Thursday, September 8, 2011

Apple Appeal: Indiana Apple Dessert and the 65th North Carolina Apple Festival

Did anyone else leave for Labor Day weekend in the Summer and come back in Fall? There's a distinct chill to the Tennessee air this week, and though I'm pretty sure it's not here to stay (yet!), I'm enjoying the first whispers of Fall that make we want to reach for fuzzy sweaters, bake spiced, pumpkin desserts, and stir up enough split pea soup to feed a wind-chilled army.

Matt and I spent our weekend at his family's cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. We had great weather until Monday, which was fortunate since the men spent all weekend working on the front porch, while us ladies explored the local shops and enjoyed a few summertime events. One of these was the 65th North Carolina Apple Festival, in Hendersonville. 

A four-day celebration of Henderson County's signature crop, the street fair boasts vendors of every apple-based treat imaginable, from cider slushies and caramel apples, to fried apple funnel cakes and deep dish pies. Apple sellers slice up juicy samples of their crisp-fleshed fruits, and there are stalls offering face painting, handmade jewelry, and wooden toys. 

We contented ourselves with an apple funnel cake and a few apple beignets, but the festival put the idea of apples in my mind and this week's cold weather has just cemented it. With a few North Carolina apples in our refrigerator, I decided to whip up something warm and apple-y for last night's dessert.

Cold weather always makes me nostalgic, so I turned to one of my mother's favorite recipes - an apple pie with a twist. She called it 'Indiana Apple Dessert,' probably because we were living in Indiana when she began making it, but also because it's difficult to describe exactly what this dessert is. Crustless, but baked in a pie plate, it's one part pie, one part moist apple cake, and one part something else entirely.

In spite of my complicated description, the preparation is simplicity itself. The finished product is a bit rustic, but can be dressed up with a slick of cream or a generous scoop vanilla ice-cream - I've actually made it as a substitute for regular apple pie for the past few Thanksgivings! And no matter what you call it, it's wholly, utterly delicious- a perfect choice for a week that's one part Summer and one part Fall!

Indiana Apple Dessert
4 to 6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced to fill a deep-dish pie plate
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A few drops of almond extract (optional, but recommended!)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Arrange apple slices in a lightly greased, deep-dish pie plate. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, sugar and melted butter until well combined. Gradually incorporate flour mixture and fold in until blended. Stir in the vanilla (and almond, if desired) and spoon mixture over the apples. The mixture may be quite thick, so take care to spread it evenly. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the apples are tender. Serve hot or cold. Goes well with fresh cream, a cozy blanket and a good movie!

This post is linked at:
33 Shades of Green: Tasty Tuesday
Crazy for Crust: Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Chef in Training: Tuesday Talent Show
Crumbs and Chaos: Seasonal Inspiration: Fall is Here
Pinch of This, That & the Other: Whisking Wednesdays
Blue Cricket Designs: Show and Tell Wednesday
My Girlish Whims: Your Whims Wednseday
Lady Behind the Curtain: Cast Party Wednesday
Something Swanky: Sweet Treats Thursday
This Chick Cooks: These Chicks Cooked
Bear Rabbit Bear: Things I've Done Thursday
Designs by Gollum: Foodie Friday
Whipperberry: Friday Flair
It's a Keeper: It's a Keeper Thursday
Simply Sweet Home: Friday Favorites
Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweets for a Saturday
Sugar Bananas: Sweets This Week
A Well-Seasoned Life: Sweet Indulgences Sunday


  1. This sounds/looks fantastic! Must try!

  2. Oh yum! This looks delicious. I was fooled - it looks just like apple pie. I'm sure the mountains were gorgeous, too. Thanks for sharing with Sweets This Week.

    Have a great Sunday.


  3. This looks like a crust that I could actually pull off. Apple pie is one of the best desserts in the world. This one looks delicious! Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  4. That crust looks yummy. I love apple desserts. Now if it would only start to feel like Fall here in Sacramento! Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday.

  5. This looks amazing! The Blue Ridge Mountains are so beautiful! We'd love for you to link up this recipe and any other Seasonal Inspiration you have!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos

  6. It looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  7. Hi! Just stopping by to let you know that your recipe made the top three on Sweet Indulgences Sunday last week. Hope you'll drop by again and share more recipes.

  8. I am so pleased that you shared our terrifically easy and extremely yummy Indiana Apple Dessert.