Tag Archive: apples

Nov 26 2013

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Thanksgiving is nearly here and I haven’t even begun to plan. Luckily, we’ll be feasting at my sister-in-law’s house–my contribution is just a small part of the whole shebang–but I still feel like such a slug for not at least having an idea of what I’ll be presenting on Thanksgiving day. I really should be better at this by now. I’m 36, after all!

Cranberry Apple Crisp

The problem is that I have always been a mood eater. As such, I have also always been a mood baker. I can schedule anything I want but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, if I don’t feel like it, it won’t happen. And I can have quite the rebellious spirit. I’m such a brat.

This year, I’ve had cranberries on my mind a lot. A key harvest fruit here in New England, cranberries usually get their moment in the limelight as that gelatinous goo that slides out of a can moments before being ferried to the table for the big meal. Not my idea of featuring them at their best.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

I almost always volunteer to bring dessert to family gatherings and I’m quite impressed with what I’ve conceived today. Apple Crisp is one of my most favorite ways to eat apples–simple, modest, with the intoxicating aroma of pie without all the fuss. Apple Crisp is about as close as you can get in the baking world to relying upon intuition to guide you, as you would while cooking. No leavening, no eggs, and few ingredients. Fruit’s a little tart? Add more sugar. You prefer Gala apples? You should probably use less sugar. Don’t want to use sugar? You could try maple syrup. So many options! It seemed ripe for the addition of tangy cranberries.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

The combination is harmonious. Different layers playing together, working off each other to create a whole far exceeding the sum of its parts. A little buttery goodness in the crunchy topping, apples that are perfectly sweetened and have great texture, and then the cranberries come in, tart and tangy, slapping your taste buds and calling them to attention. Wow! I am loving this! Add a little bit of sweetened whipped cream and you have the perfect Thanksgiving dessert.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Will I bring this to our Thanksgiving repast? That remains to be seen. But I highly recommend it for yours! Or for any time you want a little something fruity that’s not too sweet. Happy Thanksgiving!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cranberry Apple Crisp
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
  • ½ cup demerara sugar
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a deep dish pie plate with butter or coconut oil and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the apple slices and cranberries with the ½ cup demerara sugar. Spread into the prepared dish.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, stir the flour, oats, remaining sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Cut the butter up into chunks and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two knives, working the butter in until you have small chunks of it throughout.
  4. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit and bake, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes, or until fruit is tender and the topping is crisp and lightly browned.
  5. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Notes
Serve warm with a dollop of ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

What are you baking for Thanksgiving this year?

Sep 27 2013

Happy 3rd Blogiversary to Me! I Baked You A Fresh Apple Cake!

Can you believe it? 3 years ago today I felt compelled to put myself out into the universe through this blog and here I am today, transformed by the experience. What an amazing journey this has taken me on!

Fresh Apple Cake

As the story goes, when I started this blog, it was at the beginning of my creative resurgence. My renaissance. I reconnected with an old friend from high school and was inspired once again, after far too many years of ignoring that part of me. I enrolled in a Shakespeare course. I signed up for Creative Writing. I pulled out my DSLR and got to work capturing the world. And I decided that dreaming about becoming a published author someday without actually writing was a tad ludicrous. Hence, the blog began.

Fresh Apple Cake

It wasn’t about food at first. I was too afraid. What did I have to add to the conversation? Who would be interested in what came out of my kitchen? They say you should write what you know, so I wrote about the community around me. And soon discovered that I knew more about my kitchen than what would be the hip thing to do. As a mother to two young children, I spent more time in my kitchen than in night clubs and theatre seats anyway. And just like that, poet in the pantry became a food blog.

Fresh Apple Cake

There have been a lot of unexpected benefits to inviting you all to my table. This last year, in particular, has been one of many exciting opportunities!

Yup, it’s been quite the year!

Fresh Apple Cake

It wouldn’t be anything without all of you, though. This blog exists because you are here reading it. Like the tree that falls in the forest, if you were not traveling along this road with me, it would be as if none of this happened. Thank you for your continued support!

So this celebration is really more about you than me. And in your honor, I baked you a Fresh Apple Cake–perfect for this time of year! The best part? It’s a one-bowl operation. Toss everything together, spread it in the pan, and you’ll be eating in your own honor in no time! (Psst! I give you permission to eat the entire cake, if you so wish! It’s YOUR day, after all!)

Fresh Apple Cake

Thank you! May there be many more blogiversaries we can celebrate together!

Fresh Apple Cake
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon dried orange peel
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 dash ground cloves
  • 2 large cage free eggs
  • 2 cups chopped tart apples (no need to peel if you don't want to)
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped roughly
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9" square baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients.
  3. Transfer to baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool completely before serving.

 

Nov 08 2012

Dutch Apple Crumble for Support for Sandy

It’s easy to take for granted the comforts of home. Running water. Toilets that flush. Refrigerators to keep our food fresh. Ovens in which too cook said food. Right now, however, not only are some going without these basic niceties we don’t even notice, we’re just so used to having them, but many more are now homeless, thanks to Hurricane Sandy

Picking up the pieces and moving forward will be incredibly difficult for these people. Whether their homes were flooded and require extensive repairs, like one of my friends on Long Island, or their domiciles were swept away entirely in the current, it will take a lot of time, patience, and money to get back to normal.

