Tag Archives: apple

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad

The wheat berry is one of my favorite grains so I was excited to try out this Waldorf Salad recipe I discovered in the November / December issue of Midwest Living.  I brought it over to my friend’s today for lunch and we both agreed it was pretty good.

There are a lot of pretty good recipes and stories in this issue of Midwest Living, actually.  One of my favorites is a story of a Christmas cookie – Date Pinwheel Cookies – featured on page 26 by a Minneapolis blogger.  Oh wait!  That blogger is me!  I was pretty honored to be asked to contribute a story for this issue of the magazine and I think that my grandma would be pleased as punch to see one of her recipes in a glossy magazine, even if she never would have submitted it herself.

In any case, if you’re looking for some tasty, Midwestern holiday recipes, whether they be cookies or grain salads, you’ll want to check out this very special (at least to me!) issue of Midwest Living.

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad (from Midwest Living)
2 1/2 c. water
3/4 c. wheat berries, rinsed
1/3 c. olive oil
1 Tbsp.  dried parsely
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 large apples, chopped (ML suggests one Granny Smith and one Braeburn; I used one Fireside and one Honeycrisp)
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. dried currants (or cranberries, cherries or raisins)
1/2 c. grapes, halved
4 Tbsp. slivered almonds

1.  In a small bowl, combine the water and wheat berries.  Cover and chill in your refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours.  Do not drain; transfer to a medium saucepan.  Bring to boiling and then reduce to a simmer, covered for 30 mins or until tender with a chewy texture.  Drain and cool.  (I admit, I forgot to do this step and just cooked the wheat berries, sans soaking.  I think they’re fine.)
2.  Prepare the dressing.  In a screw-top jar, combine oil, parsley, vinegar, juice, sugar, salt and nutmeg.  Drizzle dressing over wheat berries, stirring to coat.
3.  In a large bowl, toss apples, celery, cranberries, and grapes.  Stir in wheat berry mixture and mix well.  Serve immediately, or chill for up to 4 hours.
4.  Serve over a bed of spinach and garnish with almonds.




Apple Pie

A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I headed out to Aamodt’s Apple Farm for some apple pickin’ and wine tastin’.  We brought a variety of zucchini treats for a picnic (post forthcoming, one of these days or months) and enjoyed the absolutely perfect fall day that it was.

Last night I decided to finally enjoy the fruits of that afternoon’s (or 20 minutes as it were) labor by making an apple pie.  I briefly considered making some apple kuchen, because it’s sooo good, but thought it was time to break out a different Grandma classic this time around.  I used my grandma’s VVG flaky pie crust recipe and my mom’s Betty Crocker apple filling.

Flaky Pie Crust
4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. shortening (not butter this time)
1 T. vinegar
1/2 c. cold water
1 egg.

Sift dry ingredients together.  Work in shortening.  Then add beaten egg to water and vinegar.  Roll out into pie crusts.
Wrap any remaining crust into wax paper.  Ready to use at any time.  May be kept in freezer.  Thaw to room temperature and use as freshly made up.  Save all scraps each time and refreeze.

Apple Pie Filling
5 c. apples, thinly sliced
1/2 c. sugar
3 T. flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
dash salt
3 T. butter
Sprinkle dry ingredients over apples.  Toss until well coated.  Put in pie crust and top with butter.

Bake pie at 425º for 15 mins.  Then reduce heat to 375º and bake for 30 mins.  Let set as long as you can before eating.  Enjoy with ice cream!

Apple Pie

Apple Kuchen

Last week Friday marked the last day of the spring semester.  To celebrate, I usually bake up some treats for my international students in part to share a little American culinary culture with them and in part to prove to them that I really do know how to make my own food.  Each semester, without fail, my students at some point ask me what I usually eat and then express great amazement and surprise when I tell them that, no, I don’t eat burgers and pizza every day and that yes, I do cook for myself.

In any case, last Thursday night as I was in the midst of grading final essays, I remembered that I need to make said end-of-semester treat.  I consulted my trusted recipe box and found a number of gems – Grandma’s Ginger Snaps, Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Velvet Lunch Cake – but none seemed to fit the bill for my 10 am class.  But then, there it was – Apple Kuchen.  Perfect!

I hadn’t had Apple Kuchen in ages.  For a while, Grandma used to make it for us every Sunday and bring it over when she and Grandpa came over to help milk in the morning.  We were supposed to wait until after church to eat it, but I’m not so sure that always happened.  I’m pretty sure some after chores / pre-church taste-testing went on.  But see, I think that’s why Grandma often brought over two pans of the stuff – one for after milking and one for after church.  I’m sure Dad would argue that one was for him and one was for the rest of us, but I think we all know the real aims of Grandma’s generosity.

After sharing this treat with my students, I think it’s reasonable to say that Grandma’s legacy has extended beyond the Ruesch family and has a certain amount of international appeal.  This recipe certainly does justice to my students’ perceptions that American food is extremely sweet.  I’m sure some of them thought this was a little too sweet, but probably the same number of them would gobble up another piece if given the opportunity.

Apple Kuchen
2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. shortening
1 egg, beaten
1 c. milk
apples (I used 3 small apples)
1 c. sugar

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together.  Cut shortening into dry ingredients until mix is dry and crumbly.  Blend egg and milk together.  Add to dry ingredients and mix well.  Spread dough in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Peel and cut apples into slices.  Place apples on top and press slightly into top of dough.  Sprinkle 1 c. sugar over apples.

4 Tbsp flour
6 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix topping ingredients until crumbly.  Sprinkle over sugar and apples.  Bake at 375º for 30 mins or until apples are done.

May be served with whipped cream (very good without)*

*This last line of the recipe is an important one.  I’m not sure if it’s because we ate the kuchen before Grandma had time to whip the cream, but I don’t recall ever eating apple kuchen with whipped cream.  I’m sure it’s good, but Grandma knows best – it’s very good without.

Apple Kuchen