5 Dishes That’ll Make You Want to Go Apple Picking, Right This Second

Some sweet, some savory, all extremely a-peel-ing.

October 15, 2018
Photo by James Ransom

You know what they say about an apple a day—doctors, and all that. Well, we've got you covered for the next five, at least!

We're excited to announce the top contenders for our current contest, Your Best Recipe With Apples. We've got classics and some new kids on the block. We've got sweetie-pies and more savory takes. Oh, and more than enough warming fall spices to tide you over 'til spring.

But before we get to those, a bit of background on all of the a-peel-ing submissions we received:

  • Cinnamon made an appearance in more than half—and lemon sidled into almost a quarter.

  • About 60 percent were for sweet dishes, and roughly 40 percent were for savory ones.

  • More than three-fourths were vegetarian.

  • Almost 50 percent were baked goods.

Photo by James Ransom

And now, please join us in using our one-hundredth apple idiom of the day, because we'd like to introduce you to the top five apples of our eyes:

Chai-Spiced Tarte Tatin by Rebecca and Ruth

The sweet short pastry in this tatin blows our socks clear off. It's almost like the caramelized apples are sitting on a giant cookie. Wait a minute: It's exactly like that.

Roasted Apple & Fennel Salad With Toasted Hazelnuts & Goat Cheese By What We Eat Gals

This salad got us thinking: Why aren't we eating more warm, hearty fall salads? Like, every single day? The roasted apple and fennel in this one pair perfectly with the toasted nuts, goat cheese, and herbs. It's equally good as a punchy side and as a main course.

German Apple Streusel Cake with Brown Sugar Mascarpone Cream By Laura Edgerton

In her recipe, Laura writes that this cake is inspired by one her neighbor brought her years ago, when they used to visit each other, "each bearing wedges of warm cake or pie, and chat for hours over mugs of strong black coffee." We hereby nominate ourselves to be Laura's new neighbors!

Apple Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onion Cider Gravy by inpatskitchen

Mashed potatoes and apples, topped with an extra apple-y cider gravy that features deeply caramelized onions? We're in. Paging a pork chop.

Apple & Hazelnut Bread Pudding With Warm Maple Sauce By Sara Lynn Hunt

Cozy? Check. Warming? Check. Perfectly sweet and chock-full of spices? Check, and check. We'd take this bread pudding for breakfast, dessert, or anything in between.

A huge thanks to everyone who submitted a recipe. But before you go, some homework: Pick your favorite of the bushel and take it for a spin in your kitchen! Then let us know what you thought—either by rating the recipe, writing a comment, or reaching out to us directly at [email protected].

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On our end, next steps include another round of recipe tests, and spending some time with your feedback. We'll narrow it down to our two finalists, which will be announced on November 1.

How do you like them apples? Let us know in the comments!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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    Rebecca and Ruth
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    Laura Edgerton
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Ella Quittner

Written by: Ella Quittner

Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.


Rebecca A. October 23, 2018
Congrats to the other finalists! Everything sounds delicious
Adele October 20, 2018
One of the best apple cake recipes I have ever made appeared in the New York Times. It is called “Teddie’s Apple Cake”.®ion=dessert&rank=38
Laura E. October 17, 2018
Congrats to the other finalists! All of these recipes sound amazing.
Alexa M. October 16, 2018
"Apple Mashed Potatoes" is the best string of words I've heard all day
Karen October 16, 2018
I enjoyed submitting my recipe So..Delicious Apple Pecan Cake Although my recipe was not chosen as a contender many people did save and / or favorited my recipe . I felt happy about that. I hope those of you who did save it try the recipe and enjoy it as much as my family did . Thank you , it was a really nice activity . I shall try again .
lois October 19, 2018
Where can I find your recipe Karen? I would love to try it!