Storyboard: Apples

Apple Storyboard (c)2011 LaDomestique.com

Next to tomatoes, apples are a prime example of a fruit that has been bread out of flavor in the industrialized food system. It’s so important to support farmers who tend to apple orchards because they are guardians of unique heirlooms that would otherwise be extinct. Reading Jamie at Home, Cook Your Way to the Good Life, by Jamie Oliver, I learned that there are more than 7,500 varieties of apple across the world! Diversity is good for mother nature, and for keeping our food supply healthy. Enjoying a variety of apples stimulates the senses and makes life more interesting.

Growing

When planting an orchard, think about apples for eating and cooking. Think about when the apples will ripen and choose cultivars that ripen at different times for a nice long growing season. You can also keep apple trees in containers. Apples need to be cross-pollinated from other apple trees that flower at the same time.

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Cook in the Moment: Apples

CookingBoulder

Each week I contribute a column to “Whole Foods Market Cooking Boulder” expanding on one of the 10 Ways Tuesday ideas. This week I made homemade apple butter from Liana Krissoff’s Canning For a New Generation. Then, I used the apple butter to make hand pies. Just click on the icon below for the full article.

 

10 Ways Tuesday: Apples

AppleTree (c)2011 LaDomestique.com

 

I’ve got creative ideas for cooking with apples in autumn:

1.  Apple and Walnut Cake

I’m enchanted by the idea of Nigella Lawson’s Apple and Walnut Cake from How to be a Domestic Goddess. The combination of bitter walnut and sweet apple seems perfect for autumn. Nigella suggests the cake is even better the next day, as the flavor of walnut oil and rum raisins marinate. Thank you, Nigella. Another comforting recipe from the queen of pleasure.

2.  Grown-up Applesauce

In his book, How to Pick a Peach, Russ Parsons shares a recipe for Applesauce with Bourbon, Sour Cherries and Hazelnuts that is the perfect companion to pork, either grilled or slow-roasted. Soak dried sour cherries in bourbon while you cook diced apples in boiling water. Mash the apples and stir in butter, bourbon soaked cherries, and chopped hazelnuts. Being a grown-up is awesome, no?

3.  Baked Apples

In River Cottage Every Day, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall writes, “A perfect baked apple is one of the truly great desserts.” He uses apples like Golden Delicious and Winesap because baking apples like Granny Smith don’t hold up well to this type of cooking. Dried fruit is soaked in apple brandy, then mixed with butter, lemon zest, cinnamon, and dark brown sugar and stuffed inside the hollowed out apple. After an hour in the oven you’ve got a soft, deliciously-spiced apple begging to be served with vanilla ice cream.

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Ingredient Of The Week: Apples

Ingredient Of The Week: Apples (c)2011 LaDomestique.com

This week at La Domestique is dedicated to apples, the quintessential fruit of fall. Recently, I paid a visit to a local apple orchard and it was such a pleasure to walk amongst the trees, eating cider doughnuts. Each autumn, the owners of Ya Ya Farm and Orchard open up their property to the public on weekends because they believe it’s important to share the beautiful scenery and literal fruits of their labor so people will help them support sustainable food. I had a lovely time wandering the apple orchard and the best part was bringing home plenty of apples and apple cider. It’s important to  visit “pick your own” orchards and farmers markets to support farmers who are stewards of the land, cultivating heirloom apples and avoiding hazardous pesticides.

In The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, Rachel Saunders writes

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This Past Week at La Domestique: Kale

Kale (c)2011 LaDomestique.com


This past week at La Domestique was dedicated to kale. Farmers market stands are overflowing with this grand leafy green. Cooler temperatures and autumn frosts only enhance kale’s sweet minerality. I love cooking with kale because it’s sturdy and flavorful- perfect for autumn soups and stews. Here at La Domestique we explored several different varieties of kale, including Red Russian, Cavolo Nero, and Curly kale.


In case you missed anything, I’ve got a recap:


 Monday:  Introducing kale as ingredient of the week.

Tuesday:  10 Ways Tuesday! Creative ideas for cooking with kale in autumn.

Wednesday:  Cook in the moment with a recipe for Ribollita, a Tuscan vegetable soup in which kale plays a starring role.

Thursday:  The story behind kale: varieties, growing, storing, cooking, and flavor pairing.

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