Friday, June 13

MAKE IT: Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

Restaurant Style Fried Apples are actually not really fried more sauteed/boiled. Seriously, you'll see what I mean once you make them. But before we get there, why don't we talk were they come from. Everyone or most people have heard of that famous restaurant chain "Cracker Barrel" across America that specializes in country cooking.

The chain is a popular rest stop and often found on highly travelled interstates. It also boasts a great country style general store. I actually worked for the chain here in CT for about 3 years, along the line I picked up a few great tips and ideas.

Although, not exact, this is as close to the recipe for their apples you will probably get. I have made one adjustment, the restaurant uses an assortment of apples, I stick to one. But if you want the assortment, keep a 3 red to 1 green ration. The apples can be served as a side dish and often are served on top of pancakes.

This will serve 4-6
Full time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours (chill time included)

The needs-

4 large apples, I use Gala but Jazz work great also
2 1/2 cups apple juice
3 1/2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice

The know-

First thing to do is look for the right pan. The first time I did this I used a small sauce pot, but the apples didn't cook evenly. You want a high sided saute pan

You are going to want core and slice your apples, the restaurant leaves the skins on, so I would recommend that to keep it consistent. If you have one of those fancy all in want shot cutters it works great!

Move these slices into your pan, pour in 2 cups of apple juice and set heat to high
Bring to a quick boil and then lower heat to medium, you want to cook apples until soft enough to stick a fork into, but avoid letting them get mushy. This will take anywhere from 20-40 minutes based on the pan size your using. (The more crowded the pan the longer it will take). Make sure to stir them often to rotate which ones are getting your direct heat.
You'll know the apples are ready when they begin to turn golden and the skins start to be pulling away from the fruit itself
Carefully spoon these out of the pan with a slotted spoon into a airtight conatiner

Add sugar, cinnamon, and allspice to the sauce in the pan, whisk, and cook until they dissolve


While this dissolves into the sauce. Mix cornstach into the remainning apple juice and get your whisk ready. this next part will happen fast

Pour this mixture slowly into the saute pan with sauce base, whisk as you pour becasue it will starte to thicken as you pour
Keep whisking until you have a uniform color and consitancy, turn off heat and whisk for 2 minutes more
Once this mixture has evenly firmed up pour into the container with the apples
Allow it to sit for at least 20-30 minutes before you serve. The sauce is extremly hot and very sticky, so watch for the steam to subside before serving. I actually make it ahead of time and reheat it to use, it allows for a better mixed flavor and texture. Cheers!