Over the last few weeks I have been longing for fall weather. I need long no more – today’s weather is all fall, though not brisk, sunny fall weather. It is dreary, damp and chilly – just the day for fried apples.
My parents made variations of fried apples when I was growing up. There was never a recipe, just a technique – apple slices cooked in a little butter, sometimes with white or brown sugar and cinnamon, and sometimes not. Depending on the apples, they were sometimes soft and saucy, other times browned and caramelized, with very little sauce.
My grandmother (Mom’s mother) made cinnamon fried apples for an accompaniment to Sunday dinner sometimes. I loved them because she made them with a handful of Red Hots to give them color and flavor. I was always amazed how red they got and how quickly those hard little candies melted into the mix.
I am skipping the fire engine red candy to bring you a recipe that you probably can make without a trip to the store. Apples with a touch of brown sugar, butter and cinnamon – the apples are the true star of the show here. If you go apple picking this fall, make sure you make some fried apples out of your bounty; preferably on the day you pick them. I don’t usually consider fruit a dessert, but if you make fried apples out of apples that were on the tree just hours before, they are good enough to (almost) push apple pie out of the way for a day.
From The Cook’s Life
Adjust amounts to suit your tastes, but be careful with the sugar – it is easy to add too much and make them too sweet.
4 medium apples, any variety
2 teaspoons butter
1-4 tablespoons water, if necessary
1-3 tablespoons brown sugar, to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Peel, core and quarter the apples. Slice each quarter into approximately ¼-inch slices. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until melted. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, 15-30 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low if the apples start to get too brown. Time will vary depending on the apple variety. If apples start to stick to the pan, add a tablespoon of water. If want a saucier consistency, or your apples aren’t juicy enough, add up to 4 tablespoons of water to the pan as you cook the apples.
Taste one piece and decide if you want to add a little brown sugar, a lot, or none. Add cinnamon, if desired. Cook, stirring constantly, about 5 more minutes. Serve hot, or at room temperature.
These reheat well in the microwave or in a pan on low heat. Add a little water if apples start to stick when reheating on the stovetop.