Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

What’s green and orange and purple all over and tastes perfectly in season?

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is the perfect healthy meal for fall, featuring loads of fresh produce and savory pumpkin spice roasted chickpeas!

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette!


I know it’s not technically fall yet (just a few more days!) but after I took a little trip to the Farmer’s Market this past weekend I just couldn’t resist all of the fall produce I was seeing. Okay, maybe I just became obsessed with the fact that here in Santa Barbara we are deep in the throes of a very short fresh fig season, and I can’t help snatching a bunch of them up whenever I see them because I know they may be gone the next time I head out for groceries.

So yes, this salad stars plenty of fresh figs, but it features so many other fun fall things as well. We’re talking sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas) and – wait for it – SAVORY PUMPKIN SPICE CHICKPEAS!! You guys, they’re amazing. Perfectly crispy with all that fun pumpkin spice flavor and then a savory hit of garlic. Even if you don’t make the entire Fall Harvest Chopped Salad, please, please, PLEASE make these savory pumpkin spice chickpeas for a healthy, protein-packed snack. You will not be able to get enough!

Savory pumpkin spice roasted chickpeas are the perfect addition to a Fall Harvest Chopped Salad.

And can we talk for a minute about chopped salads? I love salads served in this way (i.e. all of the ingredients already chopped up into bite-size pieces) for multiple reasons, mostly because (a) you can get a taste of every single ingredient in each bite and (b) you don’t have to worry about looking like a complete dinosaur with a giant piece of lettuce hanging out of your mouth when you try to take a bite. Easy to eat, full of flavor – that’s my kind of healthy meal!

Usually I like to keep things simple with salads and keep the cooking to a minimum, but since we’re heading into fall I figured you wouldn’t mind just a little bit of oven/stove time to really make some of these flavors pop.

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is going to quickly become your go-to nutritious lunch or dinner for the season, and those savory pumpkin spice chickpeas are probably most definitely going to become your new favorite healthy snack.

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is the perfect light lunch or dinner to usher in the fall season.

So let’s talk about what all exactly needs to go on here to make this salad come to life.

The only oven time required is for roasting both our sweet potatoes and chickpeas, and the good news is that they can be roasted together, at the same oven temperature, for the same amount of time. How convenient is that?

The only other “cooking” required is toasting up our pepitas, because if there’s one thing I learned during my time as a pastry assistant, it’s that you should be toasting your nuts WHENEVER you are adding them to any sort of recipe. It seriously adds so much flavor and is most definitely worth the extra 10 minutes or so of toasting over the stove.

Aside from the roasting and toasting, all this Fall Harvest Chopped Salad requires is a good tossing in a huge bowl and a drizzle of shallot-tinged apple cider vinaigrette. And speaking of vinaigrette, this one couldn’t be easier. You may have noticed from the other salads I have here on the blog (like this Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette and this Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts) that I like to keep my dressings simple. I feel like you should really let all of the flavors of whatever produce and other goodies you’re using in the dish shine through and not coat it in a blanket of heavy, creamy, or otherwise overwhelming flavor.

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette feeds a crowd!

The apple cider vinaigrette we drizzle over this fall-forward salad adds the perfect touch of acidity (with a nice apple-y hint of flavor) while the shallots add an extra dimension to all of the other flavors in the mix. My only caution would be to wait and add the dressing right before serving. Since we’re using regular lettuce (as opposed to a heartier green like kale) it will wilt quickly if you leave it soaking in the dressing for too long.

But that’s it! Having this Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette prepped and ready for dinner tonight is not just a possibility, it’s a necessity!

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is the perfect healthy meal or side dish for the busy days of back-to-school.

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is the perfect healthy meal for fall, featuring loads of fresh produce and savory pumpkin spice roasted chickpeas!
Print
Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

This seasonal, healthy salad is full of fresh figs, roasted sweet potatoes, toasted pumpkin seeds and savory pumpkin spice roasted chickpeas. 

Course: Main Course, Salad
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the savory pumpkin spice chickpeas:
  • 1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
For the roasted sweet potato:
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Other salad ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
  • 8 cups chopped red and green lettuce
  • 6 purple figs, quartered
For the apple cider vinaigrette:
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, toss together all of the chickpea ingredients. Spread mixture over a small jelly roll pan.

  2. In a separate small baking dish, combine all of the roasted sweet potato ingredients.

  3. Place both the chickpeas and the sweet potato in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, open the oven and give the chickpeas a little shake. Roast for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the chickpeas are crunchy and the sweet potatoes are golden brown and fork tender. Remove and let cool while you prep the rest of the salad.

