Monday, September 30, 2013


The recipe, not the soufflé!  It’s nearing the end of September and in Northern Virginia we’re still taking the kids out to pick apples off the trees. Many varieties are available in regional orchards or at local farmers’ markets.  This is the time to take advantage of nature’s bounty.  We’re thinking apple pie, apple cake, apple sauce, apple compote, baked apples, etc. etc.

Here is a recipe that Peter’s mother received from a childhood friend who received it from her mother who probably got it from her mother.  So that must make it at least one hundred years old – a perfect example of classic heritage cuisine! 

Fresh Applesauce
4 medium cooking apples (tart), cored, pared & quartered
1 cup water
½ cup brown sugar (more or less to taste)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Place the apples in a pot with the water; heat to a boil then simmer for ten minutes or until very tender and mushy.  Add in the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Stir and break down the apples to a sauce-like consistency.  Cool and place in sealable jars for later use.  (Yes you can use store-bought applesauce but making your own will enhance the flavor of the soufflé.

Apple Soufflé
Serves 4

1½ tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs at room temperature, separated
2 tablespoons lemon juice
15 ounces applesauce
1/8 teaspoon salt (to taste)
½ cup breadcrumbs
Rind of one orange, grated

Cream the butter, adding sugar a spoonful at a time, the egg yolks and lemon juice.  Using a mixer, blend for 5 minutes more.  Add the applesauce.

Combine the orange rind and breadcrumbs.  Combine salt with the egg whites and whip until stiff.   Gently add the egg whites to the apple sauce mixture, alternating with small amounts of the bread crumbs.  Mix it all well but gently.

Turn the mixture into a deep 1 ½ quart casserole dish which has been buttered and sprinkled with more breadcrumbs.  Bake in a 375 °F oven for 35 minutes.  Serve very warm. 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Apples & More Apples - Apples Everywhere


It's apple season!  Apple tree branches at local orchards are heavy with fruit and bent low, offering their luscious fruit to anyone strolling by.  This is such a great activity for this weekend’s family time.  When our daughter was young we visited orchards as often as possible...berries, peaches, apples, and later for pumpkins, hayrides and toasted marshmallows (not so Polish but sooo good when skewered on a  crooked stick and held over an open fire in the farmer’s field).  And now our daughter carries on the fall tradition with her own family and our 3-year old granddaughter.  Last weekend they came back with bags of yummy apples just waiting to be enjoyed in a dozen different ways.  Today we want to share with you an incredibly flavorful way of using apples for dessert – in a somewhat healthier way than donuts, chocolate brownies or fried Twinkies.

Stuffed Apples  (Serves 6)
  • ·       3 tablespoons honey
  • ·       3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
  • ·       3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
  • ·       2 tablespoons orange liqueur  *
  • ·       6 medium apples  (not tart)
  • ·       3 teaspoons butter
 Preheat oven to 375 °F.  Mix the honey with the walnuts, cracker crumbs and liqueur  * or substitute with 2 tablespoons orange juice plus ½ teaspoon orange zest.    Cut the tops off the apples and core to remove the seeds.  Fill the holes with the stuffing.  Top with ½ teaspoon of butter  and cover with the apple tops.    Place close to one another in a baking dish and bake for 1 hour.  Serve warm. 

Apple Mousse  (Serves 6)

This dessert only takes only ten minutes and is especially useful for using up any left over egg whites and using up all the apple sauce you made after the last orchard trip!
  • ·       3 egg whites
  • ·       1 envelope plain gelatin
  • ·       3 tablespoons cold water
  • ·       1 tablespoon boiling water
  • ·       4 tablespoons sugar
  • ·       ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ·       1 pound apple sauce (about 2 cups)
  • ·       ¼ cup almonds, chopped
  • ·       Cinnamon (optional)

Soak the gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes. Add boiling water.  Place the gelatin cup into a shallow pot with hot water and stir until dissolved.  Keep warm.
Whip the egg whites until stiff.  Add the sugar one teaspoon at a time while beating constantly.  Add the almond extract.  Mix in the gelatin slowly by pouring in a thin stream while beating until completely incorporated..   Fold in the apple sauce and mix gently.  Place mousse in sherbet glasses.  Sprinkle with chopped almonds and dust with the optional cinnamon.  Chill thoroughly in refrigerator before serving.