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RECIPE: Sweet & Spicy Pickled Apples For National Apple Week

Vegetables are delicious pickled, but so are fruits. Think sweet fruit in a spicy and tart marinade.

This recipe for pickled apples, to celebrate National Apple Week, came to us from U.S. Apple.

According to A Healthier Michigan, the first full week in August is National Apple Week.

We can’t find other references for this holiday; but we didn’t want to wait for October to share this recipe (National Apple Month is October and National Apple Day is October 21st).

While a year-round relish, it goes well with grilled foods and other summer fare.

Never heard of pickled apples?

Jim Bair, president and CEO of U.S. Apple, the trade association of the apple industry, had mentioned that his grandmother’s pickled apples were a childhood favorite. They “were on the table at every meal,” he said.

Alas, Jim didn’t have a copy of the recipe, but Chef Dave Martin made a fairly good copycat, and Bair gave it his seal of approval.

  • Chef Dave used Pink Lady apples for their beautiful color; but you can use any firm apple that will stand up to pickling.
  • You can substitute allspice, cardamom or clove if you don’t have star anise.
  • You can also do a more savory pickling, substituting a blend of chili flakes (or half a minced serrano chile), coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns.
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    RECIPE: SWEET & SASSY PICKED APPLES

    Ingredients For 8-12 Servings

  • 4 firm apples, cored, sliced into 8 pieces (leave peel on)
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar (substitute golden balsamic)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise, whole
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
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    Preparation

    1. BRING to a boil in a medium saucepan, the vinegar, sugars, salt, cinnamon sticks, star anise, vanilla and peppercorns. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the apples and return to a boil.

    2. TURN the heat to low and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until a paring knife inserted in center of apple meets a slight resistance. Stir in the dried cherries. Transfer to bowl and let cool.

    3. COVER and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Serve or at room temperature. Stored for up to one month in fridge.
     
     
    WAYS TO SERVE PICKLED APPLES

    Tangy pickled apples are a counterpoint to rich dishes, and:

  • As a side or garnish with meat (especially pork), poultry, seafood (e.g. bluefish, mackerel, sardines, smoked fish).
  • With soft or sharp cheeses, from ricotta to gorgonzola.
  • Mix into yogurt.
  • Top grilled cheese or other sandwiches.
  • On an appetizer plate.
  • Snacking.
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    > The History Of Apples

     


    [1] Spiced apples, a great everyday relish or condiment (photo © U.S. Apple).


    [2] Use apple cider vinegar to pickle fruits (photo © Heinz).


    [3] Star anise, a great pickling spice, is harvested from an evergreen tree that is native to northeast Vietnam and southwest China (photo © Mareefe | Pexels).


    [4] Cinnamon sticks—and a vanilla bean (photo © Daria Shevtsova | Pexels).

     

      




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