It’s National Apple Day! Unlike some of our previous foods which demand a little research and introduction (yes, Yorkshire Pudding, I’m thinking of you!), I know you’ve all had the pleasure of sinking your teeth into the firm flesh of a Macintosh or Granny Smith lately.
For a minute however, lets forget the old standbys. There are many heritage varieties of apples that I would encourage you to seek out at your local stores and farmers markets. These varieties are beautiful and hugely diverse. Here on the west coast, Salt Spring Islanders have been celebrating the modest apple for 11 years at their annual fall Apple Festival. How many varieties do you think are grown on SSI?
SSI has more than 350(!!) different apple varieties being grown on the island, many of them organically. They have great names like “Pink Delight” and “Red Flesh Crab”. For a great blog post about the Apple Festival, visit this site on Culinate.com
Alas, the festival was a few weeks ago, so I had to enjoy apples on my own, in two ways: Baked and Candied! For your enjoyment, recipes for both follow:
Baked Apples a la D.
Makes 2 apples
Wash and core two apples. In a blender or small mixer, wizz a few tablespoons of each of the following: oats, raisins, pecans & brown sugar. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1 tbsp butter or margarine. Wizz again. Find a bottle of maple syrup in the fridge, add 2 tbls for good measure. One more short wizz–the consistency should be coarse crumbs.
Put the apples in a small baking dish. Pack the center holes with the mix, sprinkling any extra around the base of the apples. Realize you have no apple juice for a little liquid in the dish, add a spash of dark rum instead.
Cover tightly with tin foil (optional step: curse the person who didn’t put tin foil on the shopping list. Thirty seconds later admit to yourself that you live alone, and therefore have just cursed yourself.)
Bake for 30min at 375. Uncover, bake 10 more minutes.
Result: Oozy gooey natural caramel in the bottom, crunchy topping, and a soft sweet apple. Best served with a little dairy product of your choice.