In Season: Fall Sweetness
Is there anything so satisfying as the first bite of a fall apple? One crunch and you know summer if officially over, but that apple is going to be your sweet companion through the long winter months, so you resign yourself just a bit…
Late September is truly the apex of the harvest season – a time when many summer crops are still available (hello, everbearing strawberries), but the goodness of fall is rolling in with all the gorgeous squash, grapes, and crisp apples appearing at the markets. We’ll be celebrating the bounty at our annual Fall Fair, which takes place this Sunday, October 1st at Mt. Pleasant Market.
How about them apples: Looking for heirloom apple varieties? VFM farms such as Klippers Organics, Harvey’s Orchards, and Stein Mt. Farm pride themselves on their selection, which include (but aren’t limited to) Ambrosia, Aurora Golden Gala, Belle de Boskoop, Black Oxford, Braeburn, Bramley, Early Gold, Gala, Gravenstein, Golden Delicious, Granny, Honey Crisp, Macintosh, Mutsu, Newtown Pippin, Orange Cox Pippin, Pink Lady, Red Delicious, Spartan, Sunrise, Winter Banana, and no less than six varieties of Russets!
Baking 101: Most apples are great for eating straight off the tree, but some are ideally suited for baking. While the sour and flavourful Granny Smith tops most lists, some cooks covet the Braeburn for its tart sweetness, or the Honey Crisp for its unbelievable crunch and structure that holds up well in pies and tarte tatins.
This week’s In Season Recipe comes from local food educator and self-described kitchen ninja Krista Ettles, whose Instagram feed @realfoodrealsimple abounds with beautiful pics of market-sourced meals. She suggests Granny Smith or Golden Delcious apples for her Apple Almond Cake, but we’ll let you decide…
Apple Almond Cake
1/4 cup butter
2 cups apples, sliced into 1/2 inch 4 medium sized (granny smith or golden delicious)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place butter in a 9-inch round cake pan. Place pan in oven for 5 minutes or until butter melts. Remove pan from oven. You can also use a cast iron pan and heat on the stove until the butter is melted. Arrange apples over almonds in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the sugar and cinnamon.
In a small bowl, stir together almond flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, 1/2 cup of the sugar, almond extract and vanilla with an electric mixer on high for 2 minutes or until light and thickened. Stir in flour mixture. Spoon batter over fruit mixture in pan, spreading evenly.
Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of pan. Invert onto a serving plate, replacing any apples that stay in pan.
Serve warm or cool.