Saturday, December 17, 2011

Apples to Apples

My CSA share included apples many weeks in a row this fall. You know the kind - so fresh, so crunchy. I ate them alone, with cheddar and with peanutbutter, made them into pies and cakes and cobblers. Then my mom and I went to a local orchard and bought a giant bag of Cameos. Manoman, they're incredible. And because they're not bred to pick green and ship and store, they have to be consumed right away. But I'd give up apples all the dark year to have apples in season. I made this pie and bread in the last couple days, and the recipes are well worth sharing.

I've made custard or creamy fruit pies before, and generally the custard lies in a layer and holds its own. This is more like a whisper, so first you get the taste of apple, and then a hint of this lovely creamy mapleness. The Cameos stayed so ivory, and there's no cinnamon so it doesn't look caramelized. This is a delicate pie, and the sugared crust is a delight. I clipped the recipe from a magazine long ago, which attributed the recipe to Richard Caudill of BroadRipple Pie Co. in Indianapolis. If you know Richard, please thank him for me. You'll also notice this recipe is a snap. The apple pie I took to Thanksgiving dinner took half the day - one of those recipes that should begin with: Take out every piece of kitchen equipment you own. And it wasn't half as good.

Apple Maple Cream Pie

Pastry for 9" double crust pie

1/3 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
6 c. sliced, peeled apples
1/2 c. maple syrup (I used real, local syrup)
1/4 c. whipping cream (I used half and half)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In large bowl, stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add apples and gently toss. In small bowl, stir together syrup, cream and vanilla. Pour over apples. Fold until combined. Transfer to pastry-lined pie plate. Even out and cover with top crust. Cut vents. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar (I used large crystal sugar). Bake 375 for 55 min.

I thank my Aunt Kit for sharing this recipe with me. She is famous in our family for her baking, and I know any recipe that comes from her will be amazing. Again I used the Cameos, which made a gorgeous, golden applesauce. I like it on the chunky side, and that left a nice texture in the bread too. This batter is well spiced, and that sets off the apples, dates and walnuts.

Applesauce Loaf

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 1/4. c. applesauce
1/2 c. each chopped dates and walnuts

Beat butter and sugar, add egg. Stir together dry ingredients, blend in. Gently add applesauce, dates and walnuts. Bake greased loaf pan 1 hr. at 350.

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