Sunday, November 1, 2009

WV Apples, Apple Butter and Apple Dumplings

Fall is apple time in our area of WV.  We go to a local Orr's farmer's market and select from huge bins of freshly-picked apples of all kinds.  I asked the lady inside for pie recommendations.  She said she likes a mixture of Golden Delicious, Mountaineer and Stayman.  They were just out of Stayman, so I substituted Romes.  I love Orr's.  They grow peaches, cherries, berries, farm produce, flowers and--in the fall--all kinds of gourds and pumpkins.  It's a pretty place in autumn.  I bought some apples, some cider and mulled cider spices.  I love hot spiced cider on a cool fall evening. 

While riding to town the evening before Halloween, we passed another little farm stand along the road.  This is also one of our favorite stops for tomatoes and other veggies.  This particular evening it was growing dark and we saw a big fire with a pot over it and people standing around, stirring.  "Is it applebutter??" I wondered.  "Are they making applebutter?"  My husband thought it might be a Halloween event.  We passed by again the next day on our way back from helping our son move and we stopped.  Sure enough, they were selling freshly-made applebutter.  I immediately picked up a couple pints.  The lady gave me a taste.  I switched one of the pints for a quart and now plan to go back and buy more.  The applebutter tasted so fresh and spicy without the cloying syrupiness of some I've had.  It was sooo good on toast with a couple slices of my husband's good bacon and a fresh cup of coffee this morning. 

And I finally made some apple dumplings again.  I used a recipe from an old Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook.  The dough was pie pastry.  The apples inside were peeled and cored.  According to the recipe, I made a paste of butter, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and brown sugar and spread it over the outside of each apple before wrapping it with a 6-inch square of pie dough.  The dumplings were baked for 30 minutes at 375 deg. Then I made a simple syrup of 1-1/4 cup sugar and the same amount of water with 3 Tblsp. of pineapple juice, brought to a boil.  I poured that over and around the dumplings and baked for 20 more minutes until they were browned.  The recipe says to baste the dumplings a couple times while baking.  I thought they were very good, hot with vanilla ice cream, except the syrup made them a little sweet for my taste.  Next time I would add less of it.  I wouldn't use real sweet apples for this.

1 comment:

Jake and Laura said...

I've been eating a lot of pumpkin this fall. I think it's time to switch to apples! This looks amazing.