Yesterday, our family did something for 10-10-10 that was an absolute 10: we went apple-picking! Yes it is autumn here in The Netherlands, and this is a popular activity this time of year. It helped that it was the sunniest fall day in Den Haag that we have had. As I am born and raised in California,
apple picking is not something we have ever done before, but I must say it will now become an annual event. Bailey thought it was the best, and we all enjoyed the apples (encouraged by the orchard owners-eat as many as you like) as we walked through the orchards.
We made sure to wear some shoes we didn’t mind getting muddy, and ventured into the orchards. At first there were “slim pickens”, but as we progressed deeper into the orchard we found large bunches of the crisp, sweet
bounty. We carefully chose Elstar (best for eating) and Santana (best for cooking and baking), and came home with 8 bags of fresh tree ripened apples.(An interesting note about Santanas: Its unique claim to fame is that it was bred with the aim of minimising the levels of certain proteins which can trigger allergic reactions in a small number of people – so if you are allergic to apples but would like to be able to eat them, this variety might be worth considering).
So a couple of bags were divvied up for friends, and Bailey loves them in his lunch, but now what to do with nearly 20 kilos of apples?
Some ideas and recipes that I have found, to help us make the most of our Mother (Nature!) Lode (and please feel free to share your own unique apple recipes:
- Apple Armagnac Salsa: Cube and skin cooking apples, saute lightly in melted butter, Armagnac, and Herb d’Provence. Serve over grilled white fish or pork chops.
- Apple Armagnac Sauce for Ice Cream: Cube & skin cooking apples, saute lightly in melted butter, Armagnac, freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon to taste. Pour sauce over vanilla ice cream.
- Apples Cake- apples in cake? You bet – and it’s a recipe that can be whipped together in a single bowl. Finish off the cake with your favorite whipped cream or frosting recipe, such as vanilla or lemon.
2 cups diced apples
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch round cake pan.
2) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; whisk until lightly mixed. Pour into prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes; remove from cake pan and cool completely.
My children are also BIG fans of the good old fashioned Apple Oat Crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, so here is our family favorite:
- Apple Oat Crisp
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 cups apples – peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon