If you asked your loved ones what they wanted for Christmas, there’s a good bet “they don’t need anything” or they’re “sure they’ll love whatever you get them” – chances are, if apples could talk they’d say the same thing!
And, while we’d hardly argue that apples aren’t amazing enough on their own, there’s no denying giving them a little something special can often take that 10 to an 11. With that in mind, here’s our personal countdown of our twelve favorite apple pairings, and a must-try recipe to go along with each:
- Ginger – Now we’re getting into the less obvious ones, but aside from being a nice addition to plenty of baked apple goods, ginger helps add some kick to a healthy carrot, apple and ginger soup
- Pork – Applesauce has long been a favorite topping for pork chops, but there are plenty of other great pairings, like apple-pork burgers
- Caramel – Another great holiday combo, caramel apples are a staple during both Halloween and Christmas and you can take things to the next level with salted caramel apple pie bars
- Cinnamon – From Cheerios to oatmeal, to all sorts of baked goods, apple cinnamon muffins might be our go-to for this pairing and is extra Christmas-y
- Honey – This may be a Christmas-themed post, but the traditional apples & honey pairing for Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah is a tough one to beat
- Cheese – Yes please! Ever had a grilled apple, turkey and brie sandwich? No? Do it now!
- Peanut Butter – Grab some apples and dip ‘em? Have a PB & apple sandwich for lunch? Or perhaps indulge before the New Year’s resolutions kick in and go for some apple peanut butter cookies
- Pie – There’s some worthy options, but c’mon, who could argue with an apple pie being at the top of the list? Keep it simple over the holidays by giving everyone a taste of their childhood with an “Apple Pie by Grandma Ople”
- Walnuts – Not to make the other nuts feel bad, we’re going with walnuts here; they add some nice health benefits and delicious synergy to baked goods like apple walnut crisp
- Salad – A bit of a cheat to have “salad” rather than one ingredient (it’s certainly more appealing than just saying “lettuce”, though!) but apple salads are underrated and under-utilized (largely due to browning…) and a nice apple, celery & walnut salad leverages our walnut preference
- Bacon – And, since we’re already starting to cheat, even the apple tree itself can get in on the action with a delectable apple wood smoky Canadian bacon
- Vanilla – If you’re already hungry looking at this list, do not, repeat, DO NOT, look at this recipe for apple fries with vanilla whipped cream!
Ok, that does it, we’re off to the kitchen! Have a great holiday season and see you in the New Year!