  4. Place the chopped lettuce in a large salad bowl. Add the figs, pumpkin seeds, sweet potato and chickpeas. 

  5. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a Mason jar. Seal and give a good shake. Drizzle dressing over salad right before serving. 

Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette | CaliGirlCooking.com

From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider

We’re not going to miss out on any of the fall foods this year!

From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider is the perfect drink to take us into fall!

With all of the excitement of pumpkin spice season, I feel like we often forget some of the other amazing produce that really shines this time of year. Yes, squash are plentiful, but let’s not forget about persimmons, pomegranates, Brussels sprouts and, of course APPLES!


Since I feel it’s just a tad too early for all the pumpkin (but don’t worry, it’s coming soon!) I wanted to take advantage of what I feel is a true September fruit and share this delish From-Scratch Slow Cooked Spiced Apple Cider today!

To be honest, I’d never ventured into the homemade apple cider realm before, but since I’m firmly on the wagon this September, I decided now was a better time than any to try my hand at a tasty non-alcoholic sipper. I love a good apple cider (and, let’s be real, I love it even more when I can spike it with some bourbon), but sometimes the store-bought stuff can get a bit too sweet for me.

A warm glass of From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider is all you need on a cool fall day.

In fact, ever since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve noticed I’m much more sensitive to overly sugary drinks. If I have more than one glass of juice or other sweetened beverage, I get a massive headache not unlike you’d get from an actual alcohol hangover. I guess that goes to show that my body doesn’t like too much of anything! Balance my friends, balance.

As I was browsing through homemade apple cider recipes online, I came across a bunch of variations and ultimately decided on a combination that I felt would be uniquely “me.” While I omitted any sort of added sugar (maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, etc.) that other recipes included, I also included what could be called the “secret ingredient” in my homemade boilo hot toddy I make every winter – caraway seeds! Of course, that would be in addition to the requisite cinnamon sticks and cloves. The result was so deliciously spiced and NOT overly sweet, I immediately fell in love!

So here’s the deal on this super-easy From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider:

I used Gala apples because I felt they have a good balance of sweetness and acidity, but you could really use any variety you prefer. If you like things more sour, go for the green apples. If you like things more mellow, go for the red ones, or try a combination of a few different varieties to get a truly unique flavor.

An orange is added for a little extra dimension, and of course the whole spices mentioned above – caraway seeds, cinnamon sticks and cloves. The chunks don’t matter because we’re straining it all out in the end anyhow.

As far as the process goes, our use of the slow cooker means things couldn’t be easier. We simply throw all of the ingredients in together with some high-quality H2O, set it and forget it. I cooked mine on low for 7 hours, but the other great thing about this recipe is it won’t really hurt to leave it in there a little bit longer. Basically, we can start the slow cooker before bed and wake up to delicious hot apple cider, or we can get everything organized in the morning and have a huge batch of apple cider ready to be spiked up a bit for an after-dinner drink 😉

From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider is garnished with fresh apple slices and whole cinnamon sticks.

And if you happen to like your cider a bit on the sweeter side, simply add some maple syrup or honey to taste after you strain all the solids out after the cooking process is done.

Bet you didn’t think a tasty batch of From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider was that easy to whip up, did you?

Delicious From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider ready to be consumed with or without bourbon.

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have a great weekend! Xx

From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider is the perfect drink to take us into fall!
Print
From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
7 hr
Total Time
7 hr 5 mins
 

A not-too-sweet homemade version of a favorite fall drink, full of mouthwatering spices and fresh apple flavor and ready in just a few hours.

Course: Drinks
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 8-10 medium Gala apples, cored and sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 10 cups filtered water
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 7 hours.

  2. Strain solids from mixture using a sieve (or cheesecloth) and into a large pitcher. Add more sliced apples and cinnamon sticks. Serve warm (and add bourbon if you want to booze it up!)

From-Scratch Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider | CaliGirlCooking.com

Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup

It’s hard to believe something so simple can be so delicious.

A couple of bowls of Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup make the perfect dinner for cooler weather.

This Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup is the perfect example of how just a few ingredients can turn into something completely magical. We’re talking creamy mouthfeel, layers of flavor and in fact a pretty darn healthy meal. Once you taste it, your life just may be changed forever.


The hubs and I have a favorite restaurant here in Santa Barbara, Trattoria Vittoria, that serves quite possibly the most legit Italian food I’ve encountered stateside. They employ Italian chefs, the owner spent a good portion of his childhood in Italy and speaks fluent Italian, the food is amazing and, in fact, so are the drinks with an incredibly entertaining flair bartender manning the helm (who also has a blog, Flair Project, that you should most definitely check out for some out-of-this-world cocktail recipes.)

