Monthly Archives: October 2012

Apple Tart

Well, there is nothing like a hurricane to give you an incentive to cook something. For those of you who have somehow not heard, the East Coast is experiencing a bit of bad weather. Many students across the Northeast are rejoicing tonight as schools and universities have announced closures for the second day in a row. Since most of my friends and I have strategically avoided Friday classes, this has given us a much-need five day weekend to catch up on sleep and homework–or, in my case, cooking. I just really hope this clears up so kids can go trick-or-treating on Halloween!

About a week ago, I went apple and pumpkin picking with my friends West and Amanda.

Surveying our options

I love pretty much everything about fall, but the one thing I love most is escaping the city for a day and going apple and/or pumpkin picking. This is incredibly ironic as the thought of camping gives me hives. But picking my own produce? Totally down with that. West grew up on a farm, and I like to think that Amanda and I amused him with our extreme excitement at all things nature-related. Like most city-folk who venture to a farm, Amanda and I came home with roughly 6½-lbs of apples each. I haven’t had a chance to make anything with them until now, however, as assignments have kept me out of the kitchen. Nothing like a hurricane to return one’s cooking-mojo.

This is my go-to apple galette/tart recipe. I’ve been making it for nearly eight years, and no other recipe has been able to trump it. The crust is flaky and quickly assembled. The filling is easily adaptable to what one has on hand. The tart itself is not very sweet–making it the perfect vehicle for some coffee or vanilla ice cream. So, if you still have power and are stuck indoors during a hurricane with a ton of apples, I suggest betaking your stir-crazy self to the kitchen. Happy eating, and I hope everyone in the Northeast stays safe and dry!

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Cinnamon Apple Banana Bread

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and this recipe is proof of that statement’s veracity. I always have fruit, and I most definitely always have bananas. It’s one of those habits that I picked up from my mother. Actually, that last bit is more the result of my father’s insistence on making sure we all got our “daily dose of potassium,” but the point is that I always have fruit. One person can only eat so much fruit, however, and I constantly wind up with a couple of pieces that I cannot consume before they get too ripe to eat.

Having too much fruit, however, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It gives me ample excuse to make fruit-filled pancakes, smoothies, and desserts. My favorite way to use up ripe fruit, however, is by making banana bread. I use my mother’s recipe and have wonderful memories of making loaves of banana bread with her when my dad bought way too many bananas.

When I realized that I had two very ripe bananas earlier this week, my instinct was to make some banana bread. Here’s the problem: my mom’s recipe calls for three bananas. Solution? Add an apple. I didn’t want to lose the banana flavor, however, so I decided to roast my bananas to intensify it. I also cooked the apple pieces for a few minutes so that they wouldn’t release too much water while baking and create a soggy loaf. Working off of my mother’s recipe, I noticed that the substitution of the apple for a banana made the batter a bit too thick. Solution? Add Greek yogurt. The result was an incredibly moist (Horrid word. I know. Apologies) treat that made for a pretty awesome breakfast solution this week.

Maybe it’s not such a bad thing to lack ingredients after all. Happy eating!

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