Traditionally harvested in the Fall, apples are a staple at every Thanksgiving table. Bright red spiced apple rings were always a part of my mother’s relish plate for holidays, along with crisp Waldorf Salad served on little cups of lettuce. Apple Pie was always popular, but usually not gluten-free. Baked apples provided an easy alternative that everyone loved.
The Waldorf Salad was created at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1896 by the maître d’ of the restaurant there. The recipe has been adapted many times over the last 120 years. It always included the neon red maraschino cherries when I was a kid, and I’m not sorry to leave those out. I have made it with canned sour cherries as well as dried cherries and both versions have been very good. If you really feel like getting fancy, you can whip up a fresh mayonnaise rather than using something prepackaged. I love the fresh crunch of apples this brings to the salad options for a great Thanksgiving spread!
CLASSIC WALDORF SALAD
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. salt
3 med. apples, diced
1 c. sliced celery
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
Optional ingredients can include pears, raisins, dried or canned cherries, almonds, or cold meats to serve as an entree.
Combine first 4 ingredients.
Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and chill.
Makes 5 1/2 cups.
All the comfort and flavor of an apple pie, without the hassle of making a pie shell or the challenge of including one or two people that may be gluten-free among a large number of guests. Use your imagination for the dried fruit stuffing, adding nuts or ground oatmeal to firm up the middle. If you want to augment the glaze, some good quality vanilla added to the maple syrup, or maybe even some bourbon would do the trick!
Recipe amounts per apple. Make one apple for every person you plan to serve.
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp raisins or other chopped, dried fruit
Sprinkling of cinnamon, nutmeg and/or ginger
1 apple corer
Preheat oven to 325.
Wash the apples and dry thoroughly. Using an apple corer or a long, thin knife, hollow out the center of each apple. Place the apples in a foil-lined baking dish.
Sprinkle the sweet spices inside the apple. Spoon in the raisins. Drizzle the maple syrup over the center, then top with a 1 tbsp pat of butter. Repeat in each apple.
Place in the oven and bake until apples are soft. Check them at 20 minutes and then every 5 minutes until they are soft. Let them cook a little longer to get some amazing caramelized juices around the base of each one!
Serve with a dollop of whipped Chantilly Cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.