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Bonnie Aeschliman: Jonathan apples perfect for cooking

  • Published Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013, at 1:51 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, at 9:27 a.m.

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Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Serves 6

2 pounds sweet potatoes, about the same size

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon chili powder

About 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 425. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into half lengthwise; then cut into even sized strips or wedges, about 1/2 thick.

2. Place on in a single layer on a large baking sheet. They should not touch. Drizzle with olive and toss around to cover all surfaces.

3. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle over sweet potatoes; turn to cover all sides with seasoning. Spread out in single layer.

4. Roast until tender and well browned, about 30 minutes, turning once to brown evenly.

Serve with Hatch Chile Crema.

Note: If your oven has convection; use that as it works really well on this recipe.

Hatch Chile Crema

1 cup sour cream

1 Hatch chile, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together. Chill until ready to use.

Fresh Apple-Walnut Cake

This cake is moist, with a sauce poured over it while still warm. It makes a wonderful fall dessert and is also lovely served with coffee or tea.

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon apple pie spice (or cinnamon)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

4 cups peeled and shredded Jonathan apples

1/2 cup raisins, optional

Caramel sauce

1/4 cup cream

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch salt

Spray a 10-cup tube pan (angel food cake pan) with a nonstick baking spray. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Sift flour, apple pie spice, soda and salt together. With mixer running, slowly add dry ingredients; mix until blended. Fold in walnuts, apples and raisins. Mixture will be very thick.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour or until cake tests done. Cool on baking rack.

While cake is baking, make the sauce: Place butter and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until mixture is hot and butter melts. Stir in brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and gently boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Cool slightly, and pour over warm cake while cake is still in the pan. Let cake cool completely before removing from pan.

Bonnie Aeschliman, The Wichita Eagle, Sept. 25, 2013

When you survey the apples in our local markets, you will find we have many selections – Red Delicious, Yellow Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, Pink Lady, Fuji, Braeburn, Honeycrisp and others that are available year round. Some of those varieties are grown in the Northwest; others are shipped in from other countries.

However, in September, you will find a Jonathan – a small red apple with a tart flavor, locally grown or brought in from surrounding states. When I see those, I know it is September – fall has arrived. You won’t find Jonathan apples during the winter months as they are not good keepers. So you need to enjoy them now while they are available.

Besides being a tart, juicy apple that makes a nutritious snack, Jonathan apples are perfect for cooking. Their tart flavor makes them ideal for apple crisps, applesauce, pies and apple cakes.

Today I am sharing a fabulous apple cake, chock full of fresh apples, walnuts, raisins and spices that I know you are going to love. It is made from scratch and will taste far better than anything you will make from a box. Jonathan apples are perfect for this recipe. But if they are not available, I substitute Granny Smith – they are good too.

Bonnie Aeschliman is a certified culinary professional who owns Cooking at Bonnie’s Place in Wichita. For more information, call 316-425-5224 or visit www.cookingatbonnies.com. To submit a question to Bonnie, e-mail her at bonnie@cookingatbonnies.com.

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