Chef Judi’s Apple Lover’s picks

If I were to pick my favorite Apple desserts: Apple pie with flaky crust and lots of cinnamon and apple-pie spice, apple turnovers warm out of the oven, apple cranberry tostada and Skillet Apple pie.

So, in honor of Autumn and the time to hunker in and bake, I share just a few of hundreds of apple recipes to enjoy. Did you notice my pie recipe is not included? Well, we have some big news here at MyCookingMagazine. Chef Judi Announces Cookies & Crumbles and apple pies. If you are local in the southwest Florida region you can order chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies but the two dozen as well as large and mini apple pies. (Blueberries in Season.) We will be adding more mason jar desserts just in time for the holidays. How do you order? Just text of call 941-780-2898. I will be in Colorado Springs Scouting another site for our grand pie maker out West but will resume local orders starting on October Thursday October 15th. Get your orders in soon, we are only baking 50 whole apple pies for Thanksgiving. Trust me, you are going to love them.

While this year’s holidays may be on a zoom call, think about ordering at your favorite Covid- responsible restaurant, for me it is Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar and then I will have my homemade .

Skillet Apple Crisp

Crumb Topping:

¾ all-purpose flour (I bake with King Arthur)
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
1 stick (8 Tablespoon) Irish Butter

Apple Pie Filling:

2 TBSP. unsalted butter
5 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced
Pinch of Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
Juice of ½ lemon
Suggested topping -Vanilla gelato


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the Crumb topping:

In a medium bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar cinnamon, apple pie spice and salt using a fork or pastry cutter. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and gradually add to the flour mixture until evenly mixed.

For the Pie Filling:

In an 8-cast iron skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the apples slices and a p;inch of salt and sauté for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, flour (as thickener) vanilla and lemon juice.

Cover the apple filling in the skillet evenly with the crumb topping. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until topping is brown.

Serve with Gelato

Apple and Cranberry Crostata

Cranberry Apple Croatia

For the Pastry:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ pound, 1 stick very cold unsalted Irish butter (I keep butter in freezer)
2 Tablespoons ice water

For the Filling:

1 ½ pounds McIntosh or Empire apples (about 3-4 large
1 cup cranberries
¼ grated orange zest
¼ cup flour
¼ cup granulated sugar ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ Teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon all-spice or apple pie spice
4 Tablespoon, ½ stick cold unsalted Irish butter diced.


For the pastry:

Place flour and sugar and salt in food processor fitted with steel blade. Pulse just a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse about 15 times until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, keep pulsing as you add water. Stop just before mixture becomes solid mass.  Turn the dough onto well-floured marble board. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 3 hours. You can freeze the crust for up top one week, thaw only until you are able to roll.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Flour your rolling pin (again I use marble). Roll pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place in tart pan or cookie sheet.

Peel the apples for the filling and core. Cut thin slices. Toss in cranberries and orange zest. Cover the tart with the apples and cranberries. Cover the tart with dough leaving a ½ inch border.

Combine flour, sugar cinnamon and all spice or apple pie seasoning in the bowl of the food processor. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating to make a circle.

Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is golden, and the apple are tender. It is easiest to serve at room temperate for cutting purposes.

Serve with cinnamon whipped cream.

Fresh Apple Spice Cake

Adopted from Ina Garten

Shanah Tova, A sweet New Year we wish to each other During the Jewish New Year. This year I felt a little lost so traded out the brisket for a prime rib and pommes frites instead of potato latkes but the apple cake and its autumn aromas remind me of my Mom and Nana, fussing in the kitchen to make apple cakes in honor of a sweet New Year. And boy do we need a sweet year coming out of 2020.

You do not have to be Jewish but a wonderful gesture to clients and neighbors.

I dedicate this cake to the Notorious RBJ who as a young entrepreneur anything was possible for women. Even building  a dessert company out of nothing. (read Reflections & Recipes of Chef Judi for the story)

1 cup chopped pecans               

1 cup golden raisins

½ cup dark rum. Siesta Dark Rum is a wonderful local brand

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup DARK brown sugar, lightly packed

3- extra large eggs at room temp (this is a bit different as I always suggest large not extra large)

¾ vegetable oil

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

2 ½ cups all- purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon Kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 ½ pounds Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and diced into ¼ inch pieces.

Powdered sugar for dusting after cake is cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan

Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast them fo4 5-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Combine spiced rum and golden raisins in a bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Set aside

In the bowl of the electric mixer

 With a paddle attachment, beat granulated sugar. Brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, and orange zest on medium speed for about 3 minutes.

In a medium bowl sift flour, baking powder, salt and spices just until combined in mixer. Drain raisins, discard liquid. Using spatula, fold in raisins, pecans, and apples into the batter. Spread into prepared pan and bake about 35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and top with sifted powder sugar.

I can almost smell the aroma from my Mom’s Kitchen.


A graduate of Johnson & Wales, Judi has managed restaurants and owned restaurants in the northeast and was the founder of a successful dessert company. Today, she is a sought-after restaurant consultant, TV cook on the ABC affiliate in her hometown, and culinary editor of a city magazine. Her personal passions are culinary travel to exotic places and holiday cooking in her home for huge gatherings of friends and relatives. Her guilty pleasure? Bruce Springsteen concerts. “I follow him around the country and have for years,” she admits. “But, in every city where Bruce sings, I do check out new restaurants and talk to up and coming chefs. I want all the food news I can get.”
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