The restaurant also happens to be one of my husband’s work accounts, so we often find ourselves eating there both for lunch during the week and quite frequently on a “date night” out on the town. What can I say, when we find something good, we stick with it.

Anyhow, even though alllll of the food is delicious, one of my favorite things to order at lunch (okay, even often at dinner) is a cup of their soup of the day. It changes frequently, and you’ll rarely get the same thing twice, but it’s always tasty and I’ve never been disappointed.

A big bowl of Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup ready to be devoured.

A while back, I met Chris there for lunch and they were serving a Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup. I wasn’t too sure what to expect (for some reason I thought it might be chunky?) but I went ahead and ordered it because I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. What came out of the kitchen was a delicious, velvety smooth purée that was chock full of flavor and left me practically licking the bowl. I immediately knew I wanted to recreate something like it in my own kitchen!

And that’s what you have here today folks, what I’m proud to say is almost a spot-on rendition of the soup I tasted on that fateful day. I made this Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup all from taste, without asking the chef for any tips on how they did it, but I’d have to say I’m really darn proud of the result.

The best part about this recipe? It only requires 6 ingredients (well, 8 counting the optional one and salt and pepper) and comes together easily and beautifully as long as you (a) have the patience to caramelize some onions beforehand and (b) have a regular or immersion blender on hand. I mean, I found myself standing at the stove asking “Is this really all I need? Is the flavor really already this outstanding?” Yep yep, they are!

Mix up a big pot of Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup for dinner tonight!

So here’s all you need to make this Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup tonight:

Onions
Potatoes
Butter
Chicken stock
Garlic
Heavy cream (optional)
Prosciutto (again, optional)

Plus a little salt and pepper. That’s it! I’m venturing to guess you may already have a lot (if not all) of this stuff on hand, which means Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup is becoming even more of a reality for gracing your dinner table tonight.

Although this recipe is easy and does not require much hands-on work, it does take a little bit of time. We have to give all of those delicious flavors time to come together, after all! But the results are totally worth it. Promise.

Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup is the perfect comfort food meal.

Do you have any fun and delicious soup recipes I need to try? Now that fall is just around the corner (and Baby D’s due date!) I’m looking for all the cooler weather recipes I can get my hands on. Leave me your recs in the comments below!

A couple of bowls of Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup make the perfect dinner for cooler weather.
Print
Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 5 mins
 

A creamy, velvety soup full of hearty potatoes and flavorful caramelized onion. The perfect, easy comfort food meal for cooler weather!

Course: Main Course, Soup
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 white or sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 3 slices prosciutto, to top (optional but highly recommended)
Instructions
  1. First, you’ll want to caramelize your onions. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add sliced onions and cook, low and slow and stirring occasionally, until onions take on that beautiful caramel color. This may take up to 30 minutes. Be patient! You don’t want to cook the onions too fast and give them a burnt flavor. 

  2. Once onions are sufficiently caramelized, add them to a large stockpot along with potatoes, chicken stock and peeled, whole garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer until potatoes are tender when you poke them with a fork. Reduce heat to low.

  3. Use either an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a regular blender and purée until there are no longer any chunks. Transfer back to the stockpot on low heat (if using a regular blender), stir in heavy cream (if using) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep soup simmering on low while you make some crispy prosciutto to top it off!

  4. Heat a small nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, add slices of prosciutto and cook until crisp, flipping when necessary. Transfer to a cutting board and chop prosciutto into little pieces.

  5. Ladle warm soup into bowls and top with crispy prosciutto. Enjoy immediately!

Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup | CaliGirlCooking.com

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars

Who’s up for a back-to-school treat?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars are the perfect way to kick off fall and back to school.

I sure am, even though it’s now officially been over 10 years since I’ve been in school. But I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t want some Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars in their life?


I realize it’s not been too long since I posted my last cheesecake recipe, but when you’ve got something good going on I’m all about celebrating it. And when the ideas are flowing I’m always anxious to share them all with you!

These Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars are definitely my jam. They’re the perfect size, meaning you don’t feel completely laden with alllll the dairy after devouring a huge piece. And did I mention they’re full of one of my favorite flavor combinations ever? Yep, in case you didn’t know, I’m a huge fan and could eat PB&J basically every day of my life until the end of time if given the opportunity.

It’s peanut butter-jelly time, my friends.

These Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars are the perfect back-to-school treat for your little ones!

Let me tell you, we are not skimping on any flavor here. Even though it doesn’t seem like much, the peanut butter and jelly flavors really shine along with the cheesecake. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a huge fan of the Classic New York-Style Cheesecake but, especially at this time of year with school starting up again and fall creeping back onto the scene, it’s fun to mix it up and sneak in some classic childhood combos.

