Apple Pastry Rolls

Friday, September 28, 2012

If you like apple pie filling, you are going to LOVE this!  Many years ago I had the opportunity to be served a wonderful, sweet, pastry-like apple sweet roll.  I had to have the recipe immediately.  As it turned out it was a recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens website.  (I should of known because my red and white checkered BH&G cookbook has never failed me).  I do admit that I really like the apple pie filling in a can, but if you find that too sweet, you can easily adapt this recipe.  I personally think that the next time I will omit a little bit of sugar.  These are not quite a sweet roll dough, but more like a pie crust/biscuit combination.  Thus the pastry danish-like texture.  And with a sugar and cinnamon sauce to bake them in, how can you go wrong?!
Click here for printable recipe.

Post by: Jen


for the sauce:
2 c sugar
2 c water
1/4 c butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

For the pastry dough:
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c shortening (I used butter flavor shortening)
1/2 c milk 

for the apple filling:
3-4 apples (good cooking ones like Granny Smith), peeled and chopped
lemon juice (to help with the browning)
1/4 c sugar (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  
Add the sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter to a sauce pan.  Stir and heat to a boil.  I can tell you that the smell from this was heavenly.  Who needs to have a scented candle when you can heat this, then add apples and eat?!  OK, I digress...

 Let it boil for about 5-10 minutes.  Make sure that you are using a pan big enough to allow for the boiling sugar water.  I actually had to pour my sauce into a bigger pan when it started boiling.  (note the change of pans in the pictures!)  The longer your boil, it may actually reduce a bit to be thicker.

Meanwhile, either prepare your pastry dough or chop your apples.  I chose to peel and chop apples first because 1) peeling apples takes a long time for me and I wanted to get it over with, and 2) I had limited space on my counter top and couldn't roll out a dough in the space I was chopping apples.
 After chopping your apples toss them with lemon juice so as to prevent a lot of browning. I actually used 3 big apples and I think I may have actually had too many making it hard to roll up the dough.  (then again, can you ever have too many apples when it comes to baking?)
 For the dough, mix your dry ingredients in a bowl.  Measure out your shortening and then add small pieces of shortening to the bowl, tossing it around periodically to cover them all with flour.
 Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender, or two knives, or even just with your fingers (which is what I did).  You want it to be like pie crust and be little pieces of covered shortening.
 Make a well in the center of your bowl, and pour in the milk.
 Stir just until all the flour is moistened.
 Flour a surface to roll the dough and dump out your dough.  You will have to press it all together and knead it a few times to get it all into a nice smooth ball.
 Roll out into a 12 x 10(ish) rectangle.  I am so horrible at rolling out rectangles.  Maybe the next time I will make these as crescents.  That's so much easier to roll out.  Make sure to flour underneath from time to time and move it around so that it isn't sticking to your counter.
 Spread the chopped apples all over but leave a 1/2 inch or so border on the bottom clear of apples.  Mix your remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples.  NOTE:  If you want it less sweet, leave this part out.  I think I will next time.  The sauce is plenty sugary.  (not that my family would complain)
Carefully roll the dough in a spiral until you have rolled up all the apples.  Remember that this is a pie-like consistency and the dough can easily tear.
  Pinch the edges so as to seal it up.  Moisten your fingers with water if necessary.
 Slice into 12  1-inch thick slices.
 Spray the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan and evenly arrange your apple rolls.
 Pour the cinnamon sugar syrup over your apples.
 Bake in oven for about 45 minutes or until the tops are golden and the bottoms are looking cooked.  It's hard to tell if the bottoms are all  the way cooked because they are sitting in syrupy liquid.  I was concerned that they would be squishy (and I don't like squishy baked food).  But perhaps that's why Better Homes and Gardens called them "Apple Dumplings"

If you can't help it and you have to eat one right away, then yes, the bottom of these will seem a little less cooked than the golden tops.  But I promise you that if you wait until it is cooled down the the sauce thickens up, then it tastes like a single serve apple pie.   (I admit, that I ate 2 of them for breakfast today.  But I seem to have read recently that it's OK to eat sweets for breakfast  because then you have the whole day to burn calories.  Unlike when you sit down in front of  the TV at 10:30 at night after kids are finally quiet and then you have to eat your sweets.  Um, maybe that's just me.)  
 Speaking of which, I think I still have a couple in the pan...


Apple, Pear, and Gorgonzola Chicken Pasta

Thursday, September 27, 2012

When I was searching for apple recipes to try for this week, I was determined that I would branch out of the apple/cinnamon genre of recipe and go for some fun, new combinations.  I tried a few others along the way, but this autumn-inspired pasta dish rose to the top and has become a new family favorite.   There's just something about the way the sweetness of the apples, the sharpness of the Gorgonzola, and the tanginess of the craisins came together that worked so deliciously well.   Enjoy!

