It’s Sept. 1, and apple harvest season is getting ready to crank up in western North Carolina, a popular fall getaway for many Charlestonians.

According to the Henderson County, N.C., travel and tourism website, North Carolina is the seventh largest apple-producing state in the country and the county is No. 1 within the Tarheel State.

And, their most widely grown apples are red and golden Delicious, Rome Beauty and Galas. I’m partial to the green Mutsus up there.

A colleague asked for lower-calorie apple desserts, and we have a few recipes to offer up.

The first comes from Lauri Bailey of Charleston.

“This one comes from Cooking Light magazine and was well-received when I served it on a recent catering job,” she writes.

Caramel Apple Bread

For the wet ingredients:

1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

For the dry ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups whole wheat or white whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 or 2 teaspoons cinnamon, to taste

For the solid ingredients:

11/2 cups chopped apples

3/4 cup chopped walnuts, if desired

For the icing:

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon milk


In separate bowls, mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients. Add wet to dry, stirring to combine. Add the solid ingredients.

Bake at 325 degrees in a sprayed 9x5-inch loaf pan until inserted knife comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool completely.

Mix icing ingredients and drizzle over cooled bread before slicing.

Checking my bookshelves at home, I found a “Cooking Light” cookbook from 1992 with a couple of timeless and appealing recipes.

Maple Streusel Apples

Yield: 4 servings


1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt

2 teaspoons brown sugar

4 medium cooking apples

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons reduced-calorie maple syrup

1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons quick-cooking oats, uncooked

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon unsalted margarine, softened


Combine yogurt and 2 teaspoons brown sugar, stirring well; cover and refrigerate.

Core apples to within 1/2 inch from bottom; peel top third of each apple. Combine syrup and juice; stir well. Spoon evenly into cavity of each apple. Place apples in a 10x6x2-inch baking dish. Pour water into dish. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes or until apples are tender.

Combine oats, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon; stir well. Cut in margarine with a pastry blender until mixture resemblers coarse meal. Uncover apples, and sprinkle with oat mixture. Broil 51/2 inches from heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture over each apples. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 195 calories, 3.9g fat, 41.5g carbohydrate.

Cranberry Apple Orange Bake

Yield: 8 servings


3/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 medium cooking apples, cored and sliced into rings

3 oranges, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices


Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until cranberry skins pop and mixture is thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside.

Arrange apple and orange slices in a 21/2-quart casserole; pour cranberry mixture over fruit. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until apple is tender. Serve warm, using a slotted spoon.

Per 1/2 cup serving: 83 calories, 0.3g fat, 21.2g carbohydrate.

French Apple Tart

(Adapted from “The Drop 10 Diet Cookbook”)

Serves 8


1 cup oat flour

1/2 cup soft white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt

Olive oil cooking spray

1/4 cup powdered sugar (for rolling out dough)

For the topping:

1 medium apple, such as Golden Delicious, Pink Lady or Gala, cored and thinly sliced

1 orange, zested and juiced (l tablespoon zest, 1/2 cup juice)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Olive oil cooking spray

1/2 cup orange marmalade

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped


In a large bowl, place the flours, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a separate large bowl, place the butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the mixture is pale yellow and light in texture. Reduce to medium speed and beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the yogurt. Add the flour mixture and stir until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms.

Coat a piece of aluminum foil or waxed paper with cooking spray and wrap the dough in it. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before baking.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, place the apple, orange zest and juice, and cinnamon. Toss together and set aside.

Assemble the tart: Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the dough on top. Sprinkle the powdered sugar over the dough and roll out into an 8x8-inch square. Using a rubber spatula, spread out the marmalade over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.

Layer the apple over the marmalade in an overlapping pattern, so that only the edges of the dough remain visible. Drizzle with half of the juice from the bowl of apples. Coat the top with a thin layer of cooking spray and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the apple is soft and the edges of the dough are golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining juice. Sprinkle with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Per 1/8 tart: 249 calores, 9g fat (4g saturated), 42g carbohydrates.

Who’s got the recipe?

A James Island caller requests recipes for seafood quiche and peach cobbler.

Reach Features Editor Teresa Taylor at food@postand or 937-4886.