The First Tastes of Autumn
When Sarah was visiting last weekend, we traveled down to Chatham to meet friends for brunch (at a great little place called Lippera’s…I’ll get to that another time). On the way back, we stopped at Golden Harvest Farms for some apples and, more importantly, apple cider donuts. The place came highly recommended by our friends Alisa and Stephen, and they weren’t kidding! Firstly, the place smelled divine, from all of the apples and the bake shop. Sarah remarked, “I want to lick the air”. I laughed, but agreed.
We purchased some apples, cider, donuts, and a peach praline pie for dessert (Sarah brought some pie back to the Sionna residence – how was it?). The quintessential autumn retail experience. I didn’t buy any apples myself, but Sarah was kind enough to give me 4 apples to use as I saw fit.
The conundrum: what to do with them? I know how to make pie (kinda boring), I don’t know what I’d do with applesauce (I like it, but not that much), and I am not a raw-apple-eating kind of person. SO – after consulting with my fabulous neighbor Chef Mark, I decided to roast them alongside a Cinderella pumpkin he gave me, and puree them into a pumpkin apple soup (with the addition of chicken stock, salt, and butter). it was pretty good – though Chef Mark suggested that I add some CHEESE to it to increase the depth of flavor. He is SO smart. It was incredible. I suggest you make some yourself! But only use 2 apples, instead of 4 – it was a bit apple-y.
And then, I was inspired to buy some apples myself, and create something delicious. Excuse me, Wendalicious. Luckily, this month’s issue of Cooking Light arrived just in time. I made a spectacular Tarte Tatin – a basic upside-down apple dessert, with caramel-bathed apples. Recipe here. Note: please do not be tempted to add traditional apple-pie spices to this recipe. The rich and nutty burnt-sugar taste of this recipe is absolutely beyond compare.
Here’s what mine looked like, before I devoured it (and gave a few pieces to Chef Mark and his wife):
Give it a try – I used Gala apples, but I bet you could use just about any type (except Macintosh, because they do not hold their shape very well when cooked). Enjoy!