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eG Cook-Off #67: Apples


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10 hours ago, kayb said:

I commend to any of you, and especially those who make apple butter, the Arkansas Black apple. It's a very late-ripening apple with firm, tart flesh and an almost black (thus the name) skin, and it makes absolutely the best apple butter I have ever made. Didn't get any this year, but I'm low on apple butter, so will have to remedy that next year.

 

I had several Jazz apples on the counter that needed using, and I'd pulled a recipe for Fresh Apple Cake from the 12 Tomatoes site, so those two combined today. It's a very heavy, pound-cakeish batter (has cream cheese in it, no other liquid other than eggs), and produces a moist, dense and quite tasty cake, even for having been adapted to gluten-free. It would benefit from some cinnamon and other apple-friendly spices, and I might think about swapping the white sugar for brown sugar next time, but I'll call it a success. The recipe called for dusting it with powdered sugar (I didn't), but I think it'd benefit from some good caramel sauce.

 

@kayb - I bet you could easily make this recipe gluten-free - replacing the 100 grams of flour with either a nut flour or the flour mix from Modernist Bread.

 

 

Bourrote Aux Pommes

Ingredients

 

  • 60 grams cornstarch
  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 100 grams sugar (less)
  • 75 grams melted butter
  • 5 tablespoons milk, 75 grams
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • vanilla
  • 4 cut up apples or pears

 

Method

 

mix all then stir in butter. Bake 375º for 40 minutes. She bakes in a charlotte pan.
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15 hours ago, kayb said:

I commend to any of you, and especially those who make apple butter, the Arkansas Black apple. It's a very late-ripening apple with firm, tart flesh and an almost black (thus the name) skin, and it makes absolutely the best apple butter I have ever made. Didn't get any this year, but I'm low on apple butter, so will have to remedy that next year.

 

 

Black Arks are the absolute best! Very hard to come by here in CA. Our favorite market used to get them for a very very short season, but the last few years they have disappeared. I'm not an apple butter person, and I've never cooked them, but just eating out of hand they are unique.

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A few days ago I brought back and apple recipe I hadn't made in years, Apple Tart with Smoked Cheddar Custard in a Toasted Hazelnut Crust.  The idea was to update what my Grandmother served-apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese.  We didn't have a tradition of serving cheddar with apple pie, but I think she wanted to try it.  I don't think I ever understood, but it was delicious.  I mean a slice of cheddar alone.  So I wanted to work cheddar in another way.  Smoked cheddar is mild and the smoke flavor doesn't overpower the cheese.  

 

It must have been 20 years ago when I created that recipe.  It was for a corporate summer picnic and I think there was a dessert contest.  I remember slogging it to the park in a covered Tupperware.  A tart with custard suffers in the summer heat, and it looked pretty melted as I recall.  But I think the judges liked it.  I can't recall if I won, got a prize or a handshake.  This season I vowed to make it again with a few changes.  I stayed with the Fuji apples and didn't change the custard.  Instead of my pie crust recipe I used my shortbread that I always do for tarts.  I toast hazelnuts and pressed some into the shortbread.  The idea is to celebrate WA State apples and another crop from the Northwest, the hazelnut.  We lived in Salem, Oregon when I was a kid and we always called them "filberts."  My Father worked for the State of Oregon Ag Department and was the advisor to the "Filbert" commission.  Years later when the term "hazelnut" became popular we always chuckled behind the scenes.

Coring and slicing the apples.JPG

Forming Shortbread in Tart Pan.JPG

Shortbread pastry formed in tart pan.JPG

Smoked Cheddar Custard Ingredients.JPG

Apples on smoked cheddar custard.JPG

Unmolding the Apple Tart.JPG

 

Apple Tart with Smoked Cheddar Custard.JPG

 

Sliced Apple Tart with Smoked Cheddar Custard.JPG

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Hello @kayb here is the full recipe-

 

Ingredients

For the Smoked Cheddar Custard-

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1" piece vanilla bean, cut in half you can substitute pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole milk

Toasted Hazelnut Shortbread Crust-

  • 1 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 tbs. butter, melted

For the Apples-

  • 2 large Fuji apples
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. apple jelly
  • chopped toasted hazelnuts for garnish
  • whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Make the Smoked Cheddar Custard-

-In a mixing bowl add the egg yolks and sugar and whisk to combine until the mixture turns a light yellow color. Add the flour and whisk to make a smooth mixture.

-Pour the milk into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

-Use a ladle to spoon 1/2 cup of the warm milk into the bowl with the egg, sugar, and flour and whisk to combine. Then blend the flour mixture back into the saucepan with the milk. Cook the custard until it begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Take the custard off the heat and pour it through a strainer into a container. Let the custard cool then cover and refrigerate to chill, about 4 hours.

