(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)
By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate
Apple pie is so synonymous with autumn that many of us automatically eat it and get burned out well before winter. Eagerness for apples is the part of the timeline we're on now. One way to both stretch and satisfy that feeling is with innovative pies that mark the change of season from summer to fall.
Choice of ingredients, like accompanying fruits and vegetables, and including seasonings, makes all the difference. Following are some ideas for use with your favorite apple pie recipe. All added ingredients are to taste.
- RAZZLE DAZZLE
Add fresh raspberry puree to apple pie filling. Before serving, top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream cheese and fresh raspberries.
- TOMATOES CAN BE TOPS
Add one thick tomato slice for every five apple slices in the pie filling (which also will add to the juiciness), as well as fresh mint leaves and lemon zest.
- CORNY BUT TRUE
Sprinkle sweet corn kernels over a layer of apples and add a drizzle of orange juice.
- CITRUS MEDLEY
Top apple layer with lemon, orange and lime zest.
- TASTE OF THE TROPICS
In a bowl, before adding to pie, gently mix apple pie filling with shredded sweetened coconut and diced and drained pineapple. Before serving, top each slice with vanilla ice cream, dried banana chips and drained mandarin orange slices.
- VERY BERRY
In a bowl, before adding to pie, gently mix apple pie filling with slices of strawberries and blueberries. Serve with strawberry and vanilla ice cream and whipped cream that's had a tiny addition mixed in of fresh strawberry and blueberry coulis.
- MADE WITH LEMONADE
Covered and refrigerated, soak apple slices in lemonade overnight before using in pie. Serve slices topped with lemon sorbet and dark chocolate raisins.
- PULLING A PUNCH
Covered and refrigerated, soak apple slices in fruit punch overnight before using in pie and add a few dollops of cherry pie filling when arranging apples.
- A TO Z PIE
Peel zucchini and add one slice of zucchini for every five apple slices, as well as tarragon and cardamom.
Fun fare like this also proves food preparation can be easy, nutritious, inexpensive, fun - and fast. The creative combinations are delicious proof that everyone has time for creating homemade specialties and, more importantly, the healthy family togetherness that goes along with it!
Another benefit: You effortlessly become a better cook, since these are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations. They can't help but draw "wows" from family members and guests.
QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK: If you don't yet have a favorite apple pie recipe, an excellent source is Ken Haedrich's Apple Pie: 100 Delicious and Decidedly Different Recipes for America's Favorite Pie. In fact, his "Special Occasion Apple Pies" chapter alone is good reason to take a bite of the book. Bread pudding lover in your family? Serve up the pie that includes both. Want a pie all to yourself? Individual apple and plum pies are topped with streusel. Looking for a dinner idea? Sausages are added to the apple mix for a hearty potpie.
Lisa Messinger at Creators Syndicate is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet (Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.