Monday, October 18, 2010
We had had a tough weekend. My son, for some inexplicable reason, woke up every night (Fri, Sat, Sun) at 3:45, leaving us all tired and cranky during daylight hours. He's awfully cute, so it's not so bad, but we are really hoping for a full night's sleep tonight. When we have tough weekends it always makes me want to treat myself. Top on the wish list is a drive up north to apple country, to pick some apples and have fun with my camera. I love apples and it's this time of year that apples are in their full splendor. It make a world of difference to have an apple straight (or not long from) the tree versus cold storage.
There are always interesting local varieties in the farmer's market and picking an apple is often like selecting a bottle of wine: crisp, honey undertones, firm flesh, tart ... Did you see my last piece in Sweet Paul Magazine? I wrote a story on apples. This was before apples were actually in season and now it's truly the right time to take advantage. My favorite recipe in the piece is for apple butter. Have a look and give it a try.
(makes 3 cups)
4 pounds all-purpose or saucing apples peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups apple cider
1.5 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 Tbs cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
Combine apples and cider in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until apples are tender.
Stir in sugar, lemon juice vanilla, cinnamon and allspice. Return to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently for about 35 minutes. or until mixture is very thick.