Posts Tagged fruit
It’s the first season in which the fresh fruits & vegetables you eat are more likely to come from down the road than Chile or my near neighbor Mexico.
Since everyone is craving sun, shade & less kitchen cook time I thought I would list the delicious fruits & veggies you can expect to be out for noshing.
(Perfect curd making season!)
Green Beans (snap your own)
All these tasty things explain why salads & oven less cooking becomes so prominent during the spring & summer.
Question: What local fruits and vegetables are you looking forward to this spring?
Have you ever cooked apples and have them fail?
I have a few tricks and know-how’s for your apple needs. After I give you a little background on apples.
Trivia #1 Apples are related to Roses. Did Moses supposes that his toeses were roses? Of course not! He supposes that his apples were roses.
Trivia #2 Apples peak in October but stores carry certain brands all year round.
Trivia #3 A regular medium apple has a minimum of 4 grams of fiber. Eat that skin. (If you want an apple that doesn’t brown quickly for party fare – pick Pink Ladies)
Trivia #4 Don’t leave your apples out willynilly, they get all kind of mealy real fast. Put those apples in the refrigerator!
Now, if you need to know of apples to bake click here. But if you just want to know how to properly core, peel, cut & cook keep on reading below…
Core & Peel:
Use an apple corer to remove the stem, center (with seeds). Peel after you core, and see how long you can make the peel. Up north there’s many a contest for length of peel.
Cut & Slice
Stand up the apple, slice in half (top to bottom). Cut halves into wedges or thin slices. If you’ve a mandoline use it to make the skinny slices for your perfect pie or tart or pan fried apples.
Stuff n’ Bake
If you want to just make some quick baked stuffed apples, peel top 1/3 of apple, core almost to the bottom, but use a melon baller/spoon to scoop out the core, but leave the very bottom so your filling won’t cook out. Fill it with your favorites, butter, brown sugar, nuts, raisins of both colors, cranberries, or other dried fruit with some spices. Place in a square glass dish lightly sprayed with cooking spray, and cover with foil. Cook at 350 for about 45 min; and cook another 30 uncovered. Put it in when you start dinner, have a lovely slow dinner with good company and relax. When you’re ready to uncover, play a quick game of Charades and eat!
Something else you can do easily enough (& healthily enough) is make your own apple chips. Use that nice mandoline that you used earlier to make paper thin slices. Arrange them in single layers on baking sheets lined with parchment. Sprinkle a little sugar (or not if you really want to be super healthy) and bake at 200 for 1 1/2 hours until lightly browned. Remove and cool on a wire rack and seal in airtight containers to keep from getting too chewy. You could always try a few spices like cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg or what else you like dusted over your apples.
Get to it!
Find your favorite bloggers, websites or Pintrest site for apple-liscious recipes or try your own hand at new twists on old favorites.
This week I’ll explain how to cook with apples, mainly what apples you can cook & the next two weeks post apple specific recipes. This can serve as a reminder guide as to what to bake.
First off, there are a very big variety of apples. I’m going to mention 15 kinds & if good to eat baked or raw. (Baking apples will be bolded)
Braeburn: eat raw or with dips
Cortland: mild, holds shape
Golden Delicious: soft & buttery but very sweet & shouldn’t be subbed in for tart apples
Red Delicious: yuck all around
Empire: balanced flavor & holds its shape well
Fuji: best served cold such as salads & your hands
Gala: too sweet for cooking
Granny Smith: usually best & easiest to find here in Texas of the good bakers
Ida Red: very soft and veggie blandness
Jonagold: golden delicious relative, & a juicy darker taste
Macoun: can be used but hard to find outside of a 2 week New England window
McIntosh: tart but watery & mushy
Northern Spy: used to be in pies but extremely sour when baked
Rome Beauty: firm & sweet in hand,, watery and bland baked
Winesap: juicy & crisp in hand
If you want to use a more exotic apple or one not mentioned (like honeycrisp, pink ladies or Jonathons) do a little research. Super sweet or soft apples are usually best avoided.
Next week: pan fried apples
Simple. Delicious. One bowl. One measuring cup.
1 package 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
Put cream cheese in the mixer & beat rapidly until squishy & whipped.
Add a cap of vanilla, or if you’re adult enough, a splash of your liqour of choice, brandy, rum or bourbon would be nice
Add powdered sugar a ¼ c at a time, and beat lightly to incorporate each amount. Blend a tsp or so of drizzled honey into the beaten & fluffed mixture.
If mixture is too thick once completely beaten and mixed add a dash of honey or vanilla.
Refrigerate when not in use.
Also makes a great ‘sauce’ for fruit pizza or edible fruit cups.
I love this time of year! It just smells wonderful outside, the air is crisping, it’s cool in the mornings and glorious in the afternoon, nippy at night. There’s leaves turning colors, sweaters and scarves, rosy cheeks & food I look forward to every year…
The foods I most look forward to during this time of the year in least to most are:
5. Hot chocolate : while it’s not the season where I drink hot chocolate like water, it’s the reintroduction to my favorite seasonal drink. Sometimes I add mint, marshmellows, cinnamon or caramel, but plain jane still makes me happy.
4. Apples : what can’t you do with apples? A fruit available all year round, it’s best in the fall when the Yanks are so overrun they don’t know what to do with them so they ship them all south dirt cheap! Apple pie, fried apples, baked apple crisp, caramel apples, applesauce, apple butter, applesauce cakes, chicken salad, tarts, etc. There’s a reason that during sick season I’m pretty good off, that apple a day is no joke…
3. Sweet Potatoes : another thing floating around in boatloads during this time of the year & I do NOT meant that disgustingly syrupy concoction we Southerners call sweet potato casserole. Candied yams are not sweet potatoes. Learn the difference. I love sweet potato baked fries & subbing them into the savory meals. Sweet potatoes are much better for you than your basic russet & you can edit as you please! I’ll be trying an apricot & sweet potato pasty recipe I have in a few weeks!
2. Dressing : the only ‘dish’ food on the list for a reason. Every year at Thanksgiving a list goes out for food requests & without fail the only thing I request is dressing. It’s already on the list because it’s a staple, but I don’t care. I want my chicken dressing & all other things are second fiddle to my main love.
1. Pomegranates : My Fall Love. This tangy, juicy, time consuming, bleeding fruit is my seasonal love. It’s worth the peeling, it’s worth the stains & it’s at it’s cheapest these few wonderful months. Whether I’m eating them just like candy, decorating a trifle or baking with apples or other fruit, this powerful little juicy seed is my most demolished object. Hint: peel in a bowl of water to avoid stained fingers & allow the seeds to sink & the peel float. Strain, & drain. Store in an airtight container on a paper towel to keep from getting soggy.
Feel like I forgot your seasonal love? Post a comment below & tell me what you love about this season!