Be sure to check out all of our other yummy apple recipes and look out for a couple more still coming... 

Recipe adapted from my favorite new cookbook Savoring the Seasons With Our Best Bites
Click here for printable recipe. 

Posted by Lara

The ingredients:
1-lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
salt and pepper
1 Tbs. oil
1 box (14.5-oz) bow tie pasta
2 medium pears, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch slices
2 medium tart apples, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch slices
3 Tbs. butter
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2/3 cup cream
1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup Gorgonzola cheese
1 Tbs. dried parsley
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, then in a heavy duty skillet over high heat, cook the chicken in the oil for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown, but not cooked through.   Remove from heat, reserving oil/juices.
Cook pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, cut up the chicken and place back in the skillet and cook on low for 8-10 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add apples and pears and saute for 1-2 minutes or until slightly tender. 
Use a slotted spoon to remove apples and pears from pan and set aside.  Leave any remaining butter and juices in pan.

Add chicken broth, salt, and pepper to pan and bring to a simmer.   Whisk cream and cornstarch together and add to pan.  Return to simmer and cook 1-2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add dried cranberries and simmer about 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and immediately add Gorgonzola cheese, apples/pears, chicken, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and pasta. 

Toss to coat. 

Immediately before serving, add pecans and top with additional cheese if desired. 
Makes 6 main dish servings. 


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Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Bread

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Welcome to another delicious addition to our apple recipe collection here at Recipe Shoebox, where we are sharing an apple recipe a day!     Don't be fooled by the dark color of this bread into thinking that this is heavy or dense.  Nope!  This is whole wheat bread is soft crumbed, delicious,  and chock full of apples!  This recipe makes two for you and one for a friend, although if you're like us you may want to keep them both for yourself after trying it!  Enjoy!   
Click here for printable recipe

Recipe by Lara.

The ingredients:
2 cups white whole wheat flour* ( I like King Arthur brand)
1-1/3 cups all purpose flour*
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups chopped apples (we used 4 Granny Smith apples)

3 Tbs. brown sugar
3 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

  If desired, you can substitute all purpose flour for the wheat flour.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves) together.  Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together well beaten eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir until flour mixture is barely combined. 

Gently fold in apple chunks and pour batter into two well-greased 8x4-inch loaf pans. 

In a small bowl, mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the loaves. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Allow bread to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then running a knife gently around the edges, loosen sides and remove from pans.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


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Pork Chops with Applebutter

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I have always loved eating pork chops with some sort of fruit jelly or preserves. (apricot, mint, peach, apple, etc)   I think it makes a wonderful combination.  One of my favorite combinations for pork chops is with apples.  I remembered that I had some leftover home made apple butter in the freezer and wanted to use it with dinner.  Check out the homemade apple butter in a crockpot recipe here). If you make your own apple butter, you can even control the chunky level that you're cooking with.  These pork chops had flavor and were kept pretty moist.  Two musts in my book when it comes to eating pork chops.
Click here for printable recipe.

Recipe by Jen

Boneless pork chops (4-6) , sliced medium thick 3/4 -1 inch
1/4 c apple butter (I really did use my leftover home made.  I just forgot to take the picture before using it all up!  So I had to substitute this jar of apple butter, which would work just fine as well)
1/2 -1 tsp onion powder
1 can chicken broth + water for brine
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 c more apple butter

The night before, place pork chops, onion powder, and apple butter in seal-able container. Pour chicken broth and water over top until pork is covered.  Cover with lid and let marinate/brine overnight.

 When ready to cook, remove pork and pat dry so that the chops aren't all wet.
 Turn on skillet to high heat.  Sear the pork chops on both sides so a nice brown crust forms.  (This is why you need a higher heat).  Watch them though, you only need to brown them about 3 minutes on each side.

 Because I had a lot that I was serving for company, I removed them from my skillet and placed in a 9 x 13 pan.  If you are only heating up 3-4 AND they fit in your skillet, then by all means, continue following these instructions in a skillet.  Just  turn the stove down to med heat, pour on apple butter, and cover.

Anyway, I covered my pork chops with the remaining 1/2 c apple butter (or more if you want and if you have a lot of chops).  Cover and bake in at 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes (ish) or until just slightly pink or your meat thermometer reads 145 degrees.  The new guidelines for cooking pork now says to cook to  145 degrees.

 Remember that the meat will continue to cook a few minutes once you remove it from the oven. So let it rest about 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm and with the apple butter drippings in the pan.


About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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