RSS Feed

Tag Archives: apples

The Apples are Here

Posted on

photo 5

I was finally able to go apple picking this past weekend, and take a dear friend with me whose never yet experienced the joy of freshly picked apples, and the frustration when you cannot find one.

photo 2

Needless to say we didn’t give up, and ended up with some lovely apples. Not to mention some lovely snacks along the way. Nothing perks up the spirits like cider donuts and apple burritos.

photo 1

photo 4

Instead of the traditional desserts I decided to start cooking, and working with, my apples in a savory way first. I can always make my apple butter and pies later. That being said, I introduce my apple stuffed pork chops and roasted potatoes with apples and halloumi.

Apple Stuffed Pork Chops (for one)

  • individual pork chop, approx an inch thick, and cut almost through halfways
  • half a small apple, sliced, with skin on
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup dry vermouth
  • 4 mushrooms (approx) sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp of roughly chopped fresh dill, optional (for garnish)

Start off my warming your skillet with oil and butter. You can always omit the butter, but I like the flavors of browned butter with the meat juices, it makes for a deeper flavored glaze. Stuff the pork chops with apples and place in skillet.

Make sure not to cut halfways all the way across as the top  meat piece won’t stay on well when you’re stuffing and searing the meat.

photo 3

photo 1

As soon as the chops are in the pan season the top side with allspice, salt and pepper, and garlic powder. Cook for about 5-7 min a side. When flipping over for a second time, add in the mushrooms and vermouth. Cover, and let cook down for another 6 minutes.

photo 4

photo 2

Uncover, and allow to sit with heat still on for 3 minutes to let some of the juices evaporate.

Serve with roasted potatoes and apples and a sprinkling of dill.

photo 3

Roasted Potatoes with Apples and Halloumi Cheese

  • Approx 4 yellow potatoes, cut into chunks
  • two apples cut into chunks with skin on (same sized chunks as the potatoes please)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • garlic cloves , crushed (as many as you like, I used about four)
  • granulated onion powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • approx 6 slices of halloumi cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients except for Halloumi, in an oven safe container. Top with Halloumi and whatever herbs you find fit. I didn’t add any but rosemary and thyme or even some marjoram would be nice here. Please use fresh as dried wouldn’t work well in the oven and dry out too  much.

Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes unless everything is cooked through and apples are very soft and almost caramelized.

photo 1

Advertisements

Side Note No.1

Posted on

This is my first side note for September. I’m not expecting many, and I could have just added this to my brownie post earlier, but I wanted this to be separate. It’s  sort of a way for me to let you all know what’s going with me and what to expect for the future if everything goes according to plan.

apples

First off, it’s apple season Sept-Nov. Because the summer has been quite a hot one in the next two weeks I will be trekking out to Yukiapa (by Riverside County, CA) for some apples and apple cider donuts. If you care to check, last year I met a friend, a cat named Tom, whom I want to visit this year again.

Image5177523552_13988d1c1b_b

My September itinerary is as follows:

  1. Snow line Orchards (for Donuts) – Sept. 21,22
  2. Riley’s Apple Farm – Sept. 21-22
  3. Making Apple Pie and Apple Butter for some Pork Chops (week of Sept. 22-28)
  4. Disneyland! – Sept. 28 (If all goes according to plan)

l images (1) images

Apple Picking in Yuciapa

Posted on

This Sunday I went apple picking. It was the first time I ventured out past San Bernardino on my own (well, Boyfriend was with me) and it was the first time I’ve ever been that close to orchards. I’ve driven past them on my way to lovely San Fran on the Golden State Fwy (I-5) however this was a completely different experience.

First, we went to Snow-Line where Boyfriend and I stood in line for a good 18 minutes to get the most amazing (and fresh) apple cider cinnamon donuts on the planet! I don’t think the actual flavor is what mattered most here, but the freshness. Being made, right there, in front of our very  (greedy) eyes!

After we had our fill of donuts, although for the rest of the day I wanted more, we wandered around the charming store. It was a mix of orchard store, vintage shop, and mom and pop garage sale. I couldn’t have been happier.

I wanted these most of all!

 

Next, we drove about a mile and a half to Riley’s Apple Farm. That was a completely different experience entirely. They had a small orchard for families and children that couldn’t handle their bigger, hillier, orchards as well as a lovely and secluded picnic area.

 

 

 

Dogs and cats a like roamed and welcomed visitors!

 

As we proceeded further into the orchard however I found this (good luck) sign that the apples are delicious. Clearly, someone wanted this apple so much that they forgot to pick it and went right for the flavor!

 

After a good 30 minutes of walking around looking for Rome Beauties and Braeburn apples we located their top-of-the-hill pumpkin patch and corn! Although it was very small indeed, a bit slimy, thanks to the dewy morning, I had fun attempting to pick one out that was just right.

Sadly my expectations are too high and no pumpkins made the cut.

 

On our way back we were able to say “hi” to this guy again.

By the way, his name is Tom. Apparently, every farm has an orange tom tabby cat that anyone can come up to and love. That was a great part of the weekend for me personally.

Aside from the lovely cats roaming around me, I went home with fresh apple cider, something called Christmas Jam, and a heaping 6 lbs of apples I picked myself. My hands picked those beauties sitting on my kitchen floor. I feel (a little too) proud.

