Forbidden Fruit

Alabama Living Magazine

By Jennifer Kornegay

Styling / Photos by Brooke Echols

When we think of fruit and fall, apples often come to mind. Most varieties are ripe and ready in autumn, getting plucked from rows of trees covering orchards from late August into November. This harvest has tied them to many of the dishes we enjoy during this season. Classics like caramel and candy apples are quintessential treats found at fairs; apple pies often make appearances at Thanksgiving feasts. 

Yet, unlike some other produce that we Southerners like to stake a regional claim to, apples are grown widely across the globe. According to the U.S. Apple Association, in the United States, apples are grown commercially in 32 states but are grown in some form in every single state. Outside our country, China is the world’s top producer, followed by the United States. Other spots high on the list include diverse locales like Poland, India, Russia, Italy, France, Chile and Turkey. 

In fact, apples are so ubiquitous, they are often used to represent “fruit” in general. And this familiarity has made them a favorite character in multiple myths and legends across cultures where they are attached to concepts like youth, beauty, friendship, luck and even immortality. In our country, the apple’s key place in phrases like “apple of my eye” and “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” (pointing to the fruit’s powerful health benefits) makes further positive connections. 

But the apple has a dark side too. We talk of “bad apples” and how just one can ruin everything. In some legends and stories, apples are agents of discord and envy and have been employed in treacherous schemes (remember that poisoned apple in Snow White?). And even though the Bible does not name the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden as an apple, it’s what we often see depicted and what many of us visualize. 

These things directly conflict with the apple’s other attributes, begging the question: At its core, is the apple good or evil? Neither. It’s a piece of fruit, folks. But a big bite into a crisp, fresh apple is good, and the addition of the apple’s sweet and sometimes tart taste to a variety of dishes is a good thing too. So, check out this issue’s reader-submitted recipes, leave judgement out of it and get your apple a day any way you can.

Apple-Pecan Pork Chops

4 boneless pork loin chops, cut about 1-inch thick

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup (about 2) red apples, cored and thinly sliced, skin on

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Trim fat from chops. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat until it sizzles. Add sliced apples; cook and stir about 2 minutes. Push apples to the side of skillet. Add chops; cook about 4 minutes total, turning chops on each side to sear; move apples aside as needed. Spoon apples over chops. Sprinkle with pecans and brown sugar. Cover. Cook, covered for 2-4 minutes more until chops are done. Serve chops topped with apple slices and cooking juices. This dish goes well with cooked white rice or mashed potatoes, and a green vegetable on the side. 

Jackie Whitehead

Baldwin EMC

Apple and Pear Taco

2 apples (any variety)

2 pears

1 lime

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons butter, divided

1 tablespoon heavy cream

¼ cup strawberry jam

15 drops Tabasco sauce

2 tablespoons tequila

4 pieces flour tortilla (or 8 small)

Peel, deseed and slice the apples and pears. Place them in water with a squeeze of lime juice. Strain the fruit, combine with sugar and cinnamon. In a pan, melt 1 teaspoon butter and cook the fruit for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove fruit from the pan and reserve. In the same pan make a strawberry sauce: add a teaspoon of butter, a tablespoon of heavy cream, the strawberry jam, Tabasco sauce and tequila, cook in low heat until smooth. Roll each tortilla with ¼ of filling. Plate and decorate with the strawberry sauce.

Sharlene Parker

Baldwin EMC

Easy Apple Crisp for Two

Easy Apple Crisp for Two

3 medium Gala apples, cut in chunks

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons margarine

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the apple chunks in a greased 6-cup baking dish, and cover with the white sugar. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl until the mixture looks like meal and spread it over the apples. Bake until bubbly, about 35 minutes. Serve warm and top with ice cream if desired.

Sheree Powell

Central Alabama EC

Fresh Apple Cake

2 cups sugar

1½ cups cooking oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs, beaten well

½ lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups flour

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

3 cups fresh apples, peeled and chopped

1½ to 2 cups pecans, chopped

Combine sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs, lemon juice and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat well. Mix flour and baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to sugar mixture and beat again. Add apples and pecans, mix well. Bake in a tube pan that has been greased and floured for 1½ hours at 325 degrees.

Caramel glaze:

1 cup sugar

½ cup buttermilk

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons corn syrup

½ cup butter

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over low heat and boil 10 minutes. Pour over hot cake.

Charlotte Graves

Sand Mountain EC

Apple Dumplins

1 tube crescent rolls

2 medium-size tart apples, peeled and quartered

1 cup sugar

1 cup orange juice

1 stick margarine


Unroll crescent rolls and separate into 8 triangles. Microwave apple slices for 3 minutes. Remove and put 1 apple slice on each crescent triangle. Pinch edges to seal. Place in greased 8-inch square baking dish. In a small saucepan, bring sugar, orange juice and margarine to a boil. Pour over dumplins (dumplins will float to the top). Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream or Cool Whip.

Eva Wright

North Alabama EC 

A Fat Doctor’s Apple Pie

1 stick butter

1 cup flour

½ cup brown sugar

3 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup pecans, chopped

Mix together the butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, cream cheese and pecans. Form mixture into a roll like refrigerator cookies. Chill for 2 hours.

½ cup raisins

4 or 5 medium-size apples

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup sugar

Slice apples and arrange in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon, raisins and sugar over apples. Slice the refrigerated roll into rounds and place over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Lexie Turnipseed

Dixie EC

Smoked Turkey and Apple Panini

Smoked Turkey and Apple Panini

1 Granny Smith apple 

1/4 pound smoked turkey thin-sliced deli meat

1 Vidalia onion, chopped

1/4 cup mayonnaise

4 slices Provolone cheese

4 slices sourdough bread 

Peel and chop onion then sauté in a skillet with a little oil until onions are soft. Mix sautéed onions and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. Core and thinly slice the apple, leaving the skin on. Start heating up the panini press or George Foreman Grill. Spread onion mayonnaise on the sourdough bread. Then add the smoked turkey, Provolone cheese and apple slices making 2 paninis. Place paninis on the panini press or George Foreman Grill, close lid and cook 5 minutes then serve.

Kirk Vantrease 

Cullman EC

Cook of the Month

Laurie Creech, Central Alabama EC

Laurie Creech likes apples; she likes them so much, she bumped up the quantity of apples called for in a recipe she got from a friend at church to create her Autumn Squares. She also added more cinnamon. But she doesn’t love all apples. She prefers them cooked and cooked in something sweet. “I like them hot and gooey, like in a pie or any dessert, like these bars,” she said. She’s been making her Autumn Squares for about 15 years, and while she bakes them year round, she particularly enjoys having them on hand for Thanksgiving. “They’re delicious, but they’re also really quick and easy to make, so I like making them for the holidays,” she said.

Autumn Squares

Autumn Squares

4 eggs

2 cups brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup pecans, chopped

1½ cups chopped apples

Confectioners sugar and cinnamon, for dusting on top.

Cream sugar, butter and eggs. Beat in vanilla, flour and baking powder to creamed mixture. Add pecans and apples. Pour into two 9-inch pans and bake at 350 degrees until done. Cool and sift powdered sugar and cinnamon on top. Cut into small squares to serve.

$50 prize and title of “Cook of the Month”

Themes and Deadlines:

February: Pork | November 8

March: Peanut Butter | December 13

April: Pimento Cheese | January 10

Please send us your original recipes (developed  or adapted by you or family members.) Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year.

3 ways to submit:



Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124

To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and co-op name. Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications.


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