Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Have a Confession

This is hard to admit - but I don't eat all my fruits and vegetables. It's not my fault. Really.

My weekly produce delivery is getting the best of me. I had good intentions - get a box full of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables delivered every week and healthly, low-fat, fiber- and vitamin-rich meals will follow. Sounds easy, but in reality is very difficult to do.

What's a girl to do with an abundance of fast-ripening fruits? I needed a plan.

Apples are great for snacking and good in pies, but I needed something quick and easy. And quite frankly - I'm tired of eating apples. Solution = Applesauce. I love applesauce but will admit I'd never actually made it until just a couple months ago when I came across a recipe for "grown-up" applesauce. This recipe puts the "sauce" back in applesauce:

2 medium apples (I used galas), peeled & cored and sliced into 1 inch chunks
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp water (you may need to add more if it cooks off
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp Cognac, plus a little extra to stir in at the end

Place all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Turn to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. The apples will get mushy on their own, but mash them more against the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula. The mixture will look runny, but the butter will set up. Stir in a little more Cognac. Eat warm, or cool and store in the fridge. You can easily double this recipe if you have more apples or want more sauce.

Pears are Gavin's favorite fruit and pie is Gavin's favorite dessert. But pies take time (not to mention patience & skill), and these pears were ripening fast. As far as I understand it, a galette is French for any flat, round, crusty cake. I like to think of it as a shortcut pie. The dough is super easy and you can divide it and make one galette now and one in 2-3 days.

Pear Galette
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 oz) flour
1/2 tsp salt
11 Tbsp (5 1/2 oz) cold butter, cut into chunks
1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp whole milk
sugar for dusting the top of the crust

Cut the butter into the flour and salt using a pastry cutter until the lumps of butter are pea size. Mix the egg yolk and milk together and add this to the flour/butter mix. Stir well. Dump the dough out onto the counter and knead for 20-30 seconds until the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic and flatten into a disc and (this is crucial) refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. At this point you can also divide the dough into two discs - and save one for later. It'll keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.

3-4 cups fresh fruit. I like pears, but you can use apples, berries, peaches, etc. Cut the fruit into 1/2 inch chunks or slices.
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of fresh nutmeg or ginger
1 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces for on top of the filling

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough so it closely resembles a circle (rustic edges are part of the charm), and is about an 1/8 of an inch thick. Transfer the dough to a parchment (or silpat) lined baking sheet. Pile the fruit filling in the middle and fold the edges toward the center leaving a 2-3 inch opening. Work your way around, slightly overlaping the dough at each fold. Brush the outside with eggwash ( 1 egg, lightly beaten) and sprinkle with sugar (I like sanding sugar of large sugar sparkles)

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of the fruit. Serve warm with ice cream or a cold glass of milk.

Bananas are really starting to bum me out. They are so starchy and blah and filling. I'll admit that I love them if I am really active or really hungry and need a carb-bomb. Other than that I really have no need for them, other than for smoothies or banana bread. Thankfully, banana bread is a crowd pleaser, super easy to make and makes the house smell great. I've somehow misplaced my favorite recipe, but thankfully a quick google search will give you hundreds to choose from.

Bake on.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

You should get a juicer! I am juicing every fruit and veg in the house and really going through them.