To my great delight the folks at Washington Apple Commission sent me a nice apple hamper with seven distinct variety of apples. The hamper included apples in all variety of shapes and colours, packaged in a lovely box worthy of princely jewelery; and was a revelation to me. My guess is that I have probably eaten almost all of these at some point or the other. Not being a great apple fan though, I never really paid enough attention. All I knew was that in general I don’t seem to like apples most of the times and the ones I do tend to be sweet, tart and also crisp. What I hate are the watery ricey variety which are tasteless. This hamper finally forced me to stop, take another look at apples and really; rediscover this much maligned (by me) fruit. Have even found the one apple that I once liked and then lost in the crowded ‘I cant eat healthy food‘ space. Because I didn’t remember the name, I could never really identify it again.
Getting to eat all of apples and discovering that apples could taste so distinct from each other was unexpected fun! Besides the fun of pretending to be a connoisseur and play acting the expert, the apples actually tasted good. Having carefully recorded and kept to the sequence so I could identify the names, I cut three slices of each and then passed this tray around. With my sis Chris (years of childhood training and bullying have conditioned me into calling her didi) and Atul as very reluctant tasters, I set off on my little experiment. You may have figured that I am not the greatest fan of apples. I like cooking with them but by choice, I would never pick this fruit for any kind of snacking. Having said that, this was great fun. I discovered that the Cripps Pink was by far my favourite, followed by Fuji. Red Delicious had a thick peel, was fibrous, crisp, chewy and rather tasteless. The granny smith apple was incredibly tart and juicy which is probably why they are so often used for cooking. While tart and crisp is my kind of apple, I found this one too tart to eat. Would happily use these to cook though. I found Gala to be tart but sort of flavourless and Braeburn seemed to have an almost perfumed spicy flavour that didn’t really work for me.
The two pink ones (Cripps and Fuji) were the unanimous favourites for snacking. Fuji being very sweet, crisp and aromatic while Cripps had a lovely unusual flavour. In fact I have even decided that I may even be open to snacking on these voluntarily. In the past, most of the times we have bought apples (because an apple a day keeps the doc away) and then watched the apples wither in sorrowful solitude till I give up and cook them into something sinful. I think I am now ready to actually Eat them raw..as long as it is either Cripps Pink or Fuji. Yay!
The other fun bit was all the cooking that I got to do. Like I said this is one fruit that I love to cook with. Besides, fruit desserts are a great way to indulge a sweet tooth and at the same time pretend to be healthy. It maybe shooting sugar through my blood but then it’s also adding the vitamins of the fruit..no?
Post the examination, I made three little treasures out of these and some more apples… You guessed it- Apple overdrive happened :)…. Apple cake and fritters, fried apple pie, apple sauce and an apple cake. Unfortunately a lot of it got consumed before it got clicked. Here is what remains:
The Apple fritters
- Apples – 3
- Flour – 125 grams
- Caster Sugar – 2 Tablespoon
- Baking powder – 1.5 teaspoon
- Cinnamon – .5 teaspoon
- Salt – .5 teaspoon
- Milk – 200ml
- Egg – 1
- Oil – For frying
- Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
- Powdered sugar – .5 cup
- Peel, core and slice the apples.
- Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ones (milk and egg) in another.
- Add the wet to the dry and mix well to form a smooth batter.
- Mix the cinnamon and the powdered sugar.
- Dip the apples in the batter and deep fry at medium heat ensuring the the insides are well cooked.
- Dust with the cinnamon sugar and enjoy!!
- 6 apples, I would recommend Granny Smith though Deb's Mom uses McIntosh apples
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 2.75 cups flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- .25 cup orange juice
- 2.5 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped; .5 c raisins
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Grease a pan.
- Peel, core and chop apples into 1" chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
- Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, 1 cup sugar and vanilla.
- Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
- Mix in the apples and nuts. (Deb makes the cake in alternate layers of apple and dough but I can somehow not abide the thought of chunks of apples in my cake).
- Sprinkle over with the remaining granulated sugar
- Bake for about 1½ hours, or until a tester comes out clean.
This one is REALLY REALLY good when served with unsweetened cream. The sugar sprinkling on top results in a crunchy crackly top which i love. Yummmmm.