (which begins as the bottom):

  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar

For the cake:

  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp ginger
  • 1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup boiling water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F
  2. Put the 1 Tbsp. and 1 tsp. of butter in a high-sided  9” pan and place it in the oven for a few minutes, until the butter melts. Remove it from the oven and use a pastry brush to coat the sides of the pan with the butter. Sprinkle the 2/3 cup of brown sugar over the melted butter in the bottom of the pan. Place the sliced apples on the sugar in a circular pattern.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and spices.
  4. In a large bowl whisk the eggs with the ½ cup brown sugar. Whisk in the molasses and ¾ cup melted butter. Stir in the flour mixture. Add boiling water last and beat well.
  5. Pour into prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 325 F for 60-75 minutes, until the middle is set. (The variety and freshness of your apples will affect cooking time.)

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Crumble Top Baked Apples

Servings: 2 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

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crumb top baked apples, like individual apple crisps, only faster

Like individual apple crisps, only easier.

Crumble-top baked apples are like individual apple crisps, only easier. They make a great snack but also transition well to dessert when served with cream or ice cream. They really don’t need anything to be satisfying.

After testing the recipe a couple of times at home I introduced it at my afterschool cooking class at my daughter’s school. Sixteen enthusiastic kids make them without a hitch.

Although their ease to prepare is part of the appeal, they also look pretty in a bowl in a very wholesome sort of way.

crumb top baked apples, like individual apple crisp, only faster

The instructions may seem a little fiddly at first since you bake the apples in two steps but once you have made them a couple of times you won’t even need to measure anything. The crumble top quantities below are more of a guide. I have spread the mixture across three apples instead of two and I have also made extra crumb top, on occasion.

When it comes to slicing the peeled apples, I use a gentle rocking back and forth motion to carefully make the slices without going all the way through the apple. If you do end up slicing all the way through it’s no big worry. Just continue along according to the instructions below.

crumb top baked apples, like individual apple crisp, only faster

 

Crumble-Top Baked Apple Recipe

Makes 2 apples

Ingredients

  • 2 large, firm apples, like Honey Crisp, Pink Lady or Granny Smith
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses, divided
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. rolled oats
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 1 Tbsp of butter over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in 1 Tbsp of molasses and ½ tsp cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Peel the apples and cut in half from top to bottom. Core the apples (use a melon baller or spoon).
  4. Place the apples cut-side down on a cutting board. Cut slices into the apple, 1/4-inch apart, stopping just before you cut through the bottom.
  5. Place the apples in the baking pan, flat-side down. Brush the apples with melted butter and molasses mixture.
  6. Cover pan with foil, and bake for 10-15 minutes, until apples are soft (but not collapsing).

While apples are baking prepare the streusel topping:

  1. Combine remaining Tbsp. of butter with, remaining ½ Tbsp. of molasses, the brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, flour, oats, and a pinch of salt.
  2. Remove apples from oven and top with streusel.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 425 F
  4. Return apples to oven, uncovered. Bake 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with cream, ice cream or on their own.

Ginger Pear Apple Crisp

Servings: 6-8 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 75 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes

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ginger pear crisp

I say crisp you say crumble (and sometimes in France they say “grumble”)

My friend Laura tells a funny story about the time she spied Apple Grumble on a menu at a bistro in France. It’s an endearing error in translation that seems to suit this rustic dessert.

ginger pear crisp

For me crisps are as much about the texture as they are flavour. Those with soft fruit and crunchy topping are always my favourite. And I like the flavour to be slightly tart and buttery. I rarely, if ever, add spices. Except for ginger pear apple crisp, that is.

Along with their luscious texture pears have an earthy fall flavour that can use a little edge from ginger. Just a little, mind you, to lift the flavour.

Melting the butter before blending it with the topping helps to make the topping extra crisp in this dessert as does the addition of good old-fashioned rolled oats.

ginger pear crisp

There aren’t many desserts in our house that can also be a breakfast stand-in. In fact fruit crisp is the only one.  (I don’t actually ginger bake pear apple crisp for breakfast but leftovers have a way of making their way onto the breakfast table, which is fine by me.) 

Ginger Pear Apple Crisp Recipe

Filling:

  • 4 pears, peeled and chopped
  • 2 apples (not too crisp) peeled and chopped*
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. ginger

Topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • 1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted

*Can replace apples with additional pears

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl toss the pears and apples with the flour then add the molasses, lemon juice and ginger.
  2. In another bowl whisk the rolled oats, flour, brown sugar and ginger. Pour over the melted butter and stir until well blended.
  3. Scrape the pear mixture into a good-sized casserole dish (high-sided for a deeper crisp) and top with the flour mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 50-60 minute or until filling starts to bubble up. (Actual cooking time will depend on the depth of your baking dish.)

 

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Turkey Meatloaf with Spiced Apple Barbecue Sauce

Servings: 6 serving(s)

Prep time: 35 minutes

Total time: 95 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes

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turkey meatloaf with spiced apple barbecue sauce

Who says October is the end of barbecue season?

We hardly ever haul out the barbecue but I always have barbecue sauce on hand. It’s a terrific condiment for all sorts of cooking. We use it as a sauce to keep oven-cooked meats moist and flavourful and, as I have discovered, it is the perfect addition to turkey meatloaf. Slathered on top before cooking it helps to lock in moisture and the flavour combo — turkey and apple — couldn’t be better. Especially come October.

