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Celebrate Fall With Virginia Apples

October is the time to celebrate the apple harvest in Virginia. Many orchards offer fall festivals and other apple-related activities.

To find out more about Virginia Grown apples you can check their web site: www.vdacs.virginia.gov or request a Virginia Grown guide to “pick your own fruits and vegetables” from VDACS, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218.

With fall in the air now's the time to try some apple recipes. Today's choices include: French Style Chicken with Apples, Apple Raisin Rice Pilaf, Golden Apple Oatmeal, Applesauce Gingerbread, Apple Pecan Crumb Pie, and a personal family favorite – Harvest Apple Cake.

FRENCH STYLE CHICKEN WITH APPLES

6 boneless chicken breast halves, 1 onion, sliced, 10-oz. chicken broth, 3 T. apple brandy or cider, 3 tart apples, sliced, 6 to 8 artichoke hearts drained, halved, pinch of cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, salt/pepper, fresh dill/parsley, minced

Spray large non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Brown chicken breasts on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Stir in sliced onion, apples, artichokes, broth, juice and spices. Cook 3 minutes. Spread chicken breasts in skillet; arrange apples, onion and artichokes on top. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until chicken is tender and heated through. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley or dill and apple slices before serving. Serves 6.

APPLE RAISIN RICE PILAF

1 sm. onion, chopped, 1 c. long grain rice, 2 tsp. butter, 2 c. apple juice, 1 apple, sliced, 1/2 c. raisins, 1 tsp. cinnamon

Saute onion and rice in butter until golden brown. Add apple juice, sliced apple, raisins and cinnamon. Simmer, covered, over low heat until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

GOLDEN APPLE OATMEAL

1/2 c. apple, diced, 1/3 c. apple juice, 1/3 c. water, 1/3 c. quick oats, dash cinnamon/nutmeg, dash of salt

Combine apples, juice, water and seasonings; bring to boil. Stir in oats; cook 1 minute. Cover and let stand several minutes before serving. Makes 1 serving.

APPLESAUCE GINGERBREAD

1/2 c. apple juice, 1 c. brown sugar, 1/2 c. molasses, 1/2 c. fat free egg product, 1 c. applesauce or 3 egg whites, beaten, 2-1/4 c. flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. ginger, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 lg. apple, chopped fine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly spray 7 x 11-inch glass baking dish with oil. In large bowl beat apple juice, sugar, molasses, fat free eggs and applesauce. Stir in flour, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon until combined. Spoon into baking dish and sprinkle chopped apple over top. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and place dish in middle of the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Remove the baking dish to a wire rack and allow cake to cool or serve warm with vanilla yogurt.

APPLE PECAN CRUMB PIE

1/4 c. pecans, chopped, 2 tsp. margarine, 1 deep dish 9-in. pie shell, unbaked, 6 c. apples, sliced, 1 c. sugar, 2 tsp. flour, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

crumb topping:

1/2 c. packed brown sugar, 1/4 c. margarine, 1/3 c. flour, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 c. pecans, chopped

Sprinkle pecans in pie shell. Mix sugar, flour and spices; toss with apples. Heap apples in pie shell; dot with margarine. Blend crumb topping ingredients with fork until size of peas; sprinkle over pie. Bake at 425 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

HARVEST APPLE CAKE

4 c. apples, shredded, 2 tsp. baking soda, 2 c. sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2 eggs, 3 c. flour, 1 c. oil, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 c. nuts, 1 c. raisins

Mix apples, sugar and nuts together and let stand one hour or longer. Mix other ingredients together and add to apple mixture. Put in greased tube or bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until done. Let cool before removing from pan.