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Every recipe was a winner in the fourth annual Apple Dessert Contest. Here are the recipes.

Apple Cranberry Tart with Hot Buttered Rum Sauce

(First place, apple pie category)

½ cup dried cranberries (Craisins)

1 tbsp. dark rum (or cranberry juice)

5 cups peeled, cored, thinly sliced apples (Jonathan, Granny Smith and McIntosh recommended)

1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tbsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. allspice

1/8 tsp. cloves

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Unbaked pastry for single-crust pie

Hot buttered rum sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place cranberries and rum in 1-cup glass measure. Microwave on high power 20 seconds. Let stand until liquid is absorbed.

In large bowl, combine plumped fruit with apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. Toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes.

Place pie crust in 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Fold in excess dough, pressing around edges and onto bottom. Beginning at outer edge and working toward center, arrange apples and cranberries in rings. Pour accumulated juice over fruit. Cover tightly with foil and place pan on foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven 35 to 40 minutes until apples are almost tender. Uncover. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer until crust is golden brown and apples are tender.

Cool to room temperature. Serve with ice cream and hot buttered rum sauce.

Hot buttered rum sauce: In large saucepan, melt ½ cup butter over medium heat. Add 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar and ½ cup heavy whipping cream. Bring to boil. Cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes until slightly thickened. Reduce heat. Stir in rum. Simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Serve warm.

— Joyce LaJeunesse, St. Peters



Caramel-Apple Pie

(Second place, apple pie category)


1/3 cup butter

1-¼ cups flour

4 tbsp. milk


1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

6 cups peeled, coarsely chopped Jonathan apples

2 tbsp. caramel-apple dip

2 tbsp. milk


1 cup flour

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup (1 stick) butter

½ cup caramel-apple dip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In bowl, cut 1/3 cup butter into 1-¼ cups flour, using pastry blender, to make pea-size pieces. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon milk over part of mixture and gently toss with fork. Continue to moisten dough, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all dough is moistened. Shape into ball.

On lightly floured surface, roll dough from center to edges into 12-inch circle. Wrap pastry around rolling pin. Unroll and ease into 9-inch pie plate. Trim to ½ inch beyond edge of plate, fold under pastry and crimp, without pricking pastry.

In large bowl, mix granulated sugar, ¼ cup flour and cinnamon. Toss with apples until coated. Transfer to pastry-lined pie plate. Combine 2 tablespoons caramel-apple dip and 2 tablespoons milk. Drizzle over apples.

For topping, combine remaining 1 cup flour and brown sugar. Cut in ½ cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over filling. Cover edge of pie with aluminum foil to avoid overbrowning. Place on baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 30 minutes longer until golden.

Cool 10 minutes. Drizzle remaining ½ cup dip over top. Cool pie on wire rack.

— Lisa Rapp, St. Louis County



Sugar-Free, Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

(Third place, apple pie category)

Unbaked pastry for double-crust pie

7 cups baking apples, thinly sliced, cored, peeled

1 cup (Splenda) granular no-calorie sweetener

3 tbsp. cornstarch

¾ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Fit one crust into 9-inch pie pan.

Place sliced apples in large bowl.

In small bowl, combine sweetener, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle over apples and toss.

Spoon apple mixture into crust. Place second crust over filling, seal edges, trim and flute. Make small openings or slits in top crust.

Bake in preheated oven 40 to 50 minutes until top crust is golden.

Serve warm or chilled.

— Diane Disbrow, Collinsville



Caramel Crunch Apple Pie

Unbaked pastry for 9-inch, deep-dish, single-crust pie


½ cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. flour

1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. salt

7 cups thinly sliced apples (preferably Fuji or Braeburn


1 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup flour

½ cup uncooked quick-cooking oats

½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut in very small pieces

¼ cup (or more) chopped pecans

¼ cup (or more) caramel topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Fit pastry into pie pan.

Filling: Mix together granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon and salt. Gently stir in apples. Lay apples into pastry.

Topping: Mix together brown sugar, ½ cup flour and oats. Using fingers or pastry blender, blend butter into dry ingredients. Using hands, firmly press topping onto fruit.

Place pie on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover edge of crust with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking 25 minutes longer.

Sprinkle with pecans and drizzle with caramel topping. Cool on wire rack.

Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

— Carol Grosz, Chesterfield



Taffy Apple Pizza

1 pkg. (18 oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

½ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup creamy peanut butter

½ tsp. vanilla

2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced

¼ cup caramel ice cream topping

½ cup peanuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Shape cookie dough into ball. Place on aluminum pizza pan and roll out evenly. Bake in preheated oven 16 to 20 minutes until brown. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.

