Escalloped Apples au Gratin

For those of you who learned to cook way back in the 1960s or 70’s, here is a blast from the past. As I was perusing my well-worn and coverless copy of Mollie Katzen’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest last weekend, I came across this savory apple recipe that I am fairly sure I last made sometime around 1982. I decided to test it out on some current and former OOAL crew members who came for dinner, and it got the thumbs up from everyone.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds sauerkraut

  • 6 cups tart apples, peeled & sliced

  • 2 Tbs flour

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • a dash of cloves, nutmeg and salt

  • 2 Tbs honey

  • 2 Tbs butter

  • 1 cup onions, chopped

  • ½ tsp dried mustard

  • ¾ cup walnuts or almonds, chopped

  • ½ pound cheddar cheese, grated

  • ¾ cup bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter a deep-dish casserole, and set aside. Place the sauerkraut in a colander or strainer, and rinse under tap water. Squeeze dry.

Toss the apple slices with flour and spices. Drizzle with honey and mix well.

Sauté the onions in butter until transparent and soft (approximately 5-8 minutes). Add the dry mustard and sauerkraut, and cook a few additional minutes over medium heat.

Combine half the grated cheese with breadcrumbs and chopped nuts.

In the buttered casserole dish, layer ingredients in this way: (1) layer half the apple mixture on the bottom, (2) cover with half the onion-sauerkraut mixture, (3) followed by the plain, grated cheese. Then (4) pile on the remaining apples, (5) followed by the remaining onion/sauerkraut mix and, finally (6) the nut-crumb-cheese topping.

Cover, and bake for 20 minutes; then uncover, and bake 20 additional minutes.