August 12, 2021

Apple Desserts for Harvest Season

Happy Fall! Harvest Season has officially begun. Kids are going back to school, the weather should be cooling down, and apples are ripe for the pickin’!

That being said, it’s the perfect time of year to head over to your local apple farm, invite your family and friends, and make an event out of it! After you pick some fresh apples, it’s time to make sweet and savory desserts. Enjoy a couple of the apple desserts below, compliments of our wonderful members here at BetterLife! 

Apple Fritters

Submitted by Helen Jochim | Lodge No. 68 | Brainard, NE

Little girl being silly while apple pickingIngredients
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup chopped or grated apples
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
3 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Oil for frying
Confectioners’ sugar or powdered sugar


Heat the oil to 350°F. 

Stir flour and baking powder together. Mix together egg, milk, apples, sugar, salt, orange peel, orange juice, and vanilla. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture just until flour is moistened.

Drop by rounded teaspoon into hot oil. Fry about 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Enjoy the fritters plain or shake in a bag of powdered or confectioners’ sugar.  Makes 40-50 fritters.

Caramel Apple Pie

Submitted by Hallie Evenson* | Branch 200 | Madison, WI

2 rolled-out rounds deep-dish pie crust

For the apples:
4 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 slices
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon of Apple Pie Spice from Penzey’s Spices (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Delicious apple pieFor the caramel:
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream

To top it all off: 
1 egg white, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoon granulated sugar


Transfer 1 dough round to a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish and gently press into the dish. Trim the edges flush with the rim. Reroll the dough scraps and cut out shapes using decorative pie cutters. You can get creative with how you want your crust. I love adding a braid around the edge. Refrigerate the pie shell, cutouts, and remaining dough round for 30 minutes. 

To prepare the apples: In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stir together the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and apple pie seasoning (optional). Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender — about 20 minutes. Uncover and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the cornstarch. 

To prepare the caramel: In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt. Cook until the mixture is bubbling vigorously, about 9 minutes, stirring only during the first 2 to 3 minutes of cooking. Off the heat, carefully stir in 1/4 cup of the cream, then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup cream. Let cool until just warm.

Preheat oven to 400°F. 

Let the pie shell, cutouts and dough round stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the apple mixture and 3/4 cup of the caramel; reserve the remaining caramel for serving. Pour the apple filling into the pie shell and place the top crust over the pie. Trim the edges flush with the rim and press the top and bottom crusts together. Brush the underside of the cutouts with egg wash and gently arrange them on the pie. Brush the entire top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. 

Place the pie dish on a baking sheet. Check the pie after 30 minutes and cover the top and edges with foil if they seem to be too dark. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 2 1/2 hours before serving. Warm the reserved caramel sauce and serve alongside the pie for drizzling. And most importantly, don’t forget the scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! Serves 8.

*Modified from Jen’s Recipes

Scrumptious Apple Bars

Submitted by Ellen Schroeder | Lodge 32 | Hillsboro, WI

Mother and son baking togetherIngredients
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup chopped walnuts
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons cream (or milk) 
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups apples, pared and sliced


Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add walnuts. Reserve 1 3/4 cups of mixture. Press remaining mixture in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan.

Beat cream cheese and cream together until smooth. Mix in egg, sugar, and vanilla. Spread over crust. Top with apples, then sprinkle with reserved crumbs. 

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold, and top with ice cream or whipped cream if you’d like! Leftovers should be refrigerated.