National Apple Month: Savor the Flavor

By Paula Detwiller

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Florida is famous for its many fruit and vegetable crops, but apples aren’t one of them. We rely on orchards in the north for our apples. And this season, we’re going to be paying a lot more for them—as much as $1 a pound, according to news reports.

Why? Chalk it up to strange weather in the big apple-producing states of New York and Michigan. A warm spell in March caused apple trees to bud early. Then a cold snap in April killed off apple blossoms. As a result, Michigan lost 90 percent of its apple crop while New York lost more than half.

A Precious Commodity

Since we can’t control the laws of supply and demand, we suggest celebrating National Apple Month in the best way possible: buy only as many apples as you can afford, and savor every bite!

Here’s a recipe to help you do just that, compliments of Taste of Home and contributor Clara Dumke of Plant City, Florida.

APPLE BLUEBERRY COBBLER

1 tablespoon butter, melted

9 gingersnap cookies, crushed

4 large tart apples, peeled

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

3 cups fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

For the crust:  Spread butter over the bottom of an 8-inch-square baking dish. Sprinkle with gingersnap crumbs; press down gently. Set aside.

For the filling: Cut each apple into 16 wedges. In a large skillet, sauté apples in butter until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and ginger; sprinkle over apples; toss to coat. Place blueberries in a separate bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and orange peel; toss gently to coat.

For the topping:  Combine flour and brown sugar in a small bowl; cut in cubed cold butter until crumbly.

Spoon apple mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with blueberry mixture and topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly. 

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