Fall Treat: Apple Butter

Apple picking almost always leads to the making of apple butter, as well as way too many apples.

You'll Need: (makes about 7 cups)
-16 cups chopped Stayman apples (do not peel, also, you could use a different variety if you want)
-1 cup apple juice
-2 cups sugar
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
-1/2 teaspoon allspice
-a huge pot
-a potato ricer or food mill
-containers for freezing


Chop all of the apples and dump them in a huge pot on the stove.


Pour the apple juice over the apples and crank up the burner to medium-low heat.  Cook the apples down with the lid on for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally until they are mushy enough to put through the ricer.


Spoon the cooked down apples into the ricer/food mill over a large bowl.  Remove skins as you go.


Return mushed apples to pot and add sugar and spices.  Cook for about 30 minutes.  Then it's done! Try it on some freshly baked bread or if you're from up north, a slice of scrapple! I tried it with bacon bits--delicious!

Fact of the Matter: It is crucial to make apple butter every year.


Inspiration from Jacques Pepin: Apple Galette

Apple picking leads to the best desserts.  I chose to make an apple galette, thanks to Chef Pepin.

You'll Need:
For the Dough...
- 1 stick plus 2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut in cubes
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups flour
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- waxed paper
- food processor (it is possible to do this with a pastry cutter, not recommended)
For the filling...
- about 4 apples, any variety ( I used York)
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- just a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- a sheet pan with a sprinkling of cornmeal on it

Get out your food processor, fitted with blade and add the dry ingredients, give it a whirl.


Add the butter and pulse for about 10 seconds, until the mixture is in small clumpy pieces.


Add the water while you run the processor, and mix until combined, don't over mix, just until larger crumbs form.


Dump the mixture onto a piece of waxed paper and form into a disc, wrap it up in the waxed paper.  Then place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use, it can be kept over night.


Start cutting the apples.  About half of them should be slices, 1/4 inch thick, the rest chopped in small pieces. All should be peeled.  Also, preheat the oven to 400(F).


Mix together the cinnamon and sugar with the sprinkling of fresh nutmeg.


Grab the dough from the fridge, roll it to about 1/4 inch thickness on the sheet pan and spread the chopped apples within about an inch of the edge.  Drizzle honey over the chopped apples.


Now, spread the thinly sliced pieces how ever you like over the chopped apples, covering them with the cinnamon sugar as you go. Then, fold up the sides and add that last bit of butter around the top.  The cinnamon sugar can also go on the pastry.


Bake for about 1 hour until pastry is browned and apples are tender.

Enjoy!  Great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Fact of the Matter: Fresh ingredients are the best.


Go and Get it

It seems that I have not posted here since September!  I didn't realize I'd neglected you so.  Don't worry.  I'm back with 2 restaurant reviews and 1 picture. Pathetic. I know.

Let me start with lunch.

For lunch I went to Elevation Burger.  As always, it was so good.  I had a hamburger and "Fresh Fries." Now, if you've never had the fries at Elevation, you're missing out.  They deep fry freshly cut potatoes in olive oil and believe me, they are far superior to any other french fries I've consumed.

What is unique about Elevation Burger is their dedication to serving food made with quality ingredients.  Their burgers are made from organic beef, all grass fed.  The quality of ingredients shines through in the taste.  The finished product is a thousand times better than any fast food place in America.  Don't forget to try their chocolate chip oatmeal cookies! Scrumptious.

Now, for dinner.

Unfortunately there are no pictures recording one of the most perfect meals I've ever had.  Really, it's a shame.  I went to Bistro Provence.

Here is the play by play.

You enter the restaurant to find a very knowledgeable and helpful staff.  I got a table near the open kitchen where the chef was working away.  It was really cool to have an interaction between creator and eater.  For Hors d'oeuvres were: Mussels in white wine sauce, chicken and foie gras sausage, lobster risotto with saffron and lobster purses. Pure decadence.  Each in its way was a beautiful symphony for the senses.

My entree was Branzino, scallops and mussels in a butter chervil sauce.  If you want to feel alive, try it.
It is safe to say that the scallops were the best I'd ever eaten.

Then there was dessert.  Very dark chocolate mousse with creme fraiche and cookie wafers.  A luxurious experience.  Each bite was in its way utterly flawless.

The whole experience was smashing, if I can afford it, I will go again and again.

I hope you try one of these places (hopefully they're in your area).

Fact of the Matter: Mumford and Sons are talking me through everything right now.