Monday, September 27, 2010

An Apple A Day

One of my absolute favorite Fall activities is apple picking and the twin cities boasts some fantastic orchards, complete with hay rides, apple brats, apple donuts, and farm animals galore...but we were especially lucky this year to be invited to my friend's family orchard on their apple picking day...let's see - come fill up your trunk with apples in the gorgeous fall sunshine on a bluff overlooking one of the most scenic spots in the state?  Oh yeah, we were all over it...

Now what to do with all these lovely specimens?? I'm excited to try my hand at Apple Butter from the Good to the Grain cookbook the lovely Joy sent me for my birthday, make fresh applesauce, apple tarts, apple crisp...but dear friends I would love to hear some of your favorites...

Speaking of recipe help, I have to tell you I've been in a huge cooking slump these old standbys aren't whetting my appetite and I just can't seem to turn out a decent inspired by (okay totally ripping her off) Michelle's genius recipe exchange I propose that we start up a dinner  one...perhaps beginning with crock pot recipes (ahem, Alexis??)  so if you'd like to participate drop me an email at shopprettymommy (at) hotmail (dot) com or leave your email in the comments below - I'll organize us into dates and then we can all link back to the recipe running that day on each other's blogs...sound good??


  1. Love this post. So cute. Thought about apple picking all weekend but didn't get to it. Maybe this weekend. Love the recipe exchange but I don't have a crock pot. Count me in for the next time? Or how about an apple recipe exchange in honor of fall??

  2. I have never been apple picking! But that baking book looks super amazing and interesting! I would love to make fresh applesauce with lots of cinnamon and apple lumps :)

  3. I had to go to the new Linden Hills coop this weekend. It has been "my" grocery for 15 years. Well, I must say, it didn't feel quite the same. A few too many Audis in the parking lot for me (don't get me wrong, I love many people who drive Audis, but I am nostalgic for the slightly rusty VWs and Volvos from the "old" coop. But, I'll adapt.

    Anyway, I bought a bag of Honeycrisp apples and made my very favorite apple crisp on Sunday. It was a big hit with the hubbie! He couldn't say enough about it and seemed to warrant extra kisses.

    The recipe is from the second Silver Palate - with one change. Where it says "sugar", I use BROWN SUGAR. I also used the hand rolled butter from the coop - Lucia's uses it at her restaurant. Recipe is called "June's Apple Crisp". Here it is:

    6 green apples, peeled and cored and sliced up not too thinly (I think I used at least 8 - 10)
    juice of 1/2 a lemon if your apples aren't at all tart (This is important!)

    1 cup flour
    1 cup sugar (I use brown sugar)
    1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon salt (or a little less if you like)
    1 stick of butter, cold and cut up. (I use the hand-rolled, ridiculously expensive butter from the coop.)

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    Put the apples into any dish that they will nicely fit into, round or square or oval or what ever. (I use 8" square brownie type pan)
    Put the rest of the ingredients into a food processor or a sturdy bowl if you are going to mix this with a pastry blender. (I put in a bowl and use my fingers, pressing the butter into small bits.)
    Then mix up the topping so that it is all nice and crumbly looking, like cornmeal. It should be a bit powdery.
    Dump the topping over the apples, spread around to even things up a bit, and then tamp the dish down on the counter to coax the topping down in amongst the apples just a little bit.
    Bake for about an hour. What you want to see is bubbles around the edge.

    Serve immediately with a small dollop of vanilla ice cream on top if you like. (I use cream - just divine!)

  4. I too went apple picking this past weekend and made a Large batch of delicious chutney (I think I quadupled this recipe):

    2 cups rice vinegar
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
    2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
    2 Tablespoons diced yellow onion
    3 tart, firm apples, peeled, cored, and diced
    Juice of 1 lemon

    Sterilize 2 half-pint canning jars and keep them hot.

    Bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely. Add the bell pepper, jalapenos, and onion, and continue to boil for 8 minutes. Add the apples, reduce the heat, and simmer until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

    Spoon or ladle the chutney into the jars. Cap the jars according to the manufacturer's directions. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Let cool and test for a seal. Stored in a cool, dry, dark place, the chutney will last and be yummy on pork chops, Saute chicken in this with chicken stock, a splash of brandy and finish with butter!

  5. That is one beautiful little girl!!!

  6. Alecia, I have been to the new coop you're referring to. Feels way too much like a Whole Foods. I liked the old one better. The employees all look at of place as well. C'est la vie.

    Michelle, count me I for whatever recipe exchange fun plans you have!

  7. I can't wait to pick apples in a couple of weeks!

    As for the recipe exchange, count me in!!


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