apples, apples and more apples

September 14, 2012 § 14 Comments

Dorie’s Spice-Poached Apples or Pears from her book Around my French Table is a simple dessert, perfect anytime you need a little sweet after dinner (which is every night for me). You can use almost any seasonal fruit in this recipe and it’s something you can make in a half hour or so, unless you grew your own apples too, in which case it will take you most of a year.

Here’s our Honey Crisp apple tree last month. It’s been an extraordinary year for fruit on the Front Range of Colorado. Unfortunately, most of our apples feed the critters, from insects to the birds and squirrels that snack just before the fruit ripens. So I have to pick them a little greener than I like if we want to get our share. See the big bite out of the one in the middle of the photo?

Here’s what we got from the little Honey Crisp tree and the much bigger Cox Orange Pippin tree, really not a huge difference and so much easier to pick from the smaller tree (note to self for future fruit tree management). Onto the recipe…

The apples I used were from our third tree, the youngest so it contributed a smaller harvest this year. I had lost its tag but from my web investigations I think it’s a Greening apple of some type, a very old American apple variety and supposedly the best for apple pie of course! Here are the apples bathing in their spice-infused poaching liquid (I added a cup of white wine for some acidity to balance the sweetness of the honey and sugar). I like to use a parchment cartouche to keep the heat and moisture against the apples. This allows the steam to escape to avoid overcooking under a lid and you can keep an eye on the cooking process. Different types of apples at different ripenesses are completely unpredictable in how long it takes them to get to tender-but-not-falling-apart doneness.

Poached fruit is the perfect easy seasonal dessert simply served with some of its syrup and a little vanilla ice cream.

Here are the French Fridays with Dorie catchup recipes we enjoyed this week as well…

I reconstructed Dorie’s Deconstructed BLT with Eggs (September 2011) subbing kale braised with bacon and poaching the eggs instead of hard boiling, achieving a more tartine look. Savory Cheese and Chive Bread (March 2011) was everything its name promised and quick too.

The highlight of the week was Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote (July 2011) but I couldn’t resist buying some beautiful pink-fleshed trout instead. We ate Pancetta Green Beans (February 2011) alongside. All the vegetables and herbs for these dishes came from local farms or the garden, and the pancetta came from Cure Farm as well.

Finally apples and ice cream made another appearance in the guise of Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake (October 2010) for dessert one night, and an encore as breakfast. This was a very bon appetit week!


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§ 14 Responses to apples, apples and more apples

  • In an ideal world I would be living in the city and growing my own fruit. I found that pears worked much better in flavor and consistency. Wonderful catch up recipes! That cheese bread looks so inviting and I now realized I made the apple cake a few years ago. Have a great weekend!

  • Teresa says:

    My parents have apple trees at their place and they are just starting to get ready to pick now. I can relate to fighting to get a share of fruit away from critters. I had to toss quite a few blueberries that had one bird bite out of them. The birds get a little angry when I’m in there, too. I think I cramp their style. Luckily, they haven’t seen any Hitchcock. It’s lovely that you have three varieties of apples right at hand.

    I make the cheese and chive bread often, in both regular and gluten-free forms and my niece has taken over the baking of the apple cake – she loved it so much when I made it, she adopted it as one of her specialties. The rest of your choices bring back delicious memories, too.

  • Cher says:

    Wow – you mean business! I am still impressed.
    The strange spring did a number on our apples up here in the Northeast 😦 My parents always had apple trees – I didn’t realize what a luxury that was until I had to go and pay to pick my own.

  • Tasty Mayhem says:

    What a wonderful week of eating. I love the kale substitution in the BLT, and the trout with tomatoes. fantastic!

  • I’ve been thinking about that apple cake again. Must be fall!

  • Liz says:

    Lucky you with the apple trees 🙂 All your dishes look wonderful~

  • Absolutely impressive post – the poached apples look wonderful and delicious, we loved the poached fuit too but I chose lovely pears. The trout must have been outstanding with a wonderful side dish of beans. And the Bread and the BLT look amazing too – the Apple Cake has made so many appearances at our house and it makes me happy every time I bake it. What a labor intensive and fantastic post!

    Have a wonderful weekend filled with tons of delicious food!

  • Wow!! I’m really impressed with all your catch ups!! I loved Marie Helene’s Apple Cake…one of my favorite Dorie recipes! Your apple tree, loaded with all those apples, is just beautiful and I wish I had one in my yard.
    I grow raspberries and this summer I lost a lot to the yellow jackets…how do you keep bees away? I always feel some for me and some for the bees!
    Your poached apples look lovely!

    • Piebird says:

      hmmm, yellow jackets? I agree, I also try to have enough to share with the critters, but sometimes it seems like they get a little greedy. bees don’t cause us any problem, and I just don’t know about yellow jackets which I think are wasps, except I stay away from them (allergic). what a bummer, as I LOVE berries and they’re always so precious since all the critters love them too (including our dog Hana, gotta share with her) sorry not to have an answer 😦

  • nana says:

    How great to have all those apples trees. You were certainly a busy bee doing all those
    catch up recipes, they all look fantastic. Great job. Have a happy weekend.

  • tricia s. says:

    I have a few catch up posts to do as well and you really inspired me – great job ! You also brought back wonderful memories for me on the dishes I did complete. The Marie-Helene cake was the first recipe we did when Nana and I joined FFWD….so that will always be a special one. Great post ~

  • Looks like you were busy this week! Beautiful apple trees screaming fall weather. Please send it our way because I’m so ready to be done with the unusual heat we’re experiencing.

  • Mary Hirsch says:

    Marilyn, Hello from Santiago where I am reading your delicious Post. It almost makes me want to drop everything and rush home to catch up on some Dorie-recipes that I never made. What makes me so happy about your Post, aside from all the educational tips, is that all that good food means you had a healthy, feel-good week! I know that Colorado had a wonderful and productive harvest this year and you seem to be making the most of it. I have never heard of a “cartouche” as a cooking technique before. Chalk one more learning experience up to Piebird. All your dishes sound fabulous and successful. I especially liked your substituting trout for salmon. I always feel that trout needs a big flavoring-burst and now I have another method to use. Are your green apples “delicious” apples? Looks like it. Honey Crisp along with Pink Ladies are my favorite. It was a long trip to, what seems like, the bottom of the world. Fifteen hours on two different flights. But I arrived a day early so am rested and ready to go on this adventure. Loved your Post. Kept the homesickness away today.

  • jora says:

    Welcome to the group! I am so impressed by everything you made this week. It all looks excellent. You picked some great catch-up recipes; those were some of my favorites. We have the same problem with our fig tree – we have to pick them under-ripe or the birds will eat them all – but it’s still a great problem to have. I love fresh fruit.

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