Sadly, I’m not in a position to head down there and lend a helping hand–family obligations prevent me from such–but I can’t let this go unnoticed, can’t continue on in my daily routine without doing something to help out. Monday night (October 29th), as the winds were howling outside my own windows and the trees swaying dangerously, I saw the New York City footage for the first time and I practically wept. Not long after, I saw mention of a texting campaign to donate to the Red Cross–text “RedCross” to 90999 and $10 will be donated, charged on your next cell phone bill. It was a little something, but it was something all the same, and I texted immediately. So much help would be needed.

Dutch Apple Crumble

Today, I’m participating in Barbara of Creative Culinary’s Support for Sandy event, coming together with other food bloggers to bring a comforting meal to the table and, once again, offer any help that we can. The image at the beginning of this post is a link to the American Red Cross’s website, where you can make a donation, as well. It’s very small, really–no nitty gritty hard work; your clothes will remain clean and you’ll still be in the comfort of your own home–but it could mean the world to someone on the receiving end. Please consider donating to the Red Cross to help those whose lives have been so deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy. These organizations are also helping victims:

  • The Salvation Army is also focused on providing food, shelter, and support to victims, and takes donations for storm relief.
  • Feeding America is providing food, water and supplies to those who need it as part of their disaster relief program.

Dutch Apple Crumble

I baked a Dutch Apple Crumble for our community table. It’s warm, it’s cinnamony, and it makes me think of feet kicked up in front of a fireplace, chasing away the chill in your bones after a Fall day raking leaves. Mmmm… the aroma itself is enough to improve ones spirits. Add a scoop of vanilla bean or cinnamon ice cream and you’ve gilded the lily.

May those in the wake of Sandy find comfort soon. I am thinking of you–please know that you’re not alone in this.

3.0 from 1 reviews
Dutch Apple Crumble
 
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Author:
Serves: 9
Ingredients
Filling
  • 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¼ cup granulated maple sugar (not maple syrup)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Crumble
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish (or a deep dish pie dish) and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine apple slices, sugars, and cinnamon, mixing well to coat the apple slices with the sugars and cinnamon. Spread in the prepared baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Work in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Sprinkle the crumbly topping over the apples, coating evenly, and press down gently to form a sort of crust.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until apples are tender and filling is golden.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Sep 13 2012

What To Pack For Lunch: Slow Cooker Applesauce

I recently hit the Gala apple jackpot. One of my co-workers–the same one with the peach abundance–happens to also have quite a few apple trees on his property. He has already donated many boxes of fruit to help those who are less fortunate; what he brings into the office is just a small portion of the windfall. Though I can imagine that for him, it’s not as much of a blessing as it appears to us–it’s a lot of WORK.

slow cooker applesauce

As I looked at my plastic grocery bag full of Galas, I grinned stupidly thinking about all the things I could make with them. I certainly never have this many on hand under normal circumstances! After filling a bowl on the table for the kids’ snacks, the first thing I made was applesauce. Slow Cooker Applesauce, to be exact. It doesn’t get any easier than that–which is good because I’ve never made applesauce before. The old “fix it and forget it” mentality is a wonderful thing when it comes to something like apples, which will fill your house with the most amazing aroma just in time for your arrival home from work. Ahhh… Cinnamon apple aromatherapy!

slow cooker applesauce

The only mistake I made was a bit too much water in the beginning, which I strained out before mashing, serving spoon by serving spoon. I feared that I had lost a lot of flavor doing that, but once the applesauce cooled, it was perfect. Not too runny, flavored just right. YUM. I had high hopes for canning the extra sauce, but, believe it or not, a 4.5-quart capacity slow cooker full of apples ends up cooking down to nearly nothing. I had just shy of 1 quart of applesauce when all was said and done. I guess it’ll take a bit more effort than I put in to fill the pantry shelves.

slow cooker applesauce

Slow Cooker Applesauce
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 12 Gala apples (or as many as it takes to fill the slow cooker)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup Sugar In The Raw (turbinado sugar)
  • ¼ cup water (I used ½ cup and it was too much)
Instructions
  1. Peel and core apples, cutting into large chunks, tossing into the slow cooker crock.
  2. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top of the chunks.
  3. Pour the water over the top and stir.
  4. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set on low heat.
  5. Cook for 4-6 hours, or until very soft.
  6. Mash with a potato masher for chunky applesauce; process through a food mill for finer sauce (highly recommend the mill, if you have it).
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Notes
You can add some lemon juice to prevent browning, but I figured it would turn brown anyway with the cinnamon, so I wasn't too concerned about it. *** If you have a food mill, you do not have to peel or core the apples. I would still cut them in half and cut off the blossom and stem ends. *** Play around with the spices. I've made this with pumpkin pie spice, too, and the scrapings of a vanilla bean.

 

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