By Jenny Peterson

Autumn ushers in an entire season of comfort food-warm stews, breads fresh from the oven, and harvest fruits and vegetables. Simple but savory meals allow us to gather around a table with family and friends, enjoying conversation rather than cooking and cleaning up. With many apple varieties coming into season, it’s a perfect time to try a one-dish apple frittata. Here’s one recipe for a simple meal, and another for a tasty dessert.

Apple-Cheddar Frittata
8 large eggs plus 2 large egg whites
4 ounces white Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup), divided
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with the rack set in the top third. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, and half of the cheese; season with salt and pepper. In a medium cast-iron or nonstick ovenproof skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the egg mixture. While the eggs cook, arrange the apples on top of the eggs in a circular pattern, starting from the outside edge, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the frittata is set in the center and the cheese is browned, about 20 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, release the frittata onto a cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges, and serve with a leafy green salad and slices of glazed sausage for a perfect harvest meal.

Green Apple Frittata
½ cup milk
¼ cup superfine sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (use only the yellow peel)
Pinch of cinnamon
½ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 large green apple
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons toasted flaked almonds
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Combine the milk, sugar, lemon peel, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; sift in the flour and salt. Beat in the eggs and add the rum.
Peel, quarter, and core the apple and then slice thinly.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium nonstick pan. Add the apples and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened. Pour the batter over the apples and cook gently for 4 minutes, drawing the batter in and tipping the pan to help the excess batter to cook. When the eggs are set and golden underneath, cover with a large plate and flip over. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and slide the frittata back in. Cook for 2 minutes, until set.
Turn out onto a platter, cut into 4 portions, scatter with almonds, and dust with sugar. Add whipped cream, honey, or maple syrup to the plate if serving as a quick dessert.