Saturday, December 6, 2014

Apples and The Green Egg

As Stone left to play golf with a neighbor, I began my day with a four mile run, getting in some exercise and knowing I will be consuming numerous wonderful calories this evening.   I tried to talk myself out of it but I knew I would be glad I did. Upon returning home, I peeled and sliced apples. I mixed them with these aromatic spices that had my kitchen smelling so good.  I placed the concoction into the refrigerator until I was ready to assemble it.  The crust was next, and was not my usual crust recipe that I use for pies.  Since this is more like a one crust cobbler, I decided to give the recipe they had a try.  I mixed up the crust letting it sit in the refrigerator the required amount of time. I then took it out, rolled and cut it into squares and placed them on a cookie sheet and covering them with saran wrap.  I wanted this dessert to still be somewhat warm when it was time to eat it, so I baked it just before it was time to go. Not long after putting it into the oven, my house began to smell of warm juicy apples and cinnamon baking in the oven.
It was 58' and cloudy as we loaded the car and made our way to friends Helen and Don's.   Don's mama, Rosemary, also joined us for the evening.  With so much going on in the last month in each of our lives, we haven't had a chance to get together.  We had so much to catch up on, from the races that Helen and I ran over the holidays, to my son Michael's wedding and lastly Thanksgiving.
I had received my December issue of Saveur and right there on the front cover was this gorgeous picture of a Apple Pandowdy.  I looked at Stone and said, "I just have to make this and soon."  When Helen asked us over for dinner I said, "may I bring something?"  Hoping she would say yes and she did, she said,why don't you bring dessert.  Helen knows I looooove to bake.  Bingo, I already knew what I was going to make.  Of course with it, I just had to have Caramel Ice-Cream.  I had made this ice-cream last week and already knew it would be the perfect accompaniment with the apple dessert.  I quickly whipped some up, let it sit in the freezer, waiting for the 2 mile drive.  
Upon arrival to their home Stone and I were greeted with Christmas cheer and numerous four legged friends.  The tree was decorated and lit, beckoning us to admire.  Greenery and ribbon lined the staircase.  Everyone was in a festive mood.  Soon after arrival Don put these mouth watering steaks on the green egg while Helen finished up the sides.  In no time we were sitting at the dining room table all brightly illuminated with candles and red and white flowers with greenery.  Who needs to go to a fancy restaurant when you can just go to Helen and Don's.  We spent hours eating and talking with the candles all aglow.  Their home is always so warm and inviting, making you want to sit and stay awhile.  Towards the end of the evening we had made our way into the living room with the Christmas music playing softly in the back ground.  Stone and I made ourselves comfortable on the sofa where one of Rosemary's dogs snuggled in-between us, just needing a good ear rubbing which Stone was very obliging.
It was past midnight as we said our good bye's.  Don walked us out to the car with an umbrella since it had started to rain earlier in the evening.  On our short drive home, Stone and I both agreed it was a wonderful evening and a great way to start the festive holiday season.
Oh yeah, by the way, the Apple Pandowdy that I made for the first time was a huge hit!  I will definitely keep this as my go to Apple dessert.  With its large amount of apples and the rustic way to assemble it, not only is it good, but also easy. You just peel and slice the apples and add the additional ingredients before dumping it all into a skillet.  Next, make up your crust, let it sit a bit in the refrigerator, then roll and slice it up and place the squares haphazardly on top of the apples.  Seriously, how easy is that?

Apple Pandowdy, Caramel Ice-Cream, The Green Egg.,

Apple Pandowdy, Caramel Ice-Cream, The Green Egg.,
 Apple Pandowdy
Serves: 6-8
At Boston's Durgin-Park, squares of rich crust are pressed into a bubbly apple filling partway through baking to absorb up the spiced flavoring in this old-school dessert.  

Crust:
2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
24 Tablespoons butter (3 sticks butter), I grated using a large grater then frozen for about 10 minutes.
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Directions:
Pulse flour, butter, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor into pea-size crumbles.  With motor running, add water; pulse until dough forms.  Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.
Filling:
6 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup unsweetened apple cider
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 Tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
12 semisweet apples, such as Fuji, cored, peeled and sliced into 1/2" wedges
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
Directions:
Heat oven to 375'. Divide dough in half.  On a lightly floured surface, roll dough 1/6" thick; trim edges to make a 9" square.  Cut dough into 3" squares; chill until ready to use.  Stir 6 Tablespoons  butter (melted), sugar and salt, the cider, cornstarch, molasses, lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves, and apples in a 12" cast-iron skillet;  simmer over medium-high for 10 minutes.   Arrange dough squares over apples and brush with cream; bake 20 minutes.  Then using a spoon, press the crust into the filling; and continue baking until top is golden, 18-20 minutes.  Serve with ice-cream, if you like.
This recipe is double the crust recipe that was in the magazine.  I like lots of crust.  I put most on top of the apples having about four squares remaining.  I baked them separately and served them on the side for anyone wanting more crust like I do. 
 Recipe adapted from: The December 2014 issue of Saveur.


Caramel Ice-Cream
Makes about fourteen 1/2 cup servings
Mix:
1 1/8 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups heavy cream
Add In:
Caramel Sauce (your choice on amount) but really, can you have to much caramel sauce?
Directions:
In a mixing bowl, add sugar with whole milk and vanilla extract.  Mix until sugar is dissolved.  Mix in heavy cream.  Pour into ice-cream mixer and mix until thick.  Scoop ice-cream, alternating with caramel sauce into freezer container until all ice-cream is in the container.  Freeze at least 2 hours.  Enjoy, I always do!