So, what do you think? Ready to hear how perfected the ultimate Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars? You’re going to be blown away by how easy this is…

A bite of these Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars is all you need to soak your day's worries away!

First, we start with a peanut butter-y graham cracker crust. All that’s required for this step is graham crackers, peanut butter, butter and a food processor. That’s it! Pulse it all together and press it into a square baking dish lined with parchment paper. We bake it off just a tad to get things to set a crisp up a bit, then we’re off to the races with our strawberry jelly swirled cheesecake batter!

The first step to Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars: a peanut butter-graham cracker crust!

True to my usual habits, I stuck to using one block of regular cream cheese and one block of light cream cheese for my batter base. Remember, we’re all about that balance! It’s all very similar to my other cheesecake recipes, so if you’ve made either of those before (and even if you’ve not) you’re in good shape to whip these up tonight.

Once the cheesecake batter is poured all over the peanut butter-y graham cracker crust, you’re going to want to strategically place some hefty dollops of your favorite jam or jelly over top. We’re incredibly lucky to have a huge store of homemade jams on hand from my in-laws, so I opted for some classic strawberry, but you can really use any flavor you like.

Drag the dollops through the batter with a knife or toothpick, and you’ll get the beautiful swirly look you see in the photos.

Delicious strawberry jam is swirled through the cheesecake batter in these Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars right before baking.

Into the oven (no water bath required) for a quick 30-ish minutes, then some time to set up in the refrigerator, and you’ll have you AND your kids’ new favorite after-school snack sliced up and ready to devour as soon as they get home from school (or as soon as 5 o’clock rolls around and you’re done with work if you don’t have kids of your own.)

It doesn’t seem like much, but what this recipe lacks in difficulty it most definitely does not lack in flavor. The peanut butter in the crust carries through the entire bar and meets up with the strawberry jam that’s perfectly swirled through the cheesecake, giving you all three flavors in every single bite.

A close-up look at super-tasty Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars.

If these Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars aren’t the perfect September treat, I don’t know what is!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars are the perfect way to kick off fall and back to school.
Print
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

 Combining a classic back-to-school flavor pairing - peanut butter and jelly - with creamy cheesecake, all in easy handheld bar form. The perfect after-school snack!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 bars
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the graham cracker crust:
  • 8 full sheets graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite jam or jelly
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x9-inch glass baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an inch or two hanging off the sides. Set aside.

  2. Now, make the crust. Combine graham crackers, peanut butter and butter in a food processor and pulse until crumbly yet sticky. Press this mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake in the 325 degree oven for 10 minutes. 

  3. While crust is baking, prepare the cheesecake filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheeses, eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and sour cream. 

  4. Remove crust from oven and increase oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour cheesecake batter over the graham cracker crust.

  5. Place jam or jelly in a small ramekin and microwave for 20 seconds. Scoop dollops of jam evenly over top of cheesecake batter, then drag a knife or toothpick through the dollops to create a swirl pattern. 

  6. Bake cheesecake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden and the middle is still slightly jiggly. Let rest, out of the oven, until cool enough to touch and then transfer to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.

  7. Remove cheesecake from the refrigerator and, using the overhanging parchment paper, pull bars out of the baking dish and onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut the cheesecake into 12 bars. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars | CaliGirlCooking.com

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples

Let’s just write this week off already.

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples | CaliGirlCooking.com

In terms of trying to eat healthy, that is. It is the week before Christmas, after all, and all I can think about are sweet treats and all of the little indulgences we get to make in the days to come. These Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples are no exception.


Let’s chat about this whole “writing off the week” thing, because I feel like it is soooo important to understand in terms of balanced living, especially at this time of year. You see, when I say we can “write off the week,” I don’t mean that we should go to town on sweets and unhealthy food for every single meal. I simply mean that we should understand that we are in a celebratory time of the year, and we should feel okay with the fact that we might be eating a few more not-so-good-for-you foods than usual.

Take what I ate yesterday, for example. Being a food blogger and culinary consultant (and refusing to waste any food,) I sometimes find myself with a random selection of foods that need to be eaten, whether it’s logical to be eating said food at said time.

Yesterday, I was baking cookies for a blog post and also teaching a candy making class at night. I knew it was going to be a sweets-filled day, so I focused on making sure I got tons of nutrients and healthy foods into my meals in between. Smoothie for breakfast, hummus and turkey meatballs for lunch, and a huge salad with grilled chicken for dinner. This not only gave me energy, but also kept me satiated enough throughout the day that I wasn’t jonesing for a second or third cookie or truffle.

