Posts tagged apples
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

apple and yogurt cake

i love apple  baked anything... no really, i do!

Sally Albright: But I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side, and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it’s real; if it’s out of the can then nothing.
Waitress: Not even the pie?
Sally Albright: No, I want the pie, but then not heated.

And this, my friends, is how I often will order food. First off there’s the complete reinvention of the recipe, which undoubtedly annoys both the waiter and the chef. And then adding insult to injury, the instructions I give are so unclear that the waiter will have to ask me the second time to repeat what I said. And this happens over and over to me.

Since I’ve completely switched gears from summer into fall, I’m done with the summer fruit (berry crumbles – I’ll see you later); I’ve been thinking apples, apples, apples. It donned on me two weeks ago that Rosh Hashana was right around the corner and an apple dessert would be in order. But what? The apple pie, as much as I love it, would be the expected apple treat, but my heart longed for something new, something different. I attribute this fickle mind of mine to living in New York. We get so spoiled here, and develop the attention span of a goldfish – four seconds and we forget the “traditional” or we get tired of it. Like spoiled children we look to new, shiny recipes like the new, shiny toys of our childhood. And those of us with food blogs take the cake (pardon the pun) for our demand of the new, shiny recipes. The recipe we haven’t yet written about, the recipe with stunning new photos, the recipe with a new take. This is where I found myself at the beginning of last week. Apple pie? Apple eh…

my cake's got cellulite a view from the top

Enter ever-so-creative Deb with her apple yogurt cake from her new, shiny book “The New Spanish Table”. Deb, I’ve been given a cook-book buying moratorium by KS, so I will have to mooch off of you and other bloggers with sexier cook books. The cake in Deb’s pictures looked stunning, as usual, but as soon as I saw the words like “licorice” and “anise” and “Sambucca”, I paused, for while there are folks out there whose taste buds have morphed to like the dreaded substances above, mine have never adjusted and I don’t foresee that changing. Say the words “pastis” and “pernod” and you’ll see me recoil in horror.

So I took Sambucca out and added Calvados instead. I also mixed my own lemon yogurt by combining plain yogurt with fresh-squeezed lemon juice. The only time-consuming task was finely chopping the apples. But the rest of the process was a snap. And I think that in the future, I’ll play with yogurt flavors and various liqueurs. I just might, as a sick joke on my self, try it with Sambucca one day, but honestly, I don’t see myself enjoying it. I’ve experimented plenty in that flavor department and all I could find in the end was a taste that deeply displeased my palate. The appliness of this cake (why no, appliness is not an actual word, I just made it up – so?) pleased me and KS – making it a perfectly timed treat for Rosh Hashana, now a week behind us. Sigh – time flies so fast.

shana tovah! minced

So Sally Albright or not, I like things just the way I like them. Even if I have to repeat my order a few more times, so long as I get a cake I like!

Continue reading apple and yogurt cake.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

apple celery salad with walnuts

Thanksgiving_2006 (13)

It wasn’t enough, you see, for me to marry apples and pears in perfect union at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I wanted more apples – apples raw and uncooked – to accompany our holiday meal. And when someone suggested the Waldorf salad, I yawned, been there done that. It’s a great and fabulous salad, but we’ve all had it before and it was time to do something slightly different.

For me, the regimented and anal-retentive Thanksgiving menu planning commences sometime in August. I start looking at various recipes, thinking about what to keep and what to toss, and what new recipes to introduce.

And I must admit to enjoying the “coming together” of things rather than the prer work that comes with cooking. All that chopping sometimes can get so monotonous, so I was grateful to have some lovely people around who pitched in and chopped, diced, sliced, separated eggs, mixed, blended and tasted. Without them, I would have been more frenetic and stressed out.

The good part about this salad, found in Bon Apetit of last year, is that it’s deliriously easy to make. Even the chopping is easy. I made it last year and the celery apple combination was so good, people gobbled it up in minutes. The apples serve as a perfect side to the turkey and the stuffing – the fruit cuts through the thick protein and bread adding a bit of that tartness.

Continue reading apple celery salad with walnuts.

Friday, December 1, 2006

apple pear pie

Thanksgiving_2006 (5)

With every fall season and harvest time, I do a little dance for joy and promise myself that I’d go apple picking. Each time. I’ve not been apple picking in about ten years, but who’s counting. I wind up making grandiose plans, reciting Robert Frost, praising the idyll that is New England only to find myself making apple pies and other biblically-forbidden delights with store bought apples. Not the same thing, people, but when a girl wants to get her apple groove on, there’s just no stopping her.

When people ask me what my favorite fruit is, I say apple without so much as taking a breath. If it suddenly became illegal to consume apples, I’d be in violation in no time. I’ve always pitied Eve, though according to archaeologists and historians, the biblical fruit referred to as the apple is actually the persimmon, also yummy, but still. For the sake the argument here – the apple is the reigning symbol of sin.

Thanksgiving_2006 (3)

And for this Thanksgiving, I decided to kick it up a notch. Let apples make new friends with their produce neighbors – pears. With a bit of sugar and cinnamon, those two, I thought, would make fantastic friends. And so it was. The apples and pears went into the fray together, mixed with sugar and cinnamon, lovingly sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

And it was all glorious and good. And here’s where I confess that I cheated and used the Pillsbury crust found in the refrigirated section of your supermarket. I was running out of time, people, I am not lazy. I promise, it won’t ever happen again.

Thanksgiving_2006 (6)

The upside was that the crust is actually tasty and no one knew the difference. The downside is that I have to go to bed each night knowing that I could’ve made the crust, but instead, I took the easy way out. Robert Frost would SO not be proud.

You see, I tell you everything here – my successes AND my shortcomings. And cutting corners on Thanksgiving day was one of them.

With three cheesecakes, mini cherry and pumpking pies (I didn’t make), and my apple pear pie wonder, we were all sufficiently desserted out. And probably on quite a sugar high by night’s end.

Continue reading apple pear pie.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

apple celery salad with candied pecans

Salad - Apples & Celery - Pecans

I was in the mood for a nice, fruity salad a little while back. But I was growing tired of leaves in my salads – arugula, spinach, lettuce. Been there, done that.

I wanted a salad that focused on things other than the green leaves. I wanted it to have a bit more substance and fill to it. And I wanted a crisp bite without the overbearing taste.

Radish never turns down apples in her salad (well, maybe she does, but rarely) but at the same time, I didn’t want to recreate a Waldorf – no blue cheese to overtake the fruit. I liked the idea of nuts, but I wanted them to add some sweetness, so they would have to be candied.

The BF was ecstatic to finish a generous bowl saying that it made for a perfect complement to the baked rainbow trout I made. I was just excited to watching him devour the mix, realizing this was a keeper of a recipe.

Continue reading apple celery salad with candied pecans.