Autumn apple treats – delicious to the core


Crisp autumn days call for apple recipes. My lively Salad with Apples and Curry Dressing is sure to please. Apple Banana Cupcakes double as muffins when you leave off the icing. Just don’t leave the topping off this luscious Caramel Apple Cheesecake. And a must-try is my simple, simply fantastic Slow Cooker Apple Butter. Hold on to this recipe that’s perfect for holiday gifting. Enjoy!

Salad with Apples and Curry Dressing
Makes 2 servings.

4 tablespoons mayonnaise (regular or light)
2 tablespoons water
1/2 heaping teaspoon curry powder
5 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

4 cups lettuce or mixed greens, chopped
2 small red apples, chopped
Half a cucumber, chopped or sliced
4 tablespoons dried cranberries
4 tablespoons almonds, slivered
1 tablespoon red onion, minced

For dressing: Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Divide salad ingredients between two plates. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Apple Banana Cupcakes

Apple Banana Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Nonstick cooking spray
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup apple, chopped (peeling is optional)
1 cup canned crushed pineapple, undrained
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 (8-ounce) container whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (7-ounce) container marshmallow cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 350. Spray muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon. Next, add oil, eggs, bananas, apple, pineapple and vanilla extract, beating with an electric mixer until well-combined.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full with batter. Bake 18-20 minutes. Cool completely.

For frosting: Stir together cream cheese, marshmallow cream and vanilla extract. Frost cupcakes. Sprinkle on cinnamon sugar if desired. Serve.

Notes: If you don’t add frosting, you can serve as muffins. I made half the frosting recipe and frosted a dozen and served as cupcakes. I froze the rest for a week and served them as breakfast muffins. They were both a hit, although the cream cheese frosting is delightful!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Makes 10 servings.

2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (leave out for 3 hours)
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1 stick unsalted butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt (optional)
3 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced

Heat oven to 350.

Grease bottom of a springform pan. Assemble crust by mixing together vanilla wafer crumbs and brown sugar and stirring in melted butter. Press mixture down into pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set; allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer. Add sugar and sour cream. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla extract, and beat until combined. Pour mixture into pan.

Bake for 60-65 minutes. (If sides are puffy and center is deflated slightly, don’t panic. The sides will settle as it cools.) Turn off oven, open door, and let cheesecake rest inside for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for at least 2 hours before refrigerating. Once it is chilled, remove cheesecake from refrigerator for 10 minutes before making topping.

For topping: Heat butter, brown sugar and cinnamon over medium heat in a nonstick skillet. Add salt, if desired. Add apples. Stir and cook 5-7 minutes, until apples are slightly tender. Spoon over cheesecake and serve.

Notes: This cheesecake is not very sweet, so it needs a sweet topping.

If you don’t want to cook apples, finely chop apples, mix with store-bought caramel sauce, and spread over cheesecake.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter (below) is also excellent on this cheesecake.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Makes two 8-ounce jars and one 4-ounce jar.

6 cups apples, cored, peeled and chopped (Honeycrisp is a good variety)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons water
1 2/3 cups brown sugar, packed

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 hours. Reduce to low heat for 6 hours. Carefully scoop out mixture, and puree in batches, leaving a little liquid in slow cooker. Add apple butter to jars. Refrigerate up to 10 days.