 

 

 

Caramel Apple Mini Pies for Apple-Picking Sunday

Posted on

I know that’s it is very rare for me to post twice  in one day, but I was feeling inspired. I, along with many, many others, follow abeautifulmess blog. Elsie wrote an amazing post earlier today (or was it yesterday) about making lists, sticking to them, on completing projects, and on sticking to personal deadlines.

It applies a lot to me right now, especially since it’s two weeks till the dreaded FINAL, and I’m on such a high procrastination kick that I can’t even begin to make plans on how to celebrate after the FINAL. Ugh! So complex, I know.

I guess it all started with my own list. The big 16  to-do items staring at me. I didn’t start my errands till way after 1pm. However, once I got started, I couldn’t stop! I realized how much I’ve neglected my apartment, my laundry, and my self! To cut a long story short, I was so pleased with myself that I added an extrain item to the list: making these lovely things from Yummly.

They will be perfect for tomorrows apple picking trip. I can imagine it now, starting off with these pies for breakfast, before eating mini apple cider donuts at Snow-Line Orchards… ahh bliss. 

Caramel Apple Mini Pies

  • 3 cups apples (peeled and diced, Jonathan or Granny Smith)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 package refrigerated pie crusts (I used my own-  Martha Stewart’s!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (my oven is odd, so I baked mine at 350).
Peel and dice apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and add apples. Toss to mix. Add vanilla and cream. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add apple mixture and cook approximately 6 minutes to soften apples.

Remove crusts from fridge. Flatten out one of the doughs on a cutting board.

Gently cut 4 inch circles of dough using a cup, bowl, or cookie cutter with a 4-inch diameter.
Press dough into the muffin tin cups, making a thin even layer on the bottom and around the sides.

Spoon apple mixture into each cup right up to the rim , but no higher.

Roll out the remaining dough and cut out small strips (6 per pie) slightly longer than the width of the top of the pies. Lay strips across the tops in a lattice pattern and attach to edges of pies using the end of butter knife.


Lightly brush egg white over tops of lattice.

Bake pies  for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apple mixture is bubbling.

Cinnamon-Apple Upside Down Cake

Posted on

I finally got a chance to do some more baking. I bought a ton of apples over the weeks so I needed to incorporate them. I found this recipe online, and although I enjoyed it for what it was, I would definitely add more apples, and maybe some brown sugar to the apples as well in order to get a good caramel layer after baking.

Overall, it was a complete success. Between homework and studying and baking it was quite a Saturday!

  • 1-1/2 cups {about 2 medium} Gala Apples
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, divided
  • 1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 7 tablespoons, divided
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2/3 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Real Vanilla Extract
  • 1-1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Fresh Nutmeg
  • 6 teaspoons Honey

Line and spray a 9-inch round cake pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Core and dice up 1-1/2 cups of apples, that’s roughly about 1-1/2 to 2 apples. Toss the diced apples with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and place them in the bottom of your prepared pan.

In the same bowl add the butter and brown sugar. Mix until crumbly, about one minute. Combine the flour, remaining cinnamon and baking powder. Grate in 1/8 teaspoon of fresh nutmeg, stir and set aside.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then, with the mixer on low, blend in the vanilla and whole milk. Add in the dry ingredients and mix by hand until combined thoroughly, then pour over apples and spread evenly.

 

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cake plate.

Once the cake is cooled drizzle honey over the top.

Cut into eighths and serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Tarte Fine Aux Pommes (Apple-Puff Pastry Galette)

Posted on

I haven’t baked anything in such a long time. Dare I say, in over a month! I’ve got to stop being so neglectful of my oven, and skills, if I say so myself. Today I got the itch. Between the laundry and the homework, I gave in, and made this lovely apple galette.

Although  it’s not really a galette, Nigella refers to it by it’s French term, and as I know nothing of French language or food (officially anyway), I’ll describe as she does. Regardless of the name it’s called, this lovely pastry is the most amazing thing I’ve tasted all month. Well, last month, as this is September after all.

But I digress, this recipe speaks for itself.

 

* (edit) Side note: This would be great with some honey drizzled over it once it’s still warm and out of the oven. Apples, honey, this sounding familiar to anyone? It’s the traditional dessert for Rosh Hashanah. It’s an idea that my friend gave me, which  I thought I’d share with you in case some readers out there were wondering what to make next weekend*

 

Taken from Nigella Express

  •  2 Large Granny Smith apples, or 3 smaller Fugi apples
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 (1 sheet) of a 17.2 oz package all-butter puff pastry, measuring 9 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, separated
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat over to 425 degrees.

Core the apples, cut them in half. Pour lemon juice into a wide shallow dish and fill it with some cold water. Immerse the apple halves in the lemony water; this will stop them turning brown.

Lay the sheet of puff pastry onto a large baking sheet, and either using the back of a large carving knife, or a steel ruler, mark a 1/2 inch border all the way around the edge of the pastry. You need to score the lines on the pastry rather than cutting all the way down and through it. This will allow the frame to rise above the apple filling.

Pat the apples dry and cut each half into quarters, then slice each as thinly as you can muster.

Sprinkle 1 tbsp of sugar over the base. Working from the inside edge, place the apple slices closely overlapping within the border of the frame. Create neat lines of apple slices until the pastry is covered.

Heat the butter with the remaining tablespoon of sugar in a small pan, and let both bubble for a few minutes, until a light caramel color appears. Dribble and drizzle this syrup over the apples and put tart in the oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, by which time the puff pastry should have risen with a nice border, and the fruit will be soft and slightly colored. If the apples have given off a juice, go ahead and let the pastry sit for 5 minutes.

Serves about 6-8