I recently spent a girl’s weekend in Galena with one of my best friends, Julianne. I had never been before and enjoyed soaking in the small-town vibes, quaint shops along main street, the country fair, delicious baked goods, and fun wineries that Galena has to offer. We made sure to wear lots flannel which seemed to be the appropriate attire!
We had great weather, and while I had my share of fun selling our delicious apple pie at Apple Fest a few weeks ago, I hadn’t done any apple picking or baking myself, and it seemed like the perfect time!
We spent one of our mornings at Terrapin Orchards, just outside of Galena. The apples available for picking were Fuji. I wasn’t very familiar with Fuji apples but have learned that they are a Japanese varietal, named as such for the town where they were developed. They are a cross between Red Delicious and Virginia Ralls Janet apples. They are definitely on the sweeter spectrum, have a crisp texture, and have a long shelf life. Fuji apples were introduced to the US in the 1980s and have been increasing in popularity since. As every good orchard should, they had homemade apple cider donuts which were delicious too!
We each wound up with about 24 apples so I’ve been incorporating apples into all sorts of sweet and savory dishes. Throughout the years, I’ve made some really delicious apple dishes including Apple Upside Down Cake, Apple Cider Donut Bundt Cake, Baked Apple Pancake, Apple Whiskey Bread, Hard Cider Cheese Soup with Apple Grilled Cheese, and Apple-Bacon-Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding.
I decided to go a more savory route and make Apple-Whiskey Glazed Turkey-Apple-Cheddar Meatballs. These meatballs would be great as a meal or as an appetizer for all those upcoming holiday parties when you’re trying to think of what to bring!
Apple-Whiskey Glazed Turkey-Apple-Cheddar Meatballs
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Servings: 4 as a meal (or 8 as appetizers)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
For the Turkey-Apple-Cheddar Meatballs:
1.5 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 oz cheddar cheese, small dice
1/2 onion, small dice (reserve 1/2 for glaze)
1 apple, small dice (reserve 1/4 for glaze)
1 teaspoon fresh sage, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Apple-Whiskey Glaze:
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 onion, small dice (see above)
1/4 apple, small dice (see above)
1 can Hard Apple Cider (you can use regular apple cider too!)
1 Tablespoon apple butter
1/4 cup ketchup
Splash of whiskey (you can omit if desired, or decide what exactly a splash means!)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1. In a medium bowl, mix ground turkey, panko, red pepper flakes, cheese, apple (3/4), onion (1/2), sage, egg, salt and pepper.
2. Portion your meatballs evenly. I like a 1oz meatball and got about 28 when I made mine.
3. Heat a sauté pan on the stove over medium high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil to coat the bottom.
4. Add in the meatballs and allow them the brown on all sides, rotates every 3-4 minutes. You may have to work in batches.
5. Once the meatballs are completely browned, remove them from the pan.
6. Turn the heat to low, add butter, onion, and apple and saute 2-3 minutes.
7. Add hard cider, simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half.
8. Whisk in apple butter and ketchup to incorporate evenly, and allow the sauce to cook for 5 min.
9. Add whiskey and cook for 5 more minutes.
10. If you want a thicker sauce, you can adjust to taste with ketchup or apple butter.
11. Add the meatballs into the sauce and let cook for 15 minutes until they are glazed.
12. Serve with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, or pop them on a platter with some toothpicks for a party. Garnish with scallions.
If you enjoyed these meatballs, and are looking for more recipes that incorporate apples, be sure to check out these fantastic classes coming up:
- Hands On Cupcake Boot Camp on Saturday, October 29 where you’ll learn to make Caramel Apple Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream and Salty Caramel Drizzle
- Hands On Fall Dinner Party on Friday, November 4 where you’ll learn to make an Apple Cider Vinaigrette for salad and an Autumn Apple Walnut Cake
- Hands On Pie and Tart Boot Camp on Saturday, November 5 where you’ll learn to make Spiced Apple Hand Pies with Bourbon-Cider Glaze
- Thanksgiving Crash Course Demonstration on Saturday, November 12 where you’ll learn to make our famous Chopping Block Apple Pie
- Hands On Sparkling Fall Cocktails on Fri day, November 18 where you’ll learn to make Bourbon Apple Cider Mimosas
- Hands On Donut Boot Camp Saturday, November 26 where you’ll learn to make Apple Butter Old Fashioned Donuts with Bourbon Cider Glaze
Better yet, leave the apples to us, and order your TCB Apple Pie in the cast iron skillet for Thanksgiving. We have pick ups available on the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It’s a show stopper!
If you’ve gone apple picking and are ready to work with your bounty but realize you need some better tools, come shop our retail store Wednesday through Sunday. We’ve got knives, cutting boards, peelers, pie plates, vanilla bean paste (which pairs wonderfully with apples), and so much more!