Make the Toasted Hazelnut Shortbread Crust-

-Heat the oven to 375. Place the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and toast until just browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the hazelnuts and place them on a kitchen towel.  Rub the towel over the hazelnuts, removing most of the skins. Put the hazelnuts in a mini-food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Reserve some of the toasted hazelnuts for garnishing the apple tart.

-Heat the oven to 375. In a bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, melted butter and 1/2 cup of the toasted hazelnuts and mix together to create a soft dough. Using your fingers, pat the dough into the bottom of a 9" round non-stick tart pan with removable bottom. Use a paring knife to trim the excess pastry from the edge of the tart pan.

 

Slice the Apples and Bake the Tart-

 

-Use an apple peeler/corer to peel and cut the apples into 1/4" thick slices. Fill a bowl with cold water and add the lemon juice. Plunge the apples into the lemon juice to keep it from browning.

-Ladle 1 cup of the chilled smoked cheddar custard into the tart shell. Cut each apple in half. Gently fan the apples on top of the custard.

-Place the tart on a cookie rack over a baking sheet and bake 35-40 minutes until the apples and custard are golden. Remove the tart from the oven and let cool to room temperature. While the tart cools, heat the apple jelly in the microwave for 30 seconds. Brush the apple jelly over the top of the apples. Sprinkle some of the chopped hazelnuts over the top of the tart.

-Cut the tart into slices and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

 

 

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2 hours ago, David Ross said:

Hello @kayb here is the full re

But I can’t find any smoked cheddar in the recipe.  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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3 hours ago, David Ross said:

-Use an apple peeler/corer to peel and cut the apples into 1/4" thick slices. Fill a bowl with cold water and add the lemon juice. Plunge the apples into the lemon juice to keep it from browning.

-Ladle 1 cup of the chilled smoked cheddar custard into the tart shell. Cut each apple in half. Gently fan the apples on top of the custard.

-Place the tart on a cookie rack over a baking sheet and bake 35-40 minutes until the apples and custard are golden.

 

Do you just use that one cup of custard mix or do you top up with more custard after positioning the sliced apples? 

 

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1 hour ago, Anna N said:

But I can’t find any smoked cheddar in the recipe.  

Yikes I left out the main ingredient in the custard for everyone!  Add 3/4 cup grated smoked cheddar cheese to the hot custard and stir to blend. 

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4 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

 

Do you just use that one cup of custard mix or do you top up with more custard after positioning the sliced apples? 

 

Hi.  I used 1 cup of the custard mix.  Then the apples on top and that's it.  There will be leftover custard, so yesterday I made small custard tart without the apples.  

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51 minutes ago, David Ross said:

Yikes I left out the main ingredient in the custard for everyone!  Add 3/4 cup grated smoked cheddar cheese to the hot custard and stir to blend. 

 

Thank God. I read it four times, certain I was looking right past it. Thanks. Amended version saved.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I made apple dumplings the other day ... I like to use a Granny Smith for them 😁 ... Mr Cat and Cat Son love them ... 

 

I have been reading about a new apple variety coming in Dec - the Cosmic Crisp (hybrid Honeycrisp and Enterprise?) ... did I miss talk about about it somewhere?

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I have an EpiPen ... my friend gave it to me when he was dying ... it seemed very important to him that I have it ... 

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned Himmel und erde - Heaven and earth - that John's grandmother used to make.  She actually did it two ways(she is gone so I can't ask why).  

The first was mashed potatoes with  applesauce and sautéed onions.  Other times she simmered the apples and potatoes together, mashed them then put the sautéed onions on.  She came from near Heidelberg originally and had a diploma as a home cook.

 

 

 

 

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Aha!  My mother used too make this but  we called it stampot.  She did this also with carrots and potatoes and kale and potatoes.  Saurkraut, too.  It was always served with smoked sausage.  I loved that food

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On 11/2/2019 at 6:05 PM, kayb said:

I commend to any of you, and especially those who make apple butter, the Arkansas Black apple. It's a very late-ripening apple with firm, tart flesh and an almost black (thus the name) skin, and it makes absolutely the best apple butter I have ever made. Didn't get any this year, but I'm low on apple butter, so will have to remedy that next year

 

 

I'm not making apple butter but I was curious about the Arkansas Black apples, a variety I don't think I've tried or noticed before.  After reading this post, lo and behold, there they were at my local farmers market this afternoon. 

apples.thumb.jpg.b6a43b0bd84ea7b794cb12eba1c617d0.jpg

These are from Ha's Apple Farm up north of here in Tehachapi.  I also bought some Bosc pears from them. 

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  • 11 months later...

