Apples and oranges. We’re always comparing and contrasting these dissimilar items.
The former are one of the glories of northwest Ohio and southeastern Michigan, a seasonal sensation that heralds fall. They are considered to be a special treat for teachers and a prize so valuable that someone beloved is often described as “the apple of my eye.”
Additionally, apples represent the biblical Tree of Knowledge and were therefore imbued with power. At Rosh Hashanah, slices of the fruit are dipped into honey and enjoyed with hopes for a sweet new year.
Oranges, on the other hand, grow better in warmer climates. But they bring sunshine to our sometimes cloudy region, particularly during dreary winters when their vivid color and vibrant flavor brighten our moods and our meals.
They are particularly prized at the Chinese New Year, when their round shape and gorgeous color symbolize riches -- financial, especially, but other good fortunes, as well.
Rather than being divisive, though, seeking out the differences and disparities between apples and oranges, why not let these fruits complement each other instead?
The distinctive sweetness and tartness of each works beautifully with the other. They play very nicely together.
Delicious dishes featuring both fruits are a lovely way to showcase the attributes of each.
So, how do you like them apples -- and oranges, too?
Sweet and Spiced Apple Orange Stuffing
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups soft bread crumbs
2 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup raisins, golden or dark
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 8-ounce can mandarin orange slices, drained, each slice cut in half
½ cup fresh orange juice
4 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
In a small bowl, whisk together poultry seasoning, allspice, and salt.
Place bread crumbs, apples, raisins, walnuts, and mixed spices in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine. Add mandarin oranges, orange juice, melted butter, and egg. Toss again to combine.
If baking as a separate side dish, preheat oven to 325F and bake stuffing in a covered baking dish for approximately 45 minutes. To brown, bake for another 10 minutes uncovered.
Note: This can also be used as a stuffing for poultry or winter squash. Proceed with your favorite recipe, substituting this for your usual stuffing.
Yield: 10 cups
Source: Adapted from Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, thespruce.com
Baked Apples with Marmalade and Southern Comfort Cream
1 cup golden and black raisins
1¼ cups orange juice, divided
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
8 eating apples, preferably with stalks
¾ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts or walnuts, lightly toasted
1 cup soft light brown sugar
1¼ cups heavy cream
⅓ cup marmalade, not too firmly set
Powdered sugar, to taste
1½ tablespoons Southern Comfort, or to taste
Put the dried fruit in a saucepan with half the orange juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, then take the pan off the heat, add the zest, and let the fruit stand for about 30 minutes to plump up.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Slice the top off of each apple to make a lid about 2 inches across, then core the rest of each fruit. Remove a little of the flesh around the core, too, so there is room for the stuffing. Put them in an ovenproof dish.
Mix the plumped-up dried fruit with the nuts and brown sugar. Spoon the stuffing into each apple and put the apple lids back on. Pour on the remaining orange juice.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until completely tender, spooning any juices over every so often (keep an eye on them, as they get to bursting stage very suddenly).
Whip the cream until it just holds its shape, then beat in the marmalade until it has broken down. Add the powdered sugar (you won’t need much) and Southern Comfort. Serve the apples warm, with their cooking juices and the whipped cream.
Note: If you think Southern Comfort tastes like cough medicine (or too much like adolescence) then use whiskey, bourbon, apple brandy, or a little Cointreau instead.
Yield: 8 servings
Source: Adapted from Diana Henry, Simple
Apple-Orange Spice Cake
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1¾ cups plus 2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
½ cup fresh orange juice (about 3 oranges)
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Granny Smith or other tart apples, quartered, cored, peeled, sliced thin
½ cup powdered sugar
2½ teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat oven to 375F.
To prepare cake, coat a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.
Beat eggs in a large bowl at medium speed with a mixer until foamy; gradually add 1-3/4 cups sugar, beating well.
Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg, stirring well with a whisk.
In a measuring cup, combine rind, juice, oil, and vanilla. Combine the apple slices, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with juice mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Pour one-third of batter into prepared pan. Arrange half of apple mixture over batter, overlapping slightly as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining batter and apple mixture, ending with batter. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan and let cool completely.
To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cake and let set before slicing.
Yield: 16 servings
Source: Adapted from Cooking Light
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