Cinnamon Apple Rings Recipe

I remember Sunday dinners with my grandparents like it was yesterday. The table was small, yet always packed with food. It was like a game of Tetris, sliding dishes around so that your dinner plate would fit on to the table. One of the dishes I remember fondly is cinnamon apple rings. Bright red in color, the rings were placed upon what seemed to be the whitest dish you had ever laid your eyes on. 

As years passed, I grew and held Sunday dinners of my own and frequented others with family and friends and I would find myself thinking about those beautifully colored rings. Finally, I decided to rummage through my old cedar chest and see if I could find my grandmother’s old recipe for cinnamon apple rings. Searching without much hope of finding the recipe, I picked up an old Vogue magazine from 1956 in the back of the chest, and out it fell. 

Below I have provided my grandmother’s recipe for cinnamon apple rings with the only change being red food coloring. I’ll always remember the time our dog ate the whole platter and got terribly sick. Instead of enjoying a nice Sunday meal together we had to make an emergency visit to the vet. Fortunately she pulled through, but this tragic event and the resulting medical bill is what led me to carry dog insurance going forward.

My grandmother liked to use beets because that’s how my great grandmother did it. However, as my mother grew up and started preparing the recipe, she showed my grandmother that food coloring would make the rings brighter and redder.  

Ingredients

  • 3 large red cooking apples
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 drops red food coloring
  • 3/4 cup of sugar 
  • 3/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of ginger
  • 1/4 tsp of allspice

In a small pot put all ingredients in, except for the apples, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for about 5 minutes. While waiting, core, peel, and slice apples. Slices should be about a quarter-inch thick. Cook half of the rings at a time in the pot. Simmer until tender but firm. This takes about 3 to 5 minutes. 

Place apple rings, with their liquid, in a bowl or jar that can be covered. Next, place in the refrigerator for one week. These apple rings can be served cold as a side dish, appetizer, or topping. 

My grandmother always served these with poultry or pork dishes. I like to serve them now at Thanksgiving in place of cranberry slices. Also, when I was a child it was common to see my grandfather fix a bowl of ice cream and plop a couple on top after dinner. Although these can be canned, my grandmother loved doing it this way because she said it was quick and easy, especially during the holidays. 

As I noted above, the coloring was something my grandmother originally achieved with beet juice. For me, I love the bright red color the food coloring gives the apples. The apples will absorb the liquid throughout the week and become lighter in color, so you can always add more food coloring to the syrup to brighten them up. If you have kids, it’s always fun to color the apples a different color like green or blue.  

Whether for Sunday dinner or any night of the week, this nostalgic recipe will be a hit with family and friends. If you would like to give these cinnamon apple rings as a gift, I would suggest the canning method, so that they last longer and do not have to be refrigerated. Simply place rings in jars and either add cloth to lids or tie-up with ribbon and hand it out at the holidays. 

Good Old Fashioned Blueberry Pie Recipe

There is nothing better than a wonderful, homemade blueberry pie. Most people don’t attempt pies because they feel daunted by them, but they’re simple when you come right down to it. Here, we’ll go over both the pie crust recipe and the filling, so you’ll have everything you need, including notes.  

Pie Crust

Make two batches, so you’ll have a top crust as well. You can get as fancy as you want.  

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter, chilled and cubed (1 stick)
  • ¼ cup ice water

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.
  2. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. You can use a fork or a pastry cutter for this process. 
  3. Stir in water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture forms a ball of rough dough.
  4. Shape it into a disc, wrap and chill for at least 4 hours. Resist the temptation to overwork the dough. It will be tough if you do.  

Blueberry Pie

You can use frozen blueberries since the peak of freshness is sometime in late summer. Simply thaw them and pick out any unsightly ones.  

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup brown sugar. White may be substituted if desired.
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, and thawed.  
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp butter to dot

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, spices, salt, lemon zest and juice, and berries.  
  2. Let stand for 15 minutes or more.  
  3. While that is setting up, you’ll want to roll out your pie crust. Start with a well-floured surface and the chilled disc of dough.  
  4. Work the dough slightly to loosen it up. Then, making sure both surfaces of the dough and your rolling pin are coated with flour, begin working out from the center.  
  5. It will take some time to get it to the ¼-inch thickness desired, but it’s worth it. (Working from the center makes sure you don’t have a thicker piece of dough in the center.)  
  6. Gently roll your pie crust up on your rolling pin and deposit it over the dish, situating it precisely. Cut excess that hangs over the sides.  
  7. Do the same with your top pie crust, whether you’re slicing ribbons to make a lattice or using the entire crust.
  8. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie crust, getting all the juices from the bottom of the bowl.  
  9. Dot the filling with butter bits.  
  10. Whether you’re laying lattice or using the whole top crust, now is the time. Arrange it to your satisfaction. If you’re using the whole crust, be sure to cut some vents in the top. No matter what design you go with, if any, it will look delicious! 
  11. Now, cut the top crust or lattice to match the first and crimp it. You can do this any way you like, what matters is that the two crusts are sealed.  
  12. (You may use egg wash or milk, depending upon your preferences.) Egg wash the top crust and sprinkle with sugar.  
  13. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit on a parchment-lined baking tray. (Yes, there will be juices!) Cover the edges of the pie with foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning. Let stand at room temperature for at least an hour.  

And there you have it, a fresh pie made by you, from crust to crimping. If this was your first time making a pie, just know that it gets easier as you do it more. And of course, remember that the important thing is that it tastes delicious. Whether it’s a gift for someone or a gift for yourself, you’ve done great!