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The First Tastes of Autumn

October 2, 2008

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 hereNote: 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!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2008 8:06 am

    OMG that peach praline was divine. What was even better that NO ONE else in my household wanted to eat.

    Heh heh more for me. It was sooo sooo good. Thank you so much!

    I am going to commit to trying that apple torte recipe. It looks so good and I’ve been dying to try baking a pie.

  2. Eileen permalink
    October 7, 2008 3:22 pm

    Ummm…soup recipe please! I may live in a place devoid of actual fall but I will make it happen nonetheless!

  3. wendalicious permalink
    October 7, 2008 6:51 pm

    Oh, right, the recipe. Duh. It’s very simple!

    Cut up a pumpkin, and scoop out the seeds, etc. Core 1 or 2 medium apples (I used Cortland). Roast pumpkin and apples in a large roasting pan (with a little water in the bottom of the pan) for about 1 hour.
    Scoop all the pumpkin out, and peel the apples (this part is very messy, I’ll warn you). Put everything in a blender and puree until smooth.
    Dump into large saucepan or pot, and add about 1 cup of chicken stock. Cook down until desired thickness. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, whisking in until melted. Add salt to taste. THEN, add grated fresh Parmesan cheese (not that junk from a can) until it tastes like you like!

    Suggestions for variations:
    -Skip the Parmesan, and add some ginger and curry powder
    -Saute some onions first, THEN add the puree and stock, etc. Add Parmesan cheese. Maybe leave out the apple for this one. Could be weird.

    As you can tell, I don’t always follow a recipe. I usually just keep messing with stuff and tasting it until I like it.

  4. wendalicious permalink
    October 7, 2008 6:52 pm

    Oh, Shannon – that tarte is so easy. I actually made it AGAIN this weekend. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT use Cortland apples. They get too mushy. Use Gala or Granny Smith. I have an appleSAUCE tarte on my counter (it’s delicious, but mushy).

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