Tag Archives: apple desserts

maple apple dessert sauce on ice cream

Maple Apple Dessert Sauce

October 17, 2023

maple apple dessert sauce on ice cream

The thrill of the hunt begins each fall at the roadside stands. I look for unfamiliar varieties of apples to try for cooking and eating. This year it’s the Ozark Gold apple. This variety is a little over fifty years old, so not exactly new, but new to me.

ingredients for maple apple dessert sauce

Bright bands of sunny yellow and burnished red decorate this fruit. It’s an early type so I bought up a mess of apples before others take its place. Soon there will be Stayman and Empire and the marvelously crunchy Evercrisp. I do love a crisp apple to remind me of Virginia’s bounty. This chef also likes to add apples to all manner of sweet and savory dishes before the stands close for the season.

Maple Apple Dessert Sauce is a cinch to make and it stores in the fridge for a couple weeks. Plain vanilla ice cream becomes something ethereal. Waffles and pancakes get the salon treatment with an unexpected alternative to syrup. Apple and ginger make a compatible couple. Imagine the decadence of this sweet sauce ladled sparingly on top of Gingerbread Ice Cream  .

waffles with maple apple dessert sauce

This dessert sauce is chunky and thick with apples and toasted pecans. You will need to gently heat it in the microwave if not used right away. It becomes very thick once refrigerated. If you want the sauce to be more pourable, add a few drops of extra maple syrup after heating.

closeup of maple apple dessert sauce

Maple Apple Dessert Sauce

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes about 2 ½ cups


1 ½ pounds apples, peeled and chopped (about 5 cups total)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅔ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ cup apple cider
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped toasted pecans*
*to toast pecans, keep halves whole for even toasting, then chop; 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes will give a nice color and flavor


  1. In heavy nonreactive saute pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add apples, salt, maple syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Once mixture begins to sizzle, add apple cider and keep at a low simmer, uncovered, until thickened, stirring gently occasionally, about 35-40 minutes.
  4. If mixture looks thin and watery, it will thicken on standing.
  5. Cool to room temperature and add toasted pecans.
  6. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 1 week.
  7. To serve, very lightly microwave to soften until spoonable and use over ice cream, puddings, cake, pancakes or waffles.
  8. If you’d like this to be  even more pourable, add a few drops of maple syrup to the warmed sauce.
slice of brown sugar apple pie

Brown Sugar Apple Pie

November 9, 2021

slice of brown sugar apple pie

We say the phrase ” as American as apple pie” when we want to convey authenticity. What does this mean to you and your family? Slab pie, double crust, streusel-topped? I love apple pie any old way, especially if topped with a nice scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream.

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dish of apple cheesecake ice cream

Apple Cheesecake Ice Cream

september 9, 2020

dish of apple cheesecake ice cream


Technically, it is still summer but when the Virginia apples are stacked at the roadside stands, colorful and fragrant, I’m thinking fall. Fall means apples in everything, from the savory to the sweet. Continue reading

caramelized apple mini cakes

Caramelized Apple Mini Cakes

october 4, 2018

caramelized apple mini cakes

Some years back I purchased a couple extra large muffin tins. They have been used exactly once. Instead of donating them to my local thrift shop, I decided to put them to proper use and make little cakes with gorgeous and fragrant local apples. These cakes are the perfect size for a single indulgence and easy to prep and bake. My guess is that they freeze well, but these treats never got to that stage. They do, however, age well at room temperature for a couple days and become more moist and dense on day two—so there was some restraint on my part. Having tasters helped, because six mini cakes is such a burden to consume all by myself! Continue reading

Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes and Apples

october 18, 2017

brown sugar sweet potatoes and apples

It’s not the easiest thing to plan fall menus when the humidity and temperature are still elevated past September. The calendar, however, clearly shows autumn is in full swing and I am getting mentally prepared. Local summer produce has an inner time clock that tells production to halt making way for fall delights like squashes, sweet potatoes and hearty greens. There is change in the air. A stroll around my  local farm stand with beautiful rusty-dusty sweet potatoes and fragrant multi-hued apples tumbling from bins and boxes can bring back my inspiration every time this season of bounty rolls around. Continue reading