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples | CaliGirlCooking.com

All I’m trying to say is that, even during these cookie or candy cane-filled days, it’s completely possible to stay “fairly” on track, knowing your diet will normalize once we hit the New Year. (Also, don’t skip your workouts! They’ll make you feel so much better when you’re indulging a bit more.)

Which brings me to these Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples. These are actually a fairly healthy sweet to enjoy during this holiday season, as we’re substituting the majority of the pie crust for a hollowed-out apple. In fact, I wouldn’t judge if you wanted to enjoy these with a little bit of Greek yogurt for breakfast. Just sayin’.

I’m still working on my pie game, so stuffing a typical pie filling into an apple is the perfect solution for me in the meantime. Plus, we’re upping our nutrient game! But when I say “typical” pie filling, I’m somewhat lying because of course I had to go ahead and glug some real maple syrup in there to really put it over the top. (I did just get back from Quebec City and it’s made me want to add maple to alllll the things.)

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples | CaliGirlCooking.com

So here’s all you need to do: First step is to whip up some easy pie crust. I just used the same recipe I use for my Cream Cheese-y Pumpkin Pie, substituting maple sugar for the regular granulated stuff (although the regular would also work just fine here.) We want to do this crust first because it needs some time in the refrigerator to chill out.

The next step is to hollow out some Pink Lady apples. This was a little tricky for me at first, but I eventually discovered that the easiest method is to start with an apple corer (without going all the way through to the bottom, or else the baked stuffed apples will get messy!) and then use a paring knife to carve out the rest of the center of the apple. You’ll definitely want to discard the seeds and core, but save any other apple pieces/shavings you get when doing this step, we’ll use them for the filling!

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples | CaliGirlCooking.com

Once our apples are hollowed out, we make the filling. We use the scraps mentioned above, as well as one more Pink Lady apple, and saute them with some toasted walnuts, maple syrup, brown sugar and spices. We scoop the filling into the apples and then cover them with disks of our rolled out pie dough.

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples | CaliGirlCooking.com

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples | CaliGirlCooking.com

I had some extra filling and dough (my apples were a bit small) so I also made some apple pie pockets, basically taking two of the pie disks, stuffing them with a scoop of the filling and pinching them together. Kind of like a hand pie!

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples | CaliGirlCooking.com

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples | CaliGirlCooking.com

A quick egg wash and a 25-minute turn in the oven and you’ll have perfectly golden, sweet, tart and juicy Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples ready for breakfast, dessert or a quick snack. Who said indulgent had to be unhealthy?

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples | CaliGirlCooking.com

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

A lighter take on the traditional apple pie - a delicious maple, apple and walnut filling scooped into hollowed apples and topped with a buttery crust.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 apples
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 9 ounces flour
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar (regular sugar would work too)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons water
For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 7 Pink Lady apples
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. First, make the crust. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers, mix in the butter, until mixture becomes crumbly. Using the dough hook of the stand mixer, mix in the water until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disk. Wrap in saran wrap and place in refrigerator while you prepare the apples.

  2. Next, hollow out six of the apples. Use an apple corer to get it started, but be sure not to go all the way down to the bottom. After you’ve gotten it started with the apple corer, move to using your paring knife. You want to scoop out enough to make a little bowl in the middle of the apple that you can put the filling in. Discard the core and seeds, but save any other apple scraps for the filling. Place the apples in a small baking pan lined with aluminum foil.

  3. Now it’s time to make the filling. Chop up the one remaining apple and add it to the other apple scraps you’ve saved. In a small saute pan, cook the chopped apples, toasted walnuts, maple syrup, butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and cloves over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce becomes syrupy. Turn off heat and scoop a heaping tablespoon (or more, if your apples are larger) into each of the hollowed out apples. If you have extra filling, save it to make little hand pies.

  4. Preheat oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

  5. Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to ¼-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using an 8-inch culinary ring (or round cookie cutter), cut out circles of dough to place on top of the apples. Cut two little slits in the top of each circle to allow for venting while baking. Mold each disk gently on top of the apples. 

  6. If you have extra dough and filling, make hand pies. Simply use two of the dough disks, and scoop two teaspoons or so of filling in between, pinching the two disks together to form a seal. Use the tines of a fork to further crimp the edges and ensure that none of the filling leaks out during baking. Place these hand pies in a separate baking dish lined with aluminum foil. 

  7. In a small bowl, gently beat the egg to make the egg wash. Brush this over the tops of the apples and onto the hand pies (if making.)

  8. Place both baking dishes in the oven and bake at 390 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt.

Maple Apple Pie Stuffed Apples | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

Cutest little apple pies you ever did see!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!