Tag Archives: apple

Wine Poached Apples with Honey Whipped Cream

Image by J. Pescatore. Licensed for commercial reuse under Creative Commons.

The inspiration for this unusual holiday dessert comes from La Cucina Naturale, a wonderful cooking blog that offers recipes made with whole, healthy foods. In her recipe, she poaches chopped apples in red wine and spices, with a touch of honey for sweetness. Our version keeps the apples and adds homemade hone whipped cream as a garnish.

Adding nuts, pumpkin pie spice, or rum would help add another layer of sophistication to our base recipe, but it tastes great as-is. If you can’t find organic or local apples, pears work well in this recipe, too.

Merlot Poached Apples with Honey Whipped Cream (serves 8 )
6-8 organic apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cup organic Merlot or other full-bodied red wine
6 tablespoons honey, divided
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Place the apple slices, wine, and three tablespoons of honey in a very small saucepan. The deeper the apples are submerged in the wine, the better. If your pot is too large for the apples to be completely submerged, add a little more wine. Bring the mixture to a boil slowly over medium low heat. Boil uncovered for about 30 minutes, until apples have softend and wine mixture has reduced.

Meanwhile, place whipping cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the cream until it begins to stiffen and peaks are beginning to form. Continue to whip the cream, drizzling in three tablespoons of hone, until stiff peaks form.

Serve the poached apples along with some cooking liquid in wine glasses, topping generously with whipped cream.

This dish is part of our Organic Entertaining on a Budget series. A complete menu of recipes is available here.

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Apple Persimmon Compote

We’ve been getting apples in our Local Boxes for weeks now, and I just saw that next week persimmons will join them.  Persimmons and apples are a natural duet;  the spicy sweetness of the persimmon is complemented by the apple’s tart flavor, and the flesh of both fruits is similar enough that they cook at the same speed.

Traditionally, compotes are served as a dessert, either chilled or warmed and garnished with whipped cream.  However, you’re selling the dish short if you limit it to just desserts!  Here’s are some ideas for how to use this recipe in your meal plans:

  • Breakfast: as a topping for oatmeal or other hot cereal
  • Breakfast: in a parfait with yogurt and granola
  • Breakfast: with cottage cheese or Greek yogurt
  • Breakfast: over pancakes or waffles or in crepes
  • Snack: instead of applesauce
  • Snack: as a dip for cinnamon sugar pita chips
  • Lunch: with cream cheese in a sandwich
  • Lunch: with roast turkey and Dijon mustard in a sandwich
  • Lunch: with goat cheese in a quesadilla or Panini
  • Dinner: as an appetizer, baked in Phylo dough with a round of brie
  • Dinner: heated over top of baked pork chops, chicken, or turkey
  • Dinner: over top of a baked sweet potato
  • Dessert: over ice cream or whipped cream
  • Dessert: in mini pies (the flavor is too strong for big pies)
  • Dessert: as filling in a pastry braid or sweet rolls
  • Dessert: as a filling for a spice cake with cream cheese icing

Preparing this compote is quick and easy.  The most difficult part of the process is identifying which kind of persimmon you’re working with, and then peeling and coring fruit.  There are two kinds of persimmons: Fuyu and Hachiya.  Hachiya persimmons are heart-shaped, with pointy bottoms.  Fuyus have flatter bottoms and look more like tomatoes.  This recipe calls for the firm-fleshed Fuyus.  However, you could substitute the pulp of very ripe Hachiyas if that’s what you have on hand.  Here are detailed instructions for ripening and cooking with Hachiya persimmons.  Below are instructions for coring and peeling apples and Fuyu persimmons.

Here’s the full recipe.  It doubles or triples well if you’re looking to feed a crowd, and the finished compote will last about a week in a tupperware in the fridge.