The annual Tarte Tatin.  I haven't changed this recipe in probably 20 years.  Always golden delicious apples, and I always use my pie crust recipe rather than puff pastry.  The tart is heavy, so I think it needs the weight of pie crust.  And I also have used the same "flipping" technique for years.  I cut out a small square of patio screen mesh and put that on top of a cookie rack, then flip the Tatin over.  The crust is so delicate I don't want it to break through the wide screen of a cookie rack.  It's a hokey invention, but never fails.  

Tarte Tatin.JPG

 

For the Apples and Caramel-

10 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut in quarters

2 sticks butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 tbsp. light corn syrup

 

For the Pastry Dough-

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cake flour

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes

1/2 cup Crisco

2/3 cup ice water

 

 

Prepare the Apples and Caramel-

Heat the oven to 400. Heat a 10" cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the skillet and melt. Once the butter is melted, Add the sugar and stir it into the melted butter. Stir in the corn syrup.

Once the sugar and butter bubbles, arrange the apples in the skillet. For this recipe, I used a 10" skillet and overlap the apple quarters next to each other to fill the skillet.

 

Place the skillet in the oven and cook the apples in the caramel for 1 1/2 hours. Check on the apples every 20 minutes and press down using a spatula. The apples are done when the caramel is a deep golden color.

Remove the skillet from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

 

Make the Pastry and Finish the Apple Tarte Tatin-

The next day make the pastry. In a large bowl combine the flour, cake flour, sugar and salt and mix together. Add the butter and Crisco and cut into the flour using a hand-held pastry cutter. The pastry should be the size of large peas.

Add the ice water a little at a time and use a fork to blend it into the flour mixture. Continue to add enough ice water for the pastry to form a soft ball. Cover the pastry and chill in the fridge one hour.

 

Heat the oven to 400. Let the pastry dough come to room temperature until soft so it's easy to roll out. Flour the counter and roll our the pastry to about 1/8" thickness. Gently place the pastry over the top of the apples in the skillet, then trim the edges. Fold in any extra pastry to fit within the skillet.

 

Bake the Tarte Tatin in the oven until the pastry is golden and the caramel is bubbling around the sides, about 30 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool 2 minutes.

 

Run a paring knife around the edge of the pastry. Place a cookie rack on a baking sheet, then place it, rack facing down on top of the apples in the skillet. Hold the skillet with one hand and the baking sheet in another and gently turn over the skillet to unmold the Tarte Tatin onto the cookie rack. Let the Tarte Tatin cool from 10-12 minutes for the caramel start to set before serving.

Slice and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

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Our bountiful much producing Macintosh seems to be taking a year off.  No apples.  Nada.  On the other hand our almost dead Northern Spy has quite a crop this year.  Well, quite a crop for a tree which hasn't produced anything for several years.  

 

Northern Spies.  That's apple pies.

 

We haven't checked the current taste of the unidentifiable trees on the trail.  I'll get Ed to do that soon.   (Almost no grapes this year after last year's amazing abundance.)

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I haven't evaluated this in any large-scale way (I've only had my dehydrator for a couple of years) but so far I've gotten the best results with apples that would also bake well, as opposed to "cooking apples" like Macs or Dudleys or Paula Reds. Among the locally-grown apple varieties I find Cortland works very well for dehydrating, partly because it retains its texture well and partly because its snowy-white flesh stays pale as it dries (some varieties darken).

Your local selection will be different from mine, and I can't speak to the main commercial cultivars because I haven't yet tried them (I go with local apples while they're cheap and plentiful) but hopefully that's at least a starting point for you to work from.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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On 10/17/2020 at 7:26 PM, David Ross said:

I always use my pie crust recipe rather than puff pastry

 

+1 to this - puff pastry in tarte tatin just doesn't work for me.

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~ Shai N.

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2 hours ago, shain said:

 

+1 to this - puff pastry in tarte tatin just doesn't work for me.

I only tried puff pastry maybe two times years ago and it just didn't have the strength to hold up to the weight of the apples and gets soggy way too quick.  With the pastry dough I use it's sturdy but holds up well so I can still have a tasty slice for breakfast on day 2.

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12 hours ago, chromedome said:

Your local selection will be different from mine, and I can't speak to the main commercial cultivars because I haven't yet tried them (I go with local apples while they're cheap and plentiful) but hopefully that's at least a starting point for you to work from.

 

I looked on line and one site suggested Pink Lady or Granny Smith.  I am fond of both but Pink Lady sounded interesting.  Shoprite had a Pink Lady sign.  The Pink Lady bin was empty.

 

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Another new recipe for this years apple season, Apple Cake with Calvados Caramel.  My Mother made a delicious apple cake each year, always the same, always with chunks of apples they bought from a harvest roadside stand in the Willamette Valley region of Oregon.  As a kid we lived in The Dalles, Oregon, not far from the apple orchards of Hood River, then moved to Salem in the Willamette Valley.  I couldn't find her recipe, but I remember it tasted almost like a gingerbread.  We just ate it plain, no frosting or ice cream.  So this year I re-created that recipe and served it with a caramel sauce.

