Easter provides the perfect opportunity to sprinkle a little creativity into traditional dishes. Tree Top’s innovative apple-twist on three Easter recipes is sure to impress your family and friends.

Tree Top’s apple juice and cider, made with 100 percent USA apples, can be used in a variety of ways to enhance flavors. Included below are recipes for Hot Cross Buns; Ham with Apple Juice, Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze; and Apple Cider Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds.

Hot Cross Buns

Buns:

¼ cup Tree Top Apple Juice
½ cup mixed dried fruit
½ cup dried currants
1 ¼ cups milk
3 large eggs, 1 separated
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons instant yeast
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ¾ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 ½ cups unbleached flour
 

Topping:

1 large egg white (reserved from above)
1 tablespoon milk
 

Icing:

1 cup and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons milk

Lightly grease a 10” square pan. Mix the apple juice with the dried fruit and currants, cover with plastic wrap and microwave briefly, until the fruit and liquid are very warm. Set aside to cool to room temperature. When the fruit is cool, mix together all bun ingredients except the fruit. Knead, using an electric mixer or bread machine, until dough is soft and elastic. Mix in the fruit.

Let the dough rise for one hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk. Divide the dough into billiard ball-sized pieces, approximately 12 to 14 buns. Round them into balls and arrange them in the prepared pan. Cover the pan and let buns rise for another hour, or until they’ve puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush mixture over the buns. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

Mix together the icing ingredients, and when the buns are completely cool, pipe it in a cross shape atop each bun.

Ham with Apple Juice, Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze

1 10-pound ham with rind
1 cup Tree Top Apple Juice
½ cup Dijon mustard
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup honey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place ham in large roasting pan and pour apple juice over top. Cover ham with parchment paper, then cover ham and roasting pan with heavy-duty foil, sealing tightly at the edges of the pan. Bake ham until thermometer inserted into center of ham, registers 145 degrees (should take approximately 3 hours 45 minutes). Remove ham from oven, and increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Remove foil and parchment from ham. Drain and discard liquids from roasting pan. Cut off rind and all but ¼ inch thick layer of fat from ham and discard. Using long sharp knife, score fat in 1 inch wide, ¼ inch deep diamond pattern. Spread mustard evenly over fat layer on ham. Pat brown sugar over mustard coating, pressing firmly to adhere. Drizzle honey evenly over and bake ham until it is well glazed, approximately 30 minutes. While baking, spoon any mustard and sugar glaze that slides into roasting pan back over ham. Transfer ham to serving platter, let cool at least 45 minutes. Slice and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Apple Cider Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
¾ cups Tree Top Apple Cider
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ sliced almonds, toasted

Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet with slotted spoon, drain on paper towels. Discard all but one tablespoon drippings from skillet. Add butter, onions and Brussels sprouts to drippings in skillet. Cook and stir on medium-high heat, approximately one to two minutes, or until Brussels sprouts are lightly browned. Mix apple cider, sugar, salt, nutmeg and black pepper, pour over sprouts. Cook five minutes or until liquid is evaporated and Brussels sprouts are evenly glazed, stirring occasionally.

Stir in bacon and spoon Brussels sprouts into a bowl. Top with almonds.

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