With Fall just around the corner, Laura Avery talks with Mike Cirone of See Canyon about apples. Mike has Bellflowers, Northern Spy (a nice, fruity tart apple from the East Coast), Belle de Boskoop (russet-skinned, tart from Holland), Red Gold (old-fashioned, sweet) and the original Red Delicious or Hawkeye.
Laura also visits with Evan Kleiman, who shares a couple of apple recipes.
Applesauce couldn't be easier to make. Simply chop up your favorite apples, or maybe a mix of several varieties. If you feel really lazy you don't even need to peel them. Just core and seed. Place in a pot with an inch of water over medium high heat until the water starts boiling, then stir and cover the pot. Lower the heat and let the apples begin to soften. When they are soft, remove the lid and stir occasionally so that the apples begin to break down. The applesauce will begin to brown as the sugars in the apples begin to caramelize so be careful not to let it burn. If you prefer sweeter applesauce, add sugar to taste. For a spicier applesauce, add cinnamon or ginger either dried, fresh or ground. When the apples have reached a stage you like, take them off the heat. Eat warm or chilled.
Winter Squash - Apple Soup
Use any winter squash variety for this soup except spaghetti squash. Think Butternut, Tahitian, Moroccan, Kabocha etc. The same is true for apples. Choose your favorite. Delicious just as it is, you can change its 'personality' by adding ginger and cilantro or curry powder, or leeks instead of onions. If you're making a holiday dish, add a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (mild flavor) or butter
2 onions, peeled and diced
2 ½ lbs winter squash peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
½ lb apples, peeled, seeded and cored
Chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crème fraiche, yogurt or sour cream for garnish
Cook onion in the oil or butter (or a combination of both) until it softens and starts to collapse on itself. Add the squash and apples. Pour enough water, chicken or veggie broth to cover one-third of the pan's contents. Add salt and pepper to taste, cover the pot and bring it to a simmer.
Keep the pot covered until the mixture begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Once the fruit begins to soften, it will have given up some of its water. Add liquid, if needed. Once everything is soft, mash the mixture with a potato masher or a sturdy whisk. (You can also put the fruit through the coarse disk of a food mill. For a more elegant texture, puree the ingredients in a blender or food processor.) If the mixture is very thick, add enough additional liquid to bring it to the desired texture. Adjust the seasoning. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche, yogurt or sour cream.
Music Break: Inspired by Antonio Carlos by Soulstance