 

Calvados, the French apple brandy, adds another level of flavor to both the cake and the caramel.  I used apple brandy made by Clear Creek Distillery of Hood River, Oregon.  (They aren't allowed by law to call it "Calvados" which is only used in that region of France). They use the same technique as the French, and age the brandy for 8 years.  

 

Trust me, this is really, really sweet and although I don't eat a lot of sweets, but this was certainly worth it.  The little garnish is ground almonds combined with butter and a little flour.

Apple Cake with Calvados Caramel.JPG

 

For the Apple Cake-

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup softened butter

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 tbsp. chopped candied ginger

1/3 cup raisins

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. apple brandy

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks

1 tbsp. powdered sugar for dusting.

 

Calvados Caramel-

2/3 cup heavy cream

1" piece of vanilla bean, cut in half

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. light corn syrup

4 tbsp. butter, cut in cubes

1 tbsp. apple brandy

 

Make the Apple Cake-

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Spray a 9" square baking dish with flour and cooking oil spray.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt and blend to combine. In the bowl of a mixer, add the butter and beat on slow speed. Add the oil and mix to combine, about one minutes. Add the sugar and brown sugar, and beat to combine, another 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, and continue to beat until the ingredients are combined.

 

With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is combined. Add the candied ginger, raisins, vanilla and apple brandy and continue to mix into the batter. Add the apple chunks and blend into the batter.

Spread the batter into the baking pan and bake for 40-46 minutes or until the cake is golden on top and a wood skewer in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake on a wire rack.

 

Make the Calvados Caramel and Serve-

Pour the cream into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the cream. Bring the cream to a boil and reduce the heat to low while you make the caramel.

 

In another saucepan over medium high heat, add the sugar, water, salt and corn syrup and stir to blend. When the mixture boils, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook the caramel, without stirring, for 8-10 minutes. The caramel will turn an amber color. Take the saucepan off the heat and add the cream. Be careful as the cream will boil. When the caramel simmers down, stir in the butter and the apple brandy. Whisk the caramel until it's smooth and creamy. Let the caramel cool down a little before serving.

 

Cut the apple cake into serving slices. Dust the cakes with powdered sugar and then drizzle with the caramel. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

 

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I re-read the whole topic to try and make sure I was not duplicating. So my offerings are very simple but apple centric. I grew up with apple strudel - just phyllo, apples, cinnamon, sugar and a bit of butter (unfortunately margarine in my day). Not much dough, just sweet apple and cinnamon. We never did baked apples but we did (with our tree glut) slice, sugar, spice and bake - then serve with whipped cream - super simple and apple honoring. I admired the look of the ones cored, stuffed with red hot cinnamon candies and baked whole - but not fond of the taste or resulting texture.  I also like a generous amount of a tart apple in a tuna or  other fish salad. Leave the celery - I will take the apple - though both together can partner. 

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    • By Chris Amirault
      Welcome to this second anniversary eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index.
      A click on that index shows that, while the Cook-Offs have ventured throughout the globe, but they've never stopped in Africa. One could say we've passed through -- gumbo, for example, is widely acknowledged to have roots in Africa, among other places. So, for the first Cook-Off rooted in African cuisine, we'll be cooking up mafé, otherwise known as peanut or groundnut stew.
      Mafé is a traditional west African dish that can be found in the kitchens of Senegal and Mali. It's often served with a starch of some sort (rice, most often) to soak up the nutty stew juices, or, alternately, the starch is part of the stew itself, resulting in a drier braise. While there are a few mentions of mafé in eG Forums, there are no discussions of actually preparing it that I can find except this brief post by yours truly. There are a few recipes elsewhere, including this stew-like one and this more braise-y one, both of which are from the Food Network.
      Mafé is a forgiving cold-weather dish, and one that, like most stews, benefits from reheating (read: swell as leftovers). I'm convinced that mafé is one of the great one-pot dishes in global cuisine, built on a solid base of sautéed onions, peanut-thickened stock, and hearty meat. Like other classics such as gumbo, cassoulet, and bibimbap, it affords tremendous variation within those guides; it would be hard to find very many vegetables that haven't made an appearance in a mafé pot somewhere, and there are lots of possibilities concerning herbs and spices. (I like to increase the heat quite a bit with cayenne, which I think plays off the silk of the nut oil just perfectly, for example.)
      Finally, it's a pleasant surprise if you've never had a savory peanut dish before, and kids in particular tend to think it is the bee's knees. The kitchen fills with a heady aroma -- browned onion, ground peanuts -- that's hard to describe and resist.
      So: who's up for mafé?
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