Apple chili

By this point in the season, you’ve most likely surpassed the “eat an apple a day moniker,” and may be struggling to eat the bevy of speckled fruits you picked at the local orchard.

Well, we’ve rounded up some tasty apple recipes that are a bit off the beaten, apple recipe path. So, put your creative chef cap and get to the kitchen because sadly, your apples will not core themselves.

1. Apple Chili (via the Woodwife’s Journal)

Here are a few words that come to mind when describing chili: spice. Meat. Tomatoes. But apples? Yes. Who knew that the apple is a splendid ingredient in chili? Check out the recipe below and give it a whirl this week!

Ingredients (use organic, hormone-free, and fresh or BPA-free boxed ingredients when possible)

1 pound of ground beef (substitute chicken, turkey, or tofu)

1 medium candy onion, chopped

1 green pepper, diced

2 medium apples, chopped

1 can black beans

1 can light red kidney beans

1 can dark kidney beans

1 can chili beans

2 cans crushed tomatoes, or 2 quarts home canned

Season with chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and pepper to taste.

Optional: chocolate chips

Method

In a large cast iron skillet, brown meat. Remove meat, and in the same pan, sauté the candy onion, green pepper and apples. Return meat to pan, and add the beans.

Time spent: simmer on stove-top or crock-pot for 2-3 hours.

Yield: depends on size of pot used, typically 6-16.

2. Apple Green-Chili Pie with Cheddar Crust and Walnut Streusel (via the New York Times)

OK. This time we’re mixing the sweet with the savory. The following pie recipe is hearty, and looks to be a perfect meal or side dish for any cold winter night’s dinner.

Crust ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into dice

1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

5 tablespoons ice water, more as needed

Filling ingredients

5 cups peeled and thickly sliced tart apples, such as Jonagold, Honeycrisp or Granny Smith

1/2 cup chopped roasted green Hatch chilies, mild or medium hot (see note)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cornstarch

For the topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1/4 cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Method

“Make the crust: In a food processor or mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Add butter one piece at a time, while pulsing or mixing at low speed, until mixture is fine and crumbly. Transfer to a large bowl and toss well with the cheese. Add ice water one tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with fingers just until dough holds together. To test, pinch a small amount of dough. If it is crumbly, add more ice water. Form dough into a ball, wrap loosely in plastic, then roll into a disk. Refrigerate at least one hour, or up to 3 days, before rolling. (Dough can be frozen for up to a month.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a circle at least 11 inches in diameter. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan, preferably glass. Turn edges under to make a thick rim; flute rim by pinching into a zigzag pattern. Refrigerate until ready to bake, at least an hour.

Make the filling: In a large bowl, toss apples, green chilies and lemon juice together. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients and add to apples and chilies, tossing until thoroughly coated.

Make the topping: In a small bowl, mix flour, walnuts and brown sugar. Add melted butter and toss together until crumbly.

Bake the pie: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, scoop filling into chilled crust, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of juice from bottom of bowl. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling. Bake 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until filling bubbles at edge and crust is brown. Serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.”

Time spent: 1 1/2 hours, plus chilling.

Yield: about 8 servings.

“Note: Roasted green Hatch chilies from New Mexico can be ordered from newmexicanconnection.com, and are sometimes found frozen in grocery stores. Drained canned green chilies are acceptable.”

Other awesome and unique ways to use, and consume apples:

3. Make apple-infused vodka.

4. Stack an apple with peanut butter for a tasty snack.

5. Make an apple and grilled cheese sandwich you won’t soon forget.

6. Serve up some apple-cheddar mac and cheese.

Image: alanagkelly