Some comfort foods are hugely rooted in nostalgia. Others are just so enjoyably crispy, crunchy, chewy, sweet or savoury, they bring a smile as soon as we tuck in. Pick up a bushel of your favourite variety, then slice ‘em and dice ‘em to create one of these tasty (yet easy) favourites.
Apple and cheddar pasta bake
For a main-entrée version of apple pie with cheddar, create a sauce by sautéing two cups of chopped, peeled, tart cooking apples with 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion and 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in 3 tablespoons flour, 3 teaspoons thyme, salt and pepper, 1/2 cup apple cider, and 2 cups of whole milk, melting in one 23-ounce package of softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup of shredded white cheddar. Add the melted sauce to 350g of your favourite cooked pasta, sprinkle with panko crumbs sautéed in butter and bake at 175C degrees for 40 minutes.
Apple, brie and turkey paninis
For a scrumptious balance of sweet and savoury flavours, fill olive oil-brushed sourdough bread slices with thin layers of sliced turkey, brie, medium-tart apples and whole cranberry sauce. Grill for 2 minutes on each side using a panini press or skillet until brie is melted and the bread is golden brown.
Slow-cooked spicy apples
Peel and slice six Granny Smith apples into your crockpot. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons cornstarch and cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to taste. Cook on high for two hours and serve warm, adding to ice cream if you choose.
Nearly instant apple dumplings
Peel and slice a large, tart apple. Unroll a tube of crescent-roll dough, roll up each piece with an apple slice and place them in a baking dish. Brush them with a caramel made of 1/2 cup melted butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, then pour a half-can of lemon-lime flavoured pop over the top. Bake at 175C degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.
Don’t miss the glories of apple season this year. Instead, celebrate by treating yourself and your family to a range of warm and delicious dishes featuring the classic and versatile fruit.