- Saute chunks of peeled apples in butter, season them with a touch of sugar and a pinch of salt, and serve them with any egg dish to brighten up breakfast. In the South, these are sometimes "fried" with bacon fat and called "fried apples."

- Make a gourmet open-faced tartine, aka sandwich with brie cheese and apples. Brush the bread with your favorite jam - think fig, apricot, raspberry, etc. and top with apples, brie and walnuts. Melt under a broiler.

- Make a faux sauerkraut for fall sausages by cooking down grated apples, sliced onions and fennel. Finish with a pinch of caraway seeds and a couple of tablespoons of butter for richness.

- Cook apples slowly until they melt into homemade applesauce. Begin by peeling and coring the apples, and add the juice of a large lemon, and a little sugar and cinnamon. Put the lid on the pot and slowly cook on the stovetop. When they have cooked down to the texture of chunky applesauce, taste and season as you like.

- Make your own apple butter. Cook about 5 pounds of apples with cup of apple cider until they are deep brown and have a creamy, "buttery" consistency. Season with your favorite autumn spices.

If you're like any of us staring down a few bushels of freshly picked apples — it didn't seem like a lot while frolicking through the local apple orchard, right? — and you're not sure what to do with them, we've got four recipes worth getting out the apple peeler.

This easy-to-eat tart was the best part of apple pie without the mess. We all decided it was perfect to bring to a potluck or to serve after a dinner party. (Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home)INGREDIENTS2/3 cup all-purpose flour1 tablespoon sugar1/8 teaspoon salt1/4 cup cold butter, cubed6-1/2 teaspoons cold water1/8 teaspoon vanilla extractFILLING:1-1/2 cups chopped peeled tart apples3 tablespoons sugar1 tablespoon all-purpose flourTOPPING:1 teaspoon sugar1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 large egg1 tablespoon water2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping, warmedDIRECTIONSIn a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Gradually add water and vanilla, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until easy to handle. Preheat oven to 400 F. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10-inch circle. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Combine the filling ingredients; spoon over crust to within 2 inches of edges. Fold up edges of crust over filling, leaving center uncovered. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over filling. Whisk egg and water; brush over crust.Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Using parchment paper, slide tart onto a wire rack. Drizzle with caramel topping. Serve warm.***OLD-FASHIONED APPLE CAKE WITH BROWN SUGAR FROSTING

This decadent apple cake was moist and deliciously rich thanks to its perfect brown sugar frosting. (Recipe courtesy of KingArthurFlour.com)INGREDIENTSCake:2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour1 2/3 cups granulated sugar2 teaspoons baking soda3/4 teaspoon salt1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground nutmeg2 large eggs, at room temperature8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened4 cups peeled, cored, finely chopped appleFrosting:7 tablespoons butter2/3 cup brown sugar1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 cup milk 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract optional: 2 tablespoons of cider syrup or boiled ciderDIRECTIONSPreheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan. To make the cake: Mix all of the ingredients except the apples and nuts in a large bowl. As soon as the mixture comes together and becomes pretty uniformly crumbly, stop mixing; you don't want it to turn into a cohesive mass.Add the apples and nuts, and mix until the apples release some of their juice and the stiff mixture becomes a thick, creamy batter, somewhere between cookie dough and brownie batter in consistency. This will take about 3 minutes at low speed in a stand mixer.Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing it with your wet fingers. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few wet crumbs clinging to it. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack to cool a bit while you make the frosting. To make the frosting: Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl or onto a piece of parchment or wax paper; set it aside. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt and cook, stirring, until the sugar starts to melt and the mixture becomes fairly smooth. While you may still notice a bit of grittiness from the sugar, you shouldn't see any melted butter pooled atop the sugar. Add the milk and (optional cider syrup) and bring to a boil.Remove the syrup from the heat and pour it into a medium-sized mixing bowl (large enough to accommodate the powdered sugar). Let the syrup cool in the bowl for 10 minutes.Pour the confectioners' sugar into the warm syrup in the bowl, then add the vanilla extract or flavor. Whisk until everything is thoroughly combined. You need to work fast here; the frosting stiffens up quickly as it cools. Pour the warm frosting onto the cake, spreading it over the entire surface. Store the cake, covered, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.***APPLE CAKE

Bottle Juicer

This cake is a perfect cross between a moist coffee cake and apple pie. It comes together quickly, but beware: make sure to really butter/spray your pan as it can stick to the pan. (Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen)INGREDIENTSFor the apples:6 apples, cored cut into cubes 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon5 tablespoons granulated sugarFor the cake:2 3/4 cups flour1 tablespoon baking powder1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt1 cup vegetable oil 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar1/4 cup orange juice2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract4 large eggsDIRECTIONSHeat oven to 350 F. Grease a tube pan or bundt pan. Toss cut apples with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix wet ingredients into dry ones.Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread half of the apples (and their juices) over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.Cool completely before running a knife between cake and pan, and unmolding onto a platter.***CARAMEL APPLE MUFFINS

These apple muffins hit the right note of sweet thanks to the tiny crunchy caramel bits. INGREDIENTS2 cups all-purpose flour3/4 cup sugar2 teaspoons baking powder2-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon salt1 large egg, room temperature1 cup 2 percent milk1/4 cup butter, melted2 teaspoons vanilla extract1/2 cup chopped peeled tart apple12 caramels, chopped, or 1 cup caramel bitsTopping:1/4 cup packed brown sugar1/4 cup flour2 tablespoons quick oats2 tablespoons softened butter1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamonDIRECTIONSIn a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, butter and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apple and caramels.Fill 12 paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter.Bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake portion comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

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