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Category Archives: Informal recipe

Macedonian Stewed Apples

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I made this dish based on a lovely dessert I had. Firm apples are stewed over low heat in a bit of honey, water, vanilla and lemon juice until they are cooked and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Serve chilled, topped with chopped nuts (I used almond, the restaurant used walnut). It is very sweet and a little goes a long way. The apples and sauce are also delicious when served with thick Greek yoghurt.

This is what I was aiming for when I tried the Greek apple preserves.

Apple Dumplings

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I was thinking of plum dumplings, but since I have a glut of apples I decided to modify the recipe to use apple. Instead of using a leavened biscuit dough I used a pie crust dough. Mine was made with butter and flour, but it could easily be made vegan by using margarine instead. I chose a firm apple and peeled it, then cut it into chunks. I cut each chunk several times, not completely through, in order to reduce the cooking time. Meanwhile I brought a pot of salted water to boil. Each chunk of apple was encased in dough, then I cooked several dumplings at a time in the boiling water for five minutes. I served them with sugar and cinnamon.

Fried Apples and Onions

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It’s been a long time since I made this simple dish. To make it you need oil, an onion and a firm apple, and a bit of brown sugar (I often use maple sugar). The onion is sliced and pan-fried over low heat until soft. Meanwhile, the apple is cored and sliced thinly. Because I’m using up damaged apples I was given, I had to remove a little extra from the core. The apple slices are laid on top of the bed of onions and sprinkled with just a little brown sugar. The lid is put on and the dish is cooked until the apples are soft.

Applesauce

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Of course most people dealing with a surfeit of apples know: when life gives you battered apples, make applesauce.

I like a thick applesauce. I make it by peeling apples, removing the bad spots, and roughly chopping the flesh. I add enough water to half fill the pot, then squeeze in lemon juice. For about 15 apples, I use half a lemon. I allow it to simmer over low with a lid on, stirring every 20 minutes. When the apples have mostly dissolved, I remove the lid. If the water is mostly gone, I use a hand-held blender to purée. Otherwