It's still apple season on the east coast! Take advantage of this wonderful time of year and go apple picking this weekend! Many local orchards have 'Pick Your Own' hours, a wonderful opportunity for a family field trip. Supporting local orchards is a benefit to your community, and it also protects the varietals of apples by continuing to grow seed lines which have been preserved over generations. Rather than choosing from a few different kinds of apples at the supermarket, I stop at my local orchard, Applecrest farms, which grows more than forty different varieties of apples.
The real challenge: once you have all of these apples, what do you do with them? Don't let them go bad- just go apple happy. Make applesauce, or apple butter. Make pies. Cut them into salads. Eat them with cheddar, or other sharp cheeses. Make Ina Garten's butternut squash and apple soup (this one is excellent, just try it) Stew them and serve over vanilla ice cream. Or eat them plain (or almost plain): I had apples and honey for my snack today, and it was delicious!
In my house, we make apple cake. This simple recipe is great for using up excess apples, without much effort or many ingredients. This is also a great recipe for children to help in the kitchen, a good way to introduce them to cooking delicious, home made foods, and widen their palates. My mother has long used this recipe with her preschoolers, who help out at every step, including cutting the apples (with supervision of course!).
Elian's Gateau Aux Pommes (Elian's Apple Cake)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 Tbs. butter
- 1 beaten egg
- 3 cups cubed apples (3-4 apples)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter an 8 inch pyrex. (Or muffin tin, or mini-muffin tin) Set aside.
3. Sift the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl.
5. Add beaten egg to creamed mixture, and mix well.
6. Add the apples and vanilla.
7. Add the sifted dry ingredients, mix with a wooden spoon, and put the entire mixture in the baking dish.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. (Check twenty minutes before if using muffin tins) It is ready if a toothpick comes out clean.
(Apple Art by Tom Hare at Wisley Gardens)