Fall’s the Apple of Our Eye: Apple for Dinner
An apple a day…means fall is on its way! One of the most common fruits, apples hold all sorts of significance for us. They represent health, appreciation for teachers, well wishes on Rosh Hashanah and general Americana. This classic fruit is so much more than a summer pie or morning snack. We’ve found ways to incorporate it into nearly every dinner course. From apple cocktails to savory apple salads, here are some of our favorite ways to eat apple for dinner.
Cocktails (or mocktails!) should begin most get-togethers. Before hors d’oeuvres come out, it’s nice to have something sweet to sip on. In early fall, it’s not quite chilly enough for a warming cider drink, so we love to keep the cocktails fresh—think kiwi and apple spritzers and apple margaritas garnished with a dehydrated slice. For a full-on fall feeling, we love warm drinks. With two parts spiced apple cider, two parts ginger beer and two parts bourbon, apple mules are a cozy welcome to any party. A fresh cinnamon stick doubles as both a garnish and an extra hint of seasonal flavor.
Apple and cheese are a natural pairing. Bright, sweet apple cuts the fatty, creaminess of cheese creating a perfect flavor balance and a pleasing mouth-feel. Here at EC, goat cheese is one of our favorite additions to salad—it’s super soft, which contrasts beautifully with crisp lettuce and chopped vegetables. For added crunch, we’ll also often toss in nuts or seeds. The only thing missing? A sweet supplement! Crisp apple lightens the entire dish. Dressing it all with a grape or peach vinaigrette will amplify the apple, too. Apples of a super-sweet variety (Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, etc.) can help counteract some of the bitterness of peppery salad greens like arugula, frisée and red cabbage. To seamlessly incorporate apple into a grated cabbage slaw, grate the fruit into pieces comparable in size and length. Plus, a traditional slaw with a sweet, fruity element can work outside can also work on savory appetizers like mini tacos or chicken bites.
The apple of our eye? Pie! It’s a classic dinnertime dessert and fits innumerable occasions and themes. We love serving single-serve pies on sticks at whimsical weddings or on kid-friendly dessert tables at birthdays and mitzvahs. We’ve also served individual apple pies in miniature cast iron skillets for camping- or adventure-themed parties—such a versatile treat! For warm, cozy fall vibes, we also like apple cobblers in rustic glass jars. Sometimes, apple needs an accomplice. We like to mix cranberry into the filling. Cranberry has a much bolder flavor than apples, but the sweetness of apple helps balance and soften the tartness of the berry. It’s an especially great combination for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays and complements the holiday roast.