Blue Ribbon Desserts

FAMILY FEATURES

There’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh berries and crisp, juicy apples. And when those mouthwatering flavors get paired with just the right spices in some delicious dessert favorites, it’s even better.

You can enjoy fresh fruit flavors any time when you preserve your favorite fruits. With the perfect blend of all-natural spices from Mrs. Wages mixes, you can cook, then freeze or can your favorite fruits and they’ll be ready for baking any time you’re ready — it’s like having a dessert in a jar.

These recipes for Spiced Applesauce Cake and Forest Berry Cobbler get their great taste from spiced fruit mixes — use them right after cooking, or can them so you can make these blue ribbon-worthy desserts long after fruit season is over.

Spiced Applesauce

Makes 3 quarts

8 to 10 pounds apples* Granulated sugar

2 cups water

1 pouch Mrs. Wages Spiced Apple Mix

Prepare and process home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer’s instructions for sterilized jars.

Wash, core and peel apples. Cut into halves or quarters.

Combine prepared apples with 2 cups water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover pan; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until apples are soft.

Puree apple mixture and measure number of cups before returning to pot. Add 1/4 cup sugar per 1 cup puree. Stir to dissolve sugar. Stir in contents of spiced apple mix and heat just to a boil. Remove from heat.

To can applesauce: Carefully ladle hot mixture into sterilized hot jars, filling evenly. Leave 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and cap each jar as it is filled.

Process in a boiling water bath canner, 15 min -utes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts. Test jars for airtight seals according to manufacturer’s direc -tions. If jars do not completely seal, refrigerate and consume within 2 weeks. Applesauce is ready to eat after 24 hours.

*Suggested apple varieties: Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Winesap, McIntosh, Yellow Delicious, Mutsu, Pink Lady and Honeycrisp.

Spiced Applesauce Cake

Yield: 24 pieces Prep: 15 minutes Bake: 40 minutes

Cake

1 1/4 cups Mrs. Wages Spiced

Applesauce 1 package (15 to 18 ounces) spice

cake mix

3 large eggs

1 cup water

Frosting 4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch cake pan with nonstick spray and lightly coat with flour.

Combine applesauce, cake mix, eggs and water in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool com pletely on a wire rack.

To make frosting: Combine all ingre -dients and beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Spread frosting over cooled cake and cut into 24 pieces.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Forest Berry Cobbler Filling

Makes 3 quarts

3 1/2 to 4 pounds blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or cherries

3 cups sugar

3 cups water or fruit juice 1 pouch Mrs. Wages Forest Berry

Pie Filling Mix

Prepare and process home canning jars and lids accord ing to manu facturer’s instructions for sterilized jars.

Wash berries or cherries. Blanch pitted cherries in hot water (200°F) for 1 minute, drain and keep in covered pot. Do not blanch berries. (Do not use strawberries.)

Combine sugar and water/fruit juice with 1 pouch pie filling mix in a large, non-reactive pot. Do not use aluminum. Cook mixture over medium heat (180°F), stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat. Fold prepared berries or cherries into sauce.

To can berry filling: Ladle berries or cherries and sauce into sterilized jars, filling evenly. Leave 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim and cap each jar as it is filled.

Process in a boiling water bath canner, 30 minutes for pints or quarts. Test jars for airtight seals accord ing to manufacturer’s directions. If jars do not com pletely seal, refrigerate and consume within 2 weeks. Pie fill ing is ready to eat after 24 hours.

Forest Berry Cobbler

Yield: 4 servings Prep: 15 minutes Bake: 30 minutes

1 quart Mrs. Wages Forest Berry Pie Filling

Topping

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

1/3 cup milk Vanilla ice cream,

optional

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Pour pie filling into a greased 8-inch baking pan; set aside.

In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a large fork or pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk slowly, until just combined.

Drop dough by tablespoonful over fruit filling. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the top ping comes out clean. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

Tri-County news • 50 PLUS -A Delta Publications special section • Thursday, May 10, 2012