Apple Pudding

IMG_8706We’ve picked all our apples, and have them stored in twelve large bins in the barn. Getting them in by mid-October seems to be the right time. The late ripening Jonathans’ pips have turned brown, and their flesh is beautifully tinged with pink. From the three Gala, Bramley’s Seedling & Jonathan trees we probably have 700 lbs stored. This is after weeks of eating them, and feeding gallons of windfalls to the livestock. While we give away many, the bins will safely store them for us right through March. By March the apples will have had their run. The livestock will start to get the slightly withered ones that are still left.

One year in mid-November, when the trees were still fairly young, we were away for a couple of days. Both of us working different shifts, and not home together during daylight hours. On the second day, my husband noticed that I had picked all the apples. When I came home, I thanked him for picking all the apples. Oops! Neither of us had picked any apples. We checked all around the trees, and found cores everywhere. Our local branch of the raccoons had come in and done it for us while we were asleep. We got none. Ever since, we’ve tried to get them by mid-October at the latest.

With so many apples, most of our desserts tend to be apple based. For the past several weeks I’ve been working on an apple pudding that isn’t super sweet, and works beautifully whether an all-purpose wheat or Gluten Free flour is used. It has taken awhile, simply because we can only eat so many apple puddings! Friends and family have been kind when I turn up once again with a pudding as my contribution to dinner. I must say though, no one has ever turned it down, in any of its reincarnations. We enjoy it with a little custard sauce, or some Crème Anglaise. Continue reading

French Apple Pie

IMG_4838We have six apple trees.  Some are more suited to this climate than others.  We usually get a good crops of Jonathans, Bramleys (my favourite) and Transparents.  There’s a young standard McIntosh that gives us a few apples to eat right off the tree, and a Cox’s Orange Pippin that graces us with a few beautiful apples each fall.  We also have an incredibly prolific Gala tree, that really doesn’t like our wet springs.  Some grow into perfect specimens, but mostly they go to the livestock.

There are years that we have hundreds of pounds of apples.  We store them covered with feed sacks, and usually they are still good for using in the early spring.  I try to get the transparents into sauce and pies quickly as they are ready at the start of August and only last a few days before getting mushy.  The rest keep beautifully.  Consequently, I don’t need to cook them up right away.  We still can have our own fresh apple pies in mid-winter.  Always a treat!

This topping is so quick, and gives you the best of both worlds, something like an apple crumble made into a pie. Continue reading

Senegalese Soup

IMG_3247Just said good-bye to our guests after a fun-filled Easter weekend.  The sun is shining, it’s t-shirt weather and we have hundreds of daffodils blooming.  Perfect weather for walks, photography and sitting outside visiting.  We had a summerlike lunch on the porch yesterday, with bowls of Senegalese soup, and warm, delicious cornbread.  I think that when we eat out of doors we tend to linger longer, as we nibble and visit.  Three of our four visitors are extremely gluten intolerant, so go with the flow; we simply had a GF weekend.

I’ve made this soup many times, always with great reviews, people asking for seconds, and the recipe passed on.  The combination of apples and curry is a lovely pairing, and makes this a very pleasing soup, as well, not only is it vegetarian, but easily gluten free.

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Fruit Crisp

Here I am making more fruit dessert!  It is the time of year.  I am still amazed at the flavour that blackberries are still giving us.  No rain, lots of sun – a perfect science!Having just picked our Bartlett Pears today, and still plucking blackberries, I thought I should share the best crisp I’ve ever eaten.  Seriously.  I’ve combined these fruit with Bramley Seedling Apples – an amazing cooking apple.  Transparents work really well in this recipe.  Store apples – well, Galas always do in a pinch, and the lovely Pink Lady’s and Sunrise work well, too.

This recipe started from one of Ina Garten’s.  I’ve rarely made any other crisp once I found it, and now I’ve been baking it for years.  I’ve tweaked it here or there, and it can be made with just a ¼ c lemon juice.  Living on an island, I can’t always follow recipes, I just have to make do!

We’ve made enough for a hundred guests, and portioned it down to just enough for some fruit I had at hand. Don’t be afraid to experiment with fruit combinations.  The topping seems to work no matter what!

I usually double the topping, and put the other half in the freezer for those “just in case” times.  It makes a wonderful topping for pies, a great scattering for ice cream, and is amazing to stuff baked apples with. Continue reading