This is one of those summer-meets-fall meals, the easy kind that goes with anything. Leftover meatloaf can be used for sandwiches. Try the apple barbecue sauce on  all your favourite grillables. It’s beautifully spiced and has a nice little bite of heat.

spiced apple barbecue sauce

Spiced Apple Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Adapted from Food & Drink

  • 1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 3 apples, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup, packed, brown sugar
  • 1 small can tomato paste (156 ml)
  • 1 cup water or beer
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  1. In a deep pot melt butter over medium heat. Saute onion, salt and spices until onion is softened.
  2. Stir in apples, molasses, sugar, tomato paste, water and vinegar.
  3. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until apples are soft.
  4. Mash or puree. Simmer 15 minutes longer for a thicker sauce.

 

Audrey’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices of bread, crumbled
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped oregano or sage (fresh) or a combination of the two
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup apple barbecue sauce

Instructions:

  1. Sauté garlic, onion and celery until soft.
  2. Scrap into a large bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix gently just until combined (take care not to over mix)
  3. Shape into a loaf on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.
  4. Brush with barbecue sauce.
  5. Bake at 350 F for 45 to 55 minutes. 

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Whole wheat apple cinnamon muffins with molasses

Servings: 12 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

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If you love baking with apples give these apple cinnamon muffins with molasses a try. They’re light and moist and not too sweet.

Apple cinnamon muffins with molasses

I always loved the smell of our house in the fall. We’d arrive home from school to the warm spicy smell of homemade pickles cooking on the stove and fresh muffins cooling on the counter.

My mom baked a lot with apples and I grew up eating apple pie with Sunday supper, apple dumplings, apple sauce and lots of apple crisp.

Apple cinnamon muffins with molasses

When I was little we had the greatest crab apple tree in our back yard. It was always laden with apples and each year mom would make spiced crab apples and crab apple jelly.

On apple picking day we’d climb the tree and give it a good shake while my brother Michael, wearing an old Harbour Bridge Authority hard hat of my great uncle’s, would dash under the tree and gather the apples in a bucket.

Apple cinnamon muffins with molasses

One day the tree just fell over. We watched it fall, as though it was laying down for a nap.

It turned out the roots had rotted, leaving a hollow spot in the ground like a little nest in the roots. There in that little hole were a bunch of oyster shells. We later found out that the previous owners of our house used to bury them around the tree as fertilizer.

If you love baking with apples give these apple cinnamon muffins with molasses a try. They’re light and moist and not too sweet.

Apple cinnamon muffins with molasses

Adapted from Table For Two

Makes 12 regular sized muffins

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup canola, grape seed or olive oil
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped apples (about 2 medium apples)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and grease muffin pan (or line with muffin cups).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, molasses, eggs, vanilla, and oil.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir gently until almost combined.
  5. Add the chopped apples and gently fold them into the batter.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes.

*To sour milk, add ½ Tbsp. of vinegar to your measuring cup and fill to the ½ cup mark with milk. Let sit 5 minutes.

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We have loads more apple recipes in our e-book: Cooking with apples

Cooking with apples - nine recipes for sweet and savoury dishes made with apples

Molasses Apple Dumplings in Sticky Toffee Sauce

Servings: 8 serving(s)

Prep time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

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Crisp on the outside, a little soft in the middle, and sticky all over, molasses apple dumplings taste of everything that is wonderful about fall.

Molasses apple dumplings in a sticky molasses toffee sauce

Adjusting to true autumn weather can be tough. I had to scrape ice off my windshield this morning and our rush to catch the school bus at 7:30 a.m. didn’t leave time for dealing with ice on the windshield.

molasses apple dumplings in a sticky molasses toffee sauce

It was a shock, like a bonk on the head.

That, my friends, was s a turning point for me. It’s time to put my summer clothes away and go hunting for my fall jacket.

On a happy note, it is also my cue to shift my cooking from summer to fall.

There is no way I can lament the passing of another summer when I’m devouring one of these molasses apple dumplings.  Crisp on the outside, a little soft in the middle and sticky all over, they taste of everything that is wonderful about fall.

Molasses apple dumplings in a sticky molasses toffee sauce

 Don’t let the ingredient list make you think that these are dumplings are difficult. They really aren’t that fiddly at all. View the images below for the pastry wrapping steps.

Molasses Apple dumplings in Sticky Toffee Sauce

Adapted from an old recipe of my mom’s and one from The Brown Eyed Baker blog

For the pastry:

  • 2 cups flour (I use half whole wheat pastry flour)
  • ½  tsp. salt
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/3 to ½ cup ice water

For the apples

  • 8 medium apples, peeled and cored
  • 8 tsp. butter (divided)
  • Cinnamon sugar (2 tsp. cinnamon mixed with 7 tsp. sugar)

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup cider
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar

Instructions:

To make the pastry:

  1. Place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. Add the cubed butter and pulse until butter is chopped into pea-sized pieces.
  3. Add the water (beginning with 1/3 cup) and pulse until dough begins to come together. Add more water if necessary.
  4. Scrape dough onto the counter and gather into a ball. Pat into a disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To make the sauce:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir until sugar has dissolved and remove from heat.

 To assemble:

  1. Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper.
  2. Cut dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a 7” square (it needn’t be perfect.)
  3. Plunk an apple in the middle if the pastry square. Place a tsp. of butter in the core, followed by about one tsp. of cinnamon sugar.
  4. Wrap the pastry around the apple like you’re wrapping a present, pinching dough together to seal.
  5. Place apples in the prepared pan.
  6. Drizzle with the sauce.
  7. Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes, until the apples feel soft-ish.
  8. Remove to plates, drizzle with pan sauces.
  9. Best eaten while warm

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