We went apple picking on Saturday and got a little carried away. It was a day that captured the essence of Autumn in New England: that “snap” in the air that puts color in your cheeks; the reds, oranges and yellows of fall foliage just like in a picture postcard; and apple trees weighed down with deep red, ready-to-pick fruit. We just meant to pick a few…and now we have so many apples we hardly know what to do with them all.
Somebody had the bright idea of making a whole dinner featuring our apple haul, to really celebrate fall. So when Sunday turned out to be cool and rainy and just right for cooking, we decided to prepare an apple-centric feast. Here’s the menu.
We’ll begin with a cup of Curried Carrot & Apple Soup. (As one reader commented online: “The apples raise this soup from very good to superb.”)
Then we’ll have Roasted Apple & Cheddar Salad. This salad has lots of greens, too, and a vinaigrette dressing that includes a little apple juice.
Hard Cider-Braised Lamb Shanks (we’ll be drinking hard cider with the meal, so there will be plenty on hand for cooking with too). For our vegetarian friends, we can make Apple, Sauerkraut & Cheddar Quesadillas.
There are so many apple options for dessert that it will be hard to choose (find apple pies, apple crisp, apple cupcakes, caramel apples and more here). Maybe we’ll let Roasted Apple Butter bubble away in the oven all afternoon and dollop it on vanilla ice cream to finish our meal with a flourish.
Speaking of getting carried away… After that very special apple menu, if we want to have fresh apples to put in everyone’s lunches this week—we’ll have to go pick some more!