Apple Profile

Spartan

This apple is firmer and crisper than its McIntosh parent, but has many of its other good qualities including a rich sweet-tart flavor.  Spartan is strongly aromatic, even before it’s cut.

Spartan is a mid-size round, shiny apple with bright red blush over a yellow to green background. Its flesh is crisp, white and exceptionally juicy. An excellent keeper, Spartan becomes slightly sweeter in cold storage.

Spartan is an all-around performer, rated excellent across the board for snacking, salads, applesauce and baking including pies. Highly recommended for juicing.

Sorry to fans of Greece or Michigan State University:  This Spartan was developed in a British Columbia, Canada, breeding program in 1936.  In fact, it was the first new apple produced from a formal scientific breeding program.

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Recipes

Grilled Chicken with Apples and Feta

Ingredients:

recipe-photo-grilled-chicken-apples-feta

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 5 oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Michigan Spartan apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme

Prepare hot fire in charcoal or gas grill. Brush chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken until juices run clear, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from grill to platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

Melt butter in sauté pan over medium high heat. Add apples and sauté 2-3 minutes, until they begin to brown and become tender. Spoon apples over chicken and top with feta and thyme.

Apple and Sausage Topped Potato Pancake

Potato Pancake Ingredients:

recipe-photo-sausage-potato-pancakes

  • 5 cups (half a 26 oz. pkg.) frozen Country Style Hash Brown Potatoes, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups unpeeled shredded Michigan Spartan apples*
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • vegetable oil

Apple and Sausage Topping Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine

1 Tbsp. honey Dijon mustard

8 oz. reduced fat smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

3 small Michigan Spartan apples, cored, sliced into 12 wedges each

Directions for Potato Pancakes:

Combine thawed potatoes, shredded apples, onion, flour, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir in eggs until mixture is well blended. Heat enough vegetable oil over medium heat to just cover bottom of a large heavy skillet.

Portion potato mixture by 1/2 cup measures into hot oil. Fry 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden. Add more oil as needed. Keep pancakes warm.

Directions for Apple and Sausage Topping:

Melt butter in large heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in mustard. Add sausage and apple slices. Cook and stir 6 to 8 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve 2 pancakes per serving.Divide sausage-apple mixture evenly over top of each serving.