Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crazy about apples or Crazy from apples...or just crazy

A few weeks ago I had apples covering every surface in my kitchen and filling up whole drawers in my fridge. Everything I cooked or baked had apples in it. I don't have a dehydrator, and don't love dried apples anyway so it was a race to see how much I could make before they went bad. (I couldn't freeze them either because my freezer is full of tomato soup) Actually, the race isn't over yet. I'm down to half a drawer of apples in my fridge but I'm running out of steam. I thought I'd put up a few pictures of things I've been making with them.
Before you can cook with apples though you have to get some apples. This is the funnest part if you get to go pick them yourself and is really the reason I have so many. I picked some super juicy red ones with Alicia's family.

Then I went and picked a few bags of tart green ones from my brother's backyard. Sadly Simon wasn't there to help this time.

My sister even brought down a few from Idaho. She had tons of varieties, but most of hers I just ate fresh.

Fresh, local, organic and more apples than I could ever use. (I think the horses will be getting some soon. Actually...the horses have already had plenty and are very happy about it.) It was a great way to enjoy the wonderful fall weather we had too and made it so I could stay inside while it snowed all weekend and bake. At Alicia's we juiced a ton of them in my big loud juicer and Xavi went to town feeding the helpless apples down the chute and pulverizing them. He was like a mad scientist complete with an evil wicked laugh. I juiced more at home by myself and it just wasn't the same without him.

Also, everything is easier with my handy dandy all in one apple corer/peeler/slicer! No joke, it really is so much easier. It does this to my apples.

Now for the actual cooking part: First, a thick German Pancake with simmered cinnamon apples baked inside. Mmmm... this was good. I didn't share it with anyone.

At Costco Heathyr wanted to split an apple strudel from the bakery. I told I wouldn't buy it because I could make one at home in 5 minutes. It was more like 20 minutes, but I made one and gave it to her the next day.

These were the apples that went inside of it. Mmmmm...they were so good. I didn't eat any of the strudel but I did eat all the apples that didn't fit in it.
This was especially nice to make when I was inside simmering them and look out the kitchen window and saw this going on.
Apple Strussel Cake. I'd made this cake before many times but this time it didn't work. This is right before I assembled the cake. Usually it's delicious and looks fancy when you slice it...but I took this one out of the oven too early and it was completely doughy inside. I ate all the edges off and had to throw it out so no picture. It happened on "The Day I Botched Everything I Cooked" It was a bad day in the kitchen.
It didn't only make desserts, I did make something savory, Butternut Apple Curry Soup. This took two tries. The first batch was inedible due to a mistake on my part too embarrassing to admit and had to be thrown out. I made it the same day I messed up the previous cake. After airing out my house from the smell of the failed first batch, I made it again and it was really good. I used fresh cider from the red apples and slices of the green apples stewed with the squash from my kitchen table centerpiece for the rest. (I actually made 2 savory things. My mom and I made a rosemary pork loin with baked apples. My mouth waters just thinking about it)
My next cake came out a little better than the strussel cake. The apples had to be in chunks for it, so no use of the fancy contraption. The two reasons I picked this recipe is that it called for 6 apples and the more apples I use in one recipe the better, and it used a tube pan. I hardly ever get to use those unless I'm making an Angels Food Cake. Everyone had a little of this one. Heathyr and Gary were over right after it came out of the oven and had it warm, I brought half of it to Nate and Carrie's since it was made with their apples, and I even gave a piece to Rob though he just ate the ice cream and picked the apples out of the cake. The recipe was off Smitten Kitchen. All my pictures of it were blurry from too much steam, but I think the apple chunks that went in it are enough proof of how good it was.
This next cake/tart thing was so good, maybe my favorite thing so far. Usually I can't get enough of cinnamon and have almost gone through my whole Costco size cinnamon container, but it was getting a little old after all these apple desserts. I made this because it was the only dessert recipe I saw that didn't have cinnamon. Instead it was made with browned butter and vanilla beans. It was heavenly with a crunchy crusty top and there's just something about seeing vanilla bean specks in your food that just makes it taste better.
After eating two pieces at home to make sure it was good...
I brought it over to Dustin and Jamee's house and we ate it with brown sugar ice-cream. I ate two pieces at their house too.
I'm not sure I'll be making any more apple recipes or if the rest will become horse treats but I think I did pretty good.

1 comment:

A. said...

Ok now I'm drooling.