When it comes to apple recipes, I often prefer the simplest: a slice of Granny Smith paired with a chunk of aged cheddar. The Granny Smith’s tartness holds up wonderfully to the strong cheddar cheese, making for a perfect match. That said, apples are surprisingly versatile and sometimes I do like to get a little more creative with them. 

The following recipes transform apples into gourmet fare. A fun presentation on an old favorite is the Waldorf salad nest that combines all the traditional ingredients but modernizes the presentation with “eggs” made from walnuts with a blue cheese center. The Granny Smith aged cheddar custard tart plays on the yin and yang of slightly sweet and savory. Pork chops and apples is a classic, but I update it by sautéing the apples in brown butter and finishing them with fresh-picked thyme leaves. One of my all-time favorite desserts is poaching apples with dried cherries, then baking them off in a ramekin lined with thin buttered bread, essentially making a charlotte. Pistachio anglaise and cherry compote complete the dish. Using these recipes, everyday apples, treated with a little finesse, can be elevated to something even more special than Granny Smiths and cheddar.

Waldorf Salad Nest with Walnuts
Apple and Aged Cheddar Tart
Poached Apple and Sour Cherry Charlotte with Pistachio Anglaise
Center Pork Loin Chop with Brown Butter and Thyme-Sauteed Apples

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