Apple Persimmon Compote (yields 2 cups)

4 Fuyu persimmons
3 apples
1/4 c. butter or vegan margarine
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (about a 1 inch section)
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice, apple juice, or rum

Peel, core, and dice persimmons and apples.  Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet and saute fruit for about 5 minutes, until it starts to soften and give off a little liquid.  Meanwhile, grate ginger and measure out cinnamon, vanilla, allspice, ground pepper, brown sugar, and rum.  Add all ingredients to the skillet, cover and continue to cook over medium heat for about half an hour, until the fruit reaches desired tenderness.  Stir occasionally and add a little water if necessary to keep compote from drying out. (Shouldn’t be a problem if your skillet’s covered, but burned brown sugar and crusty fruit is no fun to clean up later.) Serve creatively and enjoy!

Rosemary Apple Braid

I made this easy apple danish for a friend’s baby shower at the office today.  It’s a great choice for special occasions because the pretty presentation and sophisticated rosemary apple filling will make you seem like a gourmet chef!  Local box favorites Golden Apples from Apple Country Orchards and Rosemary from Pure Luck Farms are the rock stars of this recipe.

Although the braid looks tricky, it’s actually one of the easiest pastry shapes to master. This recipe is adapted from Dorothea Ladd’s Easy Apple Danish on Allrecipes.com.  I used a food processor and chose the braid shape to save time; my grandmother might argue that this simplified pastry dough is not a true danish since it’s not laminated, but it passes  my family’s taste test for sure.

Rosemary Apple Dutch Braid

Dough
1 (.25 ounce) packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110-120 degrees)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter (no substitutes)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk (110-120 degrees)
2 eggs, beaten
Egg wash: 1 egg yolk, beaten, set aside

Filling
3 cups peeled, chopped apples
3/4 cups chopped pecans
2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons melted butter

Glaze
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon apple juice

Method: In a small bowl dissolve yeast in warm water.  In a food processor, cut together cold butter, flour and sugar. For most food processors, you will need to do this in two batches.  (If you don’t have a food processor, a pastry cutter or two forks will do the job.) Process flour and butter until mixture resembles crumbly, damp sand. Move flour and butter to a large bowl and add sugar. Stir in the yeast mixture, warm milk, and beaten eggs by hand. Knead the dough in the bowl with a spatula until it is elastic and well combined, about 3 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate at least two hours.

While dough rests, prepare the filling.  Chop apples, rosemary, and pecan. Combine the apples, rosemary, sugar, melted butter, and pecan pieces; set aside.

Cover two 15-inch cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat  and set near your workstation. Punch down dough and turn it onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide dough in half, set one half aside.  Roll dough into an 15 by 12 inch rectangle.  Transfer dough to prepared cookie sheet by gently rolling dough onto the rolling pin, moving to cookie sheet and gently unrolling onto the parchment paper.

Place half of filling longways along the middle of the dough, to within a half inch of either end.  Use scissors to cut dough into one inch strips along either side of filling, then fold alternating strips towards the middle of the loaf to create a braid effect.  Repeat the roll/tranfer/fill/braid process with the other piece of dough.  Set both braids aside to rest for about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brush the braids with egg wash.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Allow braid to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before moving entire loaf and parchment paper to a wire rack to complete cooling.  Prepare glaze by sifting powdered sugar into a small bowl. Whisk in milk and apple juice, and drizzle glaze over top of cooling pastries.  Each loaf yields about 15 slices.

This post is by The Austin Gastronomist and also appears on her blog.

Local Box Meal Plan: Jan. 11-15

Given the devastating freeze that afflicted South Texas last week, I wasn’t hopeful that our Greenling Local Box would contain too many goodies. Luckily for us, I was mistaken! Though I expect that some of these items may change due to unpredictable quantities, I still wanted to make a plan for the things we would get.

We’re supposed to get bok choy and radishes from My Father’s Farm, apples from Top of Texas, tangerines from Orange Blossom, collard greens from Naegelin, Louisiana spring shallots and green leaf lettuce from Acadian, broccoli microgreens from Bella Verdi, and purple turnips from Lundgren.

So I’m making:

Snacks:

Lunches:

Dinners:

Side Dishes:

Baked Apples

[Printable Recipe]

I posted my mom’s baked apples recipe on Twitter a few months ago. It’s pretty standard until you get to the not-so-secret ingredient: diet black cherry soda.

