Peter Schaner of Schaner Family Farms travels from Valley Center in northern San Diego County and brings pomegranates this time of year. A good way to get at the pomegranate's juicy seeds is to submerge the staining red fruit in a bowl of water, break it open and help the seeds out. As the pith rises to the top the seeds will fall to the bottom. Avoid the "prettier" fruits and look for the pomegranates with cracked skin, which signals that the seeds are swollen with juice.
Laura Avery also chats with Amelia Saltsman, who celebrates the hundreds of varieties of fresh apples by making an apple crisp. Fresh or candied ginger and corn meal make this type of crisp very delicious.
Apple Crisp with Cornmeal-Ginger Topping
Makes 8-10 servings
- 4 to 5 lbs apples (use a mix of sweet and tart, melting- and firm-fleshed apples)
2 Tablespoons honey, warmed
2 to 4 Tablespoons lemon juice, dessert wine, or Calvados
3/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup golden brown sugar, packed
2 tsps chopped fresh ginger or 2 Tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
Zest of 1 lemon
- For topping: Fresh cream, Greek yogurt, or crème fraiche
Preheat oven to 400°. Peel, core, and quarter apples. Place in 3-quart shallow baking dish and toss with honey and lemon juice.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugars, ginger and lemon zest. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the ingredients until they come together in uneven bits, from the texture of cornmeal to pieces the size of peas. Sprinkle topping over apples and bake in preheated oven until topping is browned and fruit is very tender, about 1 hour. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, yogurt, or crème fraiche.
© 2008, Amelia Saltsman, The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm (Blenheim Press, 2007)
Music break: Mi Buenos Aires Querido by Hugo Diaz