In small bowl, combine cream cheese, brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla. Mix well. Spread over baked cookie. Cut apple slices in half and arrange evenly over cheese mixture.

Microwave ice cream topping on high power 30 to 45 seconds. Drizzle evenly over apples. Sprinkle with nuts.

Cut in wedges to serve.

— Tonia Malone, St. Louis



My Version of Miss Margie’s Apple Cake

(First place, apple dessert category)

1 (two-layer size) spice cake mix

1 pkg. (4 servings) instant lemon pudding mix

3 eggs

½ cup water

3 cups cubed Granny Smith apples

½ cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat fluted tube pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix.

In separate bowl, whisk together eggs and water. Add to dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Fold in apples and pecans. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven 1 hour. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to serving dish. Let cool completely.

Pour or spoon Glaze over cooled cake. Let set until desired firmness.

Glaze: Stir 1 teaspoon lemon juice into 1 tub regular (not whipped) lemon frosting. Warm frosting in microwave in 10-second increments until pourable.

— Felicia Baker, of O'Fallon, Mo.


Caramel Apple Cake with Sugared Walnuts

(Second place, apple dessert category)

Sugared Walnuts (prepare and let cool while making cake)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (divided)

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

½ tsp. apple pie spice (see Note)

2 medium apples, peeled, cut in ¼ inch wedges (Braeburn recommended)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat bottom and sides of 9- or 10-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Line pan with parchment paper and lightly butter paper.

In 1-quart saucepan, melt ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, then remove from heat. Stir in apple pie spice. Spread evenly in prepared cake pan. Arrange apples on top overlapping tightly and making two layers, if necessary.

Melt remaining ¾ cup butter. In medium bowl, combine with granulated sugar, flour, eggs and almond extract. Stir until smooth. Pour over apples. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes. To remove cake, invert pan onto serving plate. Remove parchment paper. Sprinkle Sugared Walnuts on top.

Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped topping or ice cream.

Note: Apple pie spice may be purchased or made by combining 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon allspice and 1-1/2 teaspoons nutmeg.

Sugared Walnuts: In bowl, beat 1 tablespoon egg white until foamy. Add 1 cup walnuts, chopped, and toss until well coated. Combine 1 /4 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice. Sprinkle over walnuts and toss to coat. Spread in single layer on ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated 300 degree oven 15 minutes or until browned. Cool on parchment paper.

— Candace Kirkman, O’Fallon, Ill.



Fresh Apple Cake

(Third place, apple dessert category)

1-1/4 cups oil

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

3 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups chopped apples

1-1/2 cups nuts


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

Mix oil with sugar and eggs. Mix in flour, salt, baking soda and vanilla, combining well. Stir in apples and nuts.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven about 1 hour.

While cake is hot in pan, spoon hot Glaze on top.

Glaze: In saucepan, combine 1 cup light brown sugar, ½ cup (1 stick) butter, ¼ cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cook and stir 2-1/2 minutes after butter melts.

— Roberta Ossenfort, Arnold



Baked Apple Crisps

3 tbsp. plus 2-1/2 tbsp. butter, chilled (regular or diet margarine may be used)

1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup flour

½ tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

6 large Granny Smith or other tart apples

1 cup caramel apple dip or caramel ice cream topping (fat-free variety may be used)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For “crisp” mixture, cut 3 tablespoons butter into oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg until crumbly.

Cut one-third off top of apples. Using melon baller, core out centers.

Chop cut-off apple tops and toss with oats mixture.

Spread remaining 2-1/2 tablespoons butter inside apples. Fill with oats mixture, pressing firmly into hollow.

Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes. Top with caramel apple dip. Bake 15 minutes longer.

Serve plain or with whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes 6 servings.

— Shirley Busse, St. Louis County



Magic Apple Cobbler

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

¾ cup milk

1-3/4 cups peeled, sliced apples

1 tsp. cinnamon

Ground nutmeg to taste, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in 9-inch square baking pan in preheated oven.

In bowl, combine ½ cup sugar, all the flour, baking powder and milk. Mix well. Pour over melted butter. Do not stir.

Place apple on top of batter. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup sugar. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Bake in preheated oven 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

— Barbara Byassee, O’Fallon, Mo.



Apple Rolls

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, each cut in 8 slices

2 cans crescent rolls

½ cup (1 stick) butter

¾ cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 can (12 oz.) Mountain Dew soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Roll up 1 apple slice in each crescent roll. Place seam-side down in prepared dish.

Melt butter. Add sugar and vanilla. Stir. Pour over rolls.

Pour soda around edges of pan, not over rolls.

Bake in preheated oven 40 to 45 minutes until nicely browned.

— Carol Filla, St. Louis County