Sunday, November 1, 2009


Just this summer, I came to terms with the fact that I NEED to learn how to cook. With the inspiration of the Barefoot Contessa, I went ahead with the mission and whisked, sliced, chopped, and grilled my way to becoming a more self-sufficient young woman and a better hostess. 

One of my favorite parts of the fall is being able to go apple picking! Dressing up in a snuggly sweater and heading off to a local farm is such a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. 

While I was in Newport I visited Sweet Berry Farm for my apple-picking quest, but now that I am back in Princeton (I have to get my wisdom teeth removed ICK), I head to my old favorite - Terhune Orchards. The farm store there is open every day of the year, and apple picking at their orchards reminds me of my childhood. As an added plus (for me at least!), they have SO many cute animals to play with, including a herd of golden retrievers all related to the famous original dog of Terhune's called "Blossom." 

Once you have the apples, here is a great recipe (stolen from Ina obviously!) for apple crisp: 

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp - from the Barefoot Contessa: 

5 pounds of McIntosh or Macoun apples
grated zest of 1 orange
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbs. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg

for the topping: 
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.Butter a 9 x 14 x 2 inch oval baking dish
2. Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with zests, juices, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish. 

3. To make the topping, combine the flour, salts, sugar, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the spatula attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples. 

4. Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream and drizzled caramel!!! 

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