A hybrid that blends the best of the popular Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples, Jonagold is a premium Michigan apple that’s growing in popularity. It has a unique honey-tart flavor and crisp, juicy flesh, and performs exceptionally well in Michigan’s northern climate.
Jonagold is a very large apple with a golden yellow undertone and bright orange-red blush that may be striped or mottled. It is aromatic, and a good keeper to boot.
Jonagold is rated excellent for every use: Cooking, baking, fresh-cut into salads, applesauce or eating out of hand. Because of its large size, Jonagold is a convenient choice for baking, cutting and other preparations.
It was developed in 1943 in New York, but has truly come into premium status recently due to improved storage knowledge.
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Baked Apple-Stuffed French Toast
- 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
- 1 Tbsp. apple juice concentrate
- 1 1/2 cups of Michigan Jonagold apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
Toss apples with lemon juice. In a medium bowl, stir cream cheese until smooth. Stir in apple juice. Fold in apple dices. Set aside.
- 1 loaf (16 oz.) Italian bread (about 4” wide)
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Diagonally cut a small slice off both ends of bread and discard. Continue slicing bread diagonally into slices about 1 to 1-1/2” thick. Holding the knife horizontal to the counter, cut each slice almost in half, leaving one side attached and making a pocket. Divide filling among the pockets, pressing closed around the edges. Place on rimmed baking sheet.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Slowly pour over bread, turning to coat completely. Set aside.
Calvados Sauce Ingredients:
- 3 cups Michigan Jonagold apples, sliced medium thick
- 3 Tbsp. apple juice concentrate
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup apple juice
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. Calvados or other apple liqueur, divided
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
Toss apple slices with lemon juice. In a medium saucepan off the heat, stir together apples, sugar, cornstarch, apple juice concentrate, apple juice and Calvados/apple liqueur until cornstarch is dissolved. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring often, until mixture comes to a boil, turns clear and thickens. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. of liqueur.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Generously grease baking sheet. Place bread on baking sheet about 2” apart. bake for 6-9 minutes or until bottoms are golden. Turn and bake another 6-9 minutes or until both sides are golden brown.
Alternatively, this dish may be fried rather than baked. Melt margarine or butter in frying pan and brown both sides of each bread pocket. Transfer to plates when golden brown.
Top pockets with Calvados sauce. Pass remainder sauce around for more!
Michigan Apple and Butternut Squash Soup
- 3 cups Michigan Jonagold apples, cored and chopped
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed*
- 1 cup sweet onion, peeled and roughly diced
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
- 1/8 tsp. freshly-grated nutmeg
- 1-1/2 cups Michigan apple cider
- 3 to 4 cups of liquid (equal parts chicken stock and water), depending upon thickness of soup desired)*
- salt and pepper to taste
In large soup pot add butter, squash, apples and onion, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes to soften onion. Add 1 cup of water to help steam squash. Cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes, or until squash is soft. Blend mixture with a hand immersion blender or in a stand-alone blender or food processor. (If using blender or food processor, process in batches.) Return mixture to the soup pot, add nutmeg, ginger and apple cider and the remaining liquid for desired consistency. Salt and pepper to season and taste. Serve with a small daub of sour cream or Greek plain yogurt on top, and with crusty bread.
- Roasting squash adds a wonderful layer of flavor. Place squash in an oven-proof pan. Add 1-2 Tbsp. cooking oil and 1 tsp. dried sage. Toss squash to coat. Place in 425-degree oven for 30 minutes. Encourage charring of the squash for extra flavor.
- For vegetarian soup, add equal parts water and cider to taste in place of chicken stock. May need extra seasoning and salt.