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Gross, right? It’s okay to think so; the Twitterverse thought so too. But my mom swears by it. Though I try to eat whole foods as much as possible, I’m starting to swear by it too. It doesn’t taste like soda at all; it just tastes like apples. And the pool of soda in the bottom of the pan makes the fruit so tender inside.

The best part of the dish? It’s truly a sin-free dessert. It’s an apple, cinnamon, raisins, and some nuts. Perfect for those of us resolving to keep off the pounds over the upcoming holidays!

You can adjust the servings as needed for 2 or 20 apples.

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples, cored
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, divided
  • 3 tsp. raisins, divided (I prefer golden raisins.)
  • 3 tsp. chopped toasted walnuts, divided (Pecans would also be nice here.)
  • 1 can diet cherry soda (I prefer Dr. Browns.)

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Set the cored apples in a 9×13″ baking pan. Add a cinnamon stick, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. raisins and 1/2 tsp. nuts to the center of each apple.
  • Pour the soda over each of the apples, letting it pool in the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for ~60 minutes, or until the fruit is soft.

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Local Box Meal Plan: Dec. 7-11

Now that I’m back, I can’t wait to start getting Greenling boxes again! I’ve supplemented with veggies from the Pearl Farmer’s Market, but there’s something to be said for local produce on your doorstep.

What I like about local, seasonal produce is how it seems like what you’re “supposed” to eat is what’s available. The first night of Hanukkah is on Friday, and this week we’re getting potatoes and onions (the key ingredients in latkes) and apples (for applesauce). Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I’d like to think otherwise.

This week, we’re getting red potatoes and yellow onions from Naegelin, sweet Italian peppers from Lundgren, apples from Top of Texas, beets and icicle radish from My Father’s Farm, cucumbers from Home Sweet Farm, Bibb lettuce from Bella Verdi, Louisiana scallions from Acadian Family Farm, rainbow baby carrots from Animal Farm, and Hachiya persimmons from Indian Hill.

For Hanukkah dinner on Friday, I’m making:

  • Brisket with baby carrots
  • Latkes with red potatoes and yellow onions (I’ve been sworn to secrecy so I can’t share my family’s recipe, but I’m sure googling will produce lots of recipes for you to try!)
  • Applesauce
  • Bibb lettuce salad with cucumbers, scallions and radishes

For the rest of the week, I’m making:

  • Arugula salad with roasted beets and goat cheese
  • Stuffed pepper casserole
  • Persimmon bread (if the persimmons aren’t ripe enough, I’ll store them in a paper bag on the counter for a few days. They need to be quite ripe for baking.)

If anyone saw Top Chef last week, Kevin made what looked like a very cool puree from the carrot tops, so I’m going to try my hand at something like that under a panseared fish. Don’t want to waste good produce!

Local Box Meal Plan: Nov. 16-20

Happy Thanksgiving! I realize that I’m a week early, but we’re having some friends over for an early Thanksgiving on Sunday. Because it’s not the actual Thanksgiving day, I’m taking some liberties and veering from my family’s traditional Turkey Day menu (and let’s face it, who wants to have the same meal twice in one week?).

This week, we’re getting sweet potatoes, red onion, and collards or mustard greens from Naegelin, Eureka persimmons from Indian Hill (Texas A&M has a good breakdown of persimmon varieties grown in Texas here), Cameo apples from Top of Texas, pie pumpkin, green beans from Animal Farm, hot and sweet peppers from Green Gate Farm, escarole and Louisiana shallot-scallions from Acadian Family Farm, Bibb lettuce from Bella Verdi and herb from Pure Luck.

So I’m making:

Appetizer:

Main course:

  • Herb-roasted turkey
  • Chestnut-apple stuffing (made with a red onion) served inside a roasted pumpkin – this only works if we get a pumpkin, not fennel. Here’s hoping for a pumpkin for the super cool presentatation!
  • Roasted sweet potatoes tossed with herbs
  • Roasted green beans
  • Sauteed greens with garlic
  • Louisiana shallot-scallion dinner rolls (based on this sweet dinner rolls recipe)

And because we still have to eat dinner on Saturday:

I’m also retrying hot pepper jelly with this recipe, since it didn’t work so well last time.

Are you changing up some of your Thanksgiving staples this year, or keeping it traditional?