Tasty to the Core

Try your hand at three dessert recipes that show there is more to apples than pie.  

Fresh apple squares. 

Photo by Tyler Darden 

You made the drive to the nearest orchard, you filled your baskets with all the fresh apples you could get your hands on, and now your kitchen counter runneth over. What to do with those Winesaps, Galas and Fujis? Add a little of this and a little of that for desserts that will earn you rave reviews.

Fresh Apple Squares 

1 ¾ cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups chopped peeled apples
1 cup chopped nuts Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the sugar, eggs and oil in a large bowl until well blended. Combine the baking soda, salt, our and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the dry mixture gradually to the egg mixture and beat well. Fold in the apples and nuts. Pour the batter into a 9"-by-13" pan, and bake for 1 hour. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and cut into squares to serve. Serves 8 to 10.

Apple Black Walnut Pudding Cake

Apple black walnut pudding cake. 

Photo by Tyler Darden 

1 pound golden raisins
1 ½ cups apple brandy
2 to 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled & cored (to yield 1 cup roasted apple puree)
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose our
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ cup coarsely chopped black walnuts ½ cup half-and-half

Two days before serving, combine raisins and apple brandy in a bowl. Cover and macerate at room temperature overnight. The day before serving, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut apples into eighths. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Cover loosely with foil and roast in oven until soft, about 30 minutes. Puree roasted apples with fork or blender. Measure 1 cup of the puree and place in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Mix manually until well incorporated. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir into the apple mixture. Stir together the walnuts, half-and- half, and raisin brandy mixture. Fold into the flour-apple mixture and pour into a well-greased 9- or 12-cup Bundt pan. Bake cake until firm on top, about 40 to 50 minutes. (The cake will still be sticky in the center.) Cool and then chill overnight in the Bundt pan.

On the day of serving carefully loosen sides of chilled cake with knife. Place Bundt pan in several inches of hot water for 5 minutes. Unmold cake by tipping onto a flat serving plate. Serve topped with Mascarpone Cream.

Marscapone Cream

½ pound mascarpone
½ cup light-brown sugar
¼ cup brandy
1 cup heavy cream

Whisk together mascarpone, brandy and brown sugar until smooth. Add heavy cream and whisk until thickened. Serve a small amount with each slice of cake.  

Apple Pudding

Apple pudding. 

Photo by Tyler Darden 


3 or 4 apples (fresh or dried)
½ cup butter
½ cup cream
3 eggs
½ cup powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 pie crust (homemade or store-bought) 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Peel the apples and boil until tender. Press through a sieve. Mix one cup of the apple puree with ½ cup of cream and butter. Let cool. 

Add three well-beaten eggs, powdered sugar and lemon zest. Mix well together and pour into a pie crust. Bake for 30 minutes.  

Pie Crust

½ cup cream cheese, chilled
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup butter, unsalted chilled and cubed
½ teaspoon salt, kosher
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
6 tablespoons water, ice cold

Place the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor and add the chilled cubed butter, then the cream cheese torn into small grape-sized pieces. Pulse 5 to 6 times. The butter and cream cheese should form into crumbly pea-sized balls. Place the mixture into a mixing bowl with high sides. Add the vinegar and water, and using a fork, slowly stir the ingredients together until all of the liquid is absorbed (it will still look dry and crumbly). Using your hands, slowly and gently work the formed dough (picking up the dry crumbly mix) until it all comes together. 

Flatten the dough out slightly and wrap in plastic, then chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
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