Monday, September 26, 2005

Apples!

So in two weeks my friends and I are going to Homestead Farms to pick apples. This is truly one of the most enjoyable activities I will partake in this year. The weather is a key contributing factor here. DC is lovely in the fall and picking apples is a great way to enjoy the season. For one thing, you don't have to bend down to pick apples. For another thing, there is a marked difference between store bought apples and fresh picked apples. It's a more vibrant flavor. One that taste like you are eating a real apple and not just a piece of produce. Among my favorite apples to pick at the farm are the Golden Delicious. In the store, it's a rather blah sweet apple. But on the farm, this is dessert. When you pick a Golden Delicious with just a blush of pink, the flavor is comes alive. This is probably just psychological hooey, but I do feel more energetic and alive after eating a ripe Golden Delicious. I am growing increasingly fond of the Pink Lady apples and the Jonathan apples as well.

In the lead up to the orgy of apple picking, I will be posting apple recipes for the next two weeks. If you hate apples, come back after the 8th.

I want to start with the basic - applesauce. Cannot imagine anything easier. All you have to do is peel and chop apples into chunks. Throw them into a pot and pour enough water so that they aren't sticking to the bottom of the pot. My proportion is usually about 1/2 cup of water for 6 cups of chopped apples. Simmer on low heat covered, stirring ocassionally for about 45 minutes or so until apples break down and look like applesauce. Add cinnamon if you want. Taste and add sugar but if you are getting fresh ripe apples, they already have GOD'S sugar.

3 comments:

the kitchenette said...

I agree one-hundred percent on the Golden Delish! I escaped Washington last weekend for an apple picking adventure outside of Philly at a place called Lynvilla Farms. Picked 1.5 bushels, made 3 apple pies, downed a carton of cider and a few cider donuts. One of these days I'm going to make the devilish donuts myself. Here's a recipe if anyone feels inspired (I'm telling you, the things are addicting):

1 cup apple cider
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp.baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
vegetable oil or shortening -for frying

GLAZE
2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup apple cider

For glaze, mix confectioners' sugar and cider.
Dip doughnuts while warm;
serve warm.(I would make glaze optional if I were making
the doughnuts. I like them plain)

Boil apple cider in small saucepan until it is reduced to 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes; cool.

Beat sugar with shortening until smooth. Add eggs and mix well, then add buttermilk and reduced cider.

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in another bowl. Add to liquid ingredients; mix just enough to combine. Transfer dough to lightly floured board and pat to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2- to 3-inch doughnut cutter; reserve doughnut holes and reroll and cut scraps.

Add enough oil or shortening to fill a deep pan 3 inches; heat to 375'F. Fry several doughnuts at a time, turning once or twice, until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove to paper towels with slotted spoon.

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