Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Apple sauce with lemon, cinnamon, and ginger

25 October 2011

Fall has come with crisp air and deepening sunshine, piles of fallen leaves to jump into and carpets of prickly chestnuts to tread onto, scarves without gloves and short skirts with leather boots, and apples, and apple sauce.

Apple sauce should be made with the newest, crispest apples of early fall as a celebratory leap away from summer; but also with the last, gnarly, bruised, and slightly soft apples of spring in patient anticipation of the summer’s first strawberries; and all winter long through grey skies and rainy days, snow storms and frigid winds.

Because making apple sauce is as easy as cutting apples into pieces and letting them cook for a little while, with a film of water at the bottom to prevent burning. But there are countless possible variations. Sugar or no sugar. Chunky or smooth. Spices? Even butter, for some. This is how I often make apple sauce, though by no means the only way.

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This makes an intensely fragrant, chunky apple sauce. For a smoother texture the cooked apples can be run through a food mill. The spices and amount of sugar can also be adapted according to taste. I prefer fresh ginger and whole cinnamon because it imparts a more subtle taste, but ground spices would be fine, too.

About 10 small apples

Rind and juice of 1 lemon

1-inch (2.5 cm) piece ginger

1 thin cinnamon stick (or a half)

2 or 3 Tbsps brown sugar

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Peel, core, and cut the apples into quarters and place in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Peel the rind of the lemon into a long ribbon, carefully avoiding too much pith, juice the lemon, and add both the rind and the juice to the apples.

Peel the ginger, cut it into thin slices, and add to the apples. Also add the cinnamon stick and the sugar.

Toss the apples. Pour in 2 or three tablespoons of water, just enough to coat the bottom of the pot.

Cook, covered, over medium to low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the apples have softened.

*

Related posts

At the market | Quinces

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Banana cake

 

Endive salad with apples, walnuts, and comté

27 January 2011

Salads are one of the reasons I look forward to winter. Endive salads in particular, because they are from my childhood, but all the other crisp, bitter, cold-weather greens, reds, and yellows: dandelion, escarole, frisée, radicchio…

In a month or so I may be looking forward to fresh peas and longing for tomatoes, but right now I am excited by the falling snow and this crunchy endive salad. It’s ready in 5 minutes and made a perfect lunch yesterday.

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4 endives (should be tightly compact, white and pale yellow, without a hint of green)

1 red apple

1/2 lemon

About 8 walnuts

Comté (also Guyère or a hard sheep-milk cheese from the Pyrénées)

5 Tbsps good olive oil

1 1/2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar

Maldon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

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Cut off endive stub and remove one outer layer of leaves. Rinse quickly under running water, shake dry, and slice crosswise into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces. Wash apple, cut into quarters, core, and slice quarters thinly crosswise. Immediately toss the endive and apple with the juice from 1/2 a lemon, as they oxidize quickly.

Shell the walnuts and break them into pieces. Cut the cheese into strips about 1 in (2.5 cm) long and 1/3 inch (1 cm) wide. There should be about as much cheese as there are walnuts.

Mix the walnuts and cheese with the endive and apple. Season with the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss well.

Quince and apple tarte

18 October 2010

Having found quinces at the market last week I decided to organize dinner around the fruit. As planned, I prepared lamb and quince tagine and an apple and quince dessert, though rather than the crumble I initially had in mind I made pie, or rather a French version of pie: tarte. I improvised both dishes from a variety of recipes. The tagine looked beautiful and tasted very good, but it could still be improved and I would like to refine the recipe before posting it here. The tarte, on the other hand, was entirely delicious.

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Puff pastry*

Juice from 1 lemon

3 medium quinces

4 Tbsp mild-tasting liquid honey

3/4 cup (150 g) brown sugar

1/2 vanilla bean

3 medium apples

1 cup (100 g) ground almonds (or almond flour)

***

If using frozen puff pastry, remove from freezer and set out to thaw.

Prepare a medium saucepan with 4 cups (1 liter) cold water and juice from 1/2 lemon. Peel, core, and cut quinces in slim slices. As you cut the quince, put the slices in the lemon water (quince oxidizes very quickly – placing it in water prevents it from turning black).

Bring the lemon water with quince slices to a light boil and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, until the fruit just starts getting soft (they should still be easy to handle; they will continue cooking later.) With a skimmer, remove quince slices and set aside.

Add the honey, 1/2 cup (100 g) of the sugar, and the vanilla bean to the quince poaching water, increase heat and let the syrup boil and reduce for 45 to 50 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

Thinly slice apples to the same size as the quince slices. (As you set the apple slices aside, sprinkle them with a little lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.)

In a small bowl, mix the ground almonds with the last 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar.

Prepare baking sheet (or pie pan) lined with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper and roll out pie crust. Sprinkle almond/sugar mixture evenly on crust, then place apple and quince slices, alternatingly. Using a spoon or pastry brush, coat the fruit with some of the thickened syrup.

Bake in oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until fruit is starting to color, taking care that the crust does not become too dark.

Before the tarte cools, glaze the fruit with more syrup. (There should be some left over, it will continue to thicken and can be used on toast like quince jelly).

* I have never made puff pastry. It is terribly time-intensive and I have often heard that it is one of the rare things that are not necessarily better home made, unless by an experienced pastry chef. Dufour frozen puff pastry is a very good brand available here in New York.


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