Cool, sparkling weather means it's apple time

Just as a cool climate seems to agree with apples, it is the first cool, sparkling weather that brings back memories of the hearty apple puddings of other autumns.

Many of the apples are of New England origin, since it was John Endicott, one of the early governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, who first brought apple seeds and trees from England to America.

Eighteen kinds of apple varieties account for 95 percent of North America's crop. Among these are the apples most favored by the public: Red and Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Rome Beauty, Jonathan, York Imperial, Cortland, Baldwin, Northern Spy and Transparent.

Recently there has been a large increase in the popularity of Gravensteins.

In purchasing, look for round, firm fruit with good color, neither soft nor bruised. If small apples will suffice for your needs, by all means buy them, for they are just as satisfactory for cooking, and less expensive.

Half the pleasure of eating apple puddings is their delightful old-fashioned names: Slump, Brown Betty, Cobbler, Yankee Apple John, Dumpling, Apple Indian Pudding, and Apple Crisp. Some of these are so rich and filling that you may want to precede them with a lighter main course. Most of these desserts are good either warm or cold. Apple Slump 6 cups apples, pared, cored, and sliced 1 scant cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 cup water 1 1/2 cups sifted flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 cup milk, approximately

Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, and water in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil.

Combine dry ingredients and stir in enough milk to make a soft dough. Drop dough by the spoonful onto the hot apple mixture. Cover tightly. Cook over low heat for 1/2 hour. Serve warm with cream or vanilla ice cream. Serves 6. Apple Meringue 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 1/2 cup sugar, divided 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 3 cups peeled and sliced apples 3 egg yolks 1/3 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 egg whites 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix together butter, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice in small baking pan. Add apple slices.

Beat egg yolks until thick. Add sour cream and vanilla.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar and nutmeg; beat until stiff. Fold in egg yolks. Spread on top of apples. Bake at 375-degree F. 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

Apple Indian Pudding

2 cups milk, scalded

1/2 cup corn meal

1/2 cup cold water

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

2 cups cold milk

1 cup sliced sweet apples

1/2 cup seedless raisins

Scald milk in top of double boiler. Combine corn meal with 1/2 cup cold water. Add to milk. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm.

Beat egg slightly. Add sugar, molasses, salt, ginger, and cinnamon, 1 cup of the milk, apples, and raisins. Mix. Turn into well-buttered 2 1/2- to 3-quart pudding dish.

Bake 2 hours at 300 degrees F. Add 1 cup milk and bake another hour. If too dry, add a little more milk. Serve warm with plain cream or whipped cream. Apple Crunch 6 cups apples, pared, cored, and sliced 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1/2 cup orange juice 1/3 cup butter or margarine 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup cornflakes, crumbled 1/2 cup sifted flour 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg Grated rind of 1 orange 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Arrange apples in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and pour 1/2 the orange juice over them.

Work 1/3 cup butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar together until creamy. Add cornflakes, flour, spice, and orange rind. Mix well and spread over apples.

Pour on remaining orange juice and dot with butter. Bake in oven heated to 375 degrees F. about 45 minutes. Serve warm with cream or hard sauce. Serves 6.

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