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Astonishing Apples

Astonishing Apples

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Author Joan Donatelle

Minnesota Historical Society Press (August 1, 2015)


Apple aficionados rejoice: this versatile fruit inspires applause in power-up breakfasts, satisfying snacks, and delectable desserts, accompanied by stories and tips to bring joy to your kitchen.


The ubiquitous apple: a mainstay of fruit bowls and bag lunches, and in Minnesota, a point of pride. Cultivators in the apple breeding program at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the University of Minnesota have been dreaming up new varieties since the 1930s, most recently adding to their list of winter-hardy fruits the SweeTango and the Zestar. Snappy and sweet eaten out of hand, tender and flavorful when roasted or baked, apples bring plenty to the table.

There’s no better guide to this apple abundance than Joan Donatelle, whose fondness for the fruit goes beyond the standard slices-and-brie or apple crisp. Astonishing Apples opens with imaginative dishes like Smoked Trout Tartlettes and Apple Bruschetta, followed by Cheddar Apple Cornbread and Apple Cabbage Slaw. Apples find their way to the center of the plate in Savory Apple Foccacia and Ginger Curry Apple Turkey Bake. Tempt your sweet tooth with Apple Almond Biscotti and Apple Panna Cotta, and explore modern twists on the usual suspects, from apple butter to applesauce to fresh cider. With this cookbook in your arsenal, eating “an apple a day” has never been easier—or more delicious.

Astonishing Apples is the sixth book in the Northern Plate series, celebrating the bounty of the Upper Midwest by focusing on a single ingredient, exploring its historical uses as well as culinary applications across a range of dishes. Other books in the series include: Rhubarb Renaissance, Modern Maple, Smitten with Squash, and Homemade with Honey.

Author information

At Lunds & Byerlys cooking school, Joan Donatelle brings a focus on healthful and tasty dishes to her kitchen classrooms. She has owned and operated award-winning restaurants and gourmet grocery-delis featuring fresh old world cuisines. She caters for events throughout the Twin Cities.

Reviews and news

"Apples star here in breakfasts, snacks and desserts: Consider smoked trout tartlettes, apple bruschetta, cheddar apple cornbread, savory apple focaccia, ginger curry apple turkey bake, apple almond biscotti, apple panna cotta and more."
Star Tribune

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  • 144 pages
  • 24 B&W Photos, 75 recipes, index
  • 7 x 9.25 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873519656

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