Sunday, January 16, 2011

How Do You Like Them Apples?

I've just experienced one of the most amazing weekends. It was relaxing and productive and totally satisfying. I spent lots of time with my family and in the kitchen.

My boys have this fascination with apple jelly. Not just any apple jelly, but their mom's homemade apple jelly. Since I was fresh out of the goods, and have been for a week, I decided it was time to get the canning equipment out and get to work. I had an apple-licious afternoon.

I'm just going to warn the South Beach dieters now that this apple jelly recipe is NOT South Beach Diet friendly. Have no fear, the forbidden jelly recipe will be followed by an apple dessert recipe that I created this weekend and it is South Beach Diet (Phase 2 and 3) friendly. My brother-in-law, who has celiac's disease was here for dinner so my dessert is also gluten free.

Mel's (Low Sugar) Caramel Apple Pie Jelly

8c peeled, cored and diced apples (I used Jonagolds)
2/3c apple cider
1T butter
1 package of fruit pectin (I used Ball brand)
3c Splenda
1 1/2c packed brown sugar
1t cinnamon
1/2t nutmeg

In a large pot mix apples, cider and butter and cook on medium heat until apples soften.
Add the package of pectin and stir well. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil.
When apples come to a boil, stir in Splenda, sugar and spices. Bring the mixture back to a boil and cook one minute. Remove from heat.
Pour into sterile, hot canning jars and leave 1/4 inch headspace. Securely fasten lid and ring and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
Makes 7-8 half pint jars full.

Mel's South Beach Apple Crisp
(South Beach Phases 2 and 3 and Gluten Free)

8c peeled, cored and cubed apples (I used Jonagold again)
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 1/4t cinnamon, divided
1/2t nutmeg
3/4c plus 1T Splenda, divided
1c oats (not instant)
1T margarine, cubed
1T olive oil
1/4c pecans

Preheat oven to 325.
In a large mixing bowl combine apples, lemon juice, zest, 1t cinnamon, nutmeg and 3/4c Splenda. Mix well.
In food processor, combine oats, 1/4t cinnamon, 1T Splenda, 1T margarine, olive oil and pecans. Pulse until mixture forms a course meal.
Place apples into 8x8 (or similar) baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle topping over apples and bake until the apples are soft, approximately 30 minutes.

Let the apple crisp cool down, but not all the way. It's best when it's still warm. It was delicious and it disappeared VERY quickly.

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