French Apple Pie

november 18, 2016

french apple pie


Thanksgiving is a little early this year. Are you cooking or being fed? Traditional pumpkin pie or something a little different? French apple pie, or apple pie with a powered sugar icing glaze, is a delicious old fashioned dessert relegated these days to cafeterias and Mom and Pop pie shops. It would be a great, and easy, addition to the Thanksgiving menu with its buttery cinnamon shortbread crust and tender apple filling. Use gluten free or all-purpose flour for equally perfect results.

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Almond Apple Tart

november 13, 2015

almond apple tart


Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the dreaded pumpkin shortage trumpeted in the news recently has not affected supplies in local grocery stores.Yet. I planned this dessert as an antidote to said shortage, but if you are like me, you enjoy an array of desserts at the holiday table, and having your pumpkin pie in addition to a creamy apple dessert is not considered a conflict of interest.

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Sour Cream Apple Crumble

october 10, 2014

sour cream apple crumble


Fondest memories of shopping roadside stands involve apples that grace markets with their myriad colors, aromas and levels of crisp-crunch.  Apple season in Virginia starts tentatively, with Ginger Gold and Piney River Gold fruits making their debut, followed by Honey Crisp and then the endless palettes of the reds.  Rome Beauty, Stayman Winesap, Red Delicious (nothing like the uber-polished tasteless pretties at the grocery stores), Empire and York, among others.

Which Apples are Best?

My favorite apple is any type one can incorporate into desserts.  So, really, any apple will do, although I profess a fondness for super crisp and slightly tart apples for eating out of hand.

The reds have arrived and I say let the dessert making begin in earnest. Continue this for as long as there are apples at the stands.

stayman apples at Berry's Produce

Stayman apples at Berry’s Produce in Hanover, Virginia

This crumble is like an upside down pie, with a cinnamon scented buttery crisp topping serving as our convoluted crust, and a sour cream custard, not too sweet, binding thin slices of twice cooked apples.  Cooking the apple slices with butter, sugar and cinnamon until tender before baking avoids the problem of apple pileup. In that scenario,  your stack of fruit lies so high in the pan you can’t avoid overflow and there’s no room for custard or topping.  I like walnuts in the crumble topping, but you can substitute pecans or almonds, or eliminate nuts altogether.

sour cream apple crumble ingredients

This dessert is easy, feeds a small crowd and may be enjoyed chilled, at room temperature (best, I think) or lightly warmed.  Crowning with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream or cinnamon dusted whipped cream will elevate it from homey simplicity to elegant comfort food.


sour cream apple crumble

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes ten to twelve servings


2 ½ pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut in thin slices
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups sour cream, preferably full fat
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
crumble topping
1 cup all purpose or gluten free flour (see apple  cake with caramel glaze for my favorite homemade mix)
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup chopped walnuts
one stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces


  1. Melt butter in heavy large wide skillet over medium heat, add apples and stir gently to coat.
  2. Add one half cup sugar and stir to coat all slices  with sugar.
  3. Cover skillet, turn heat to medium low and cook, stirring gently once, until apples are softened but still hold their shape, about 7 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, turn heat to high and evaporate most of the liquid, until a light syrup coats apples, about 5 minutes; turn heat lower if needed to avoid scorching.
  5. Add one teaspoon cinnamon and stir gently to coat.
  6. Allow mixture to cool completely.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. For sour cream custard, gently whisk eggs, sour cream, heavy cream, 3 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in small mixing bowl until blended.
  9. In larger mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar until combined, add walnuts and then work in butter bits with fingers until crumbly but some butter remains in tiny pieces.
  10. Butter 2 quart baking dish, add cooled apples, pour sour cream custard over apples and then top evenly with crumble topping.
  11. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until crumble appears puffed at edges and center no longer appears wobbly.
  12. Let settle at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving to allow custard to set.
  13. Serve at room temperature, chilled or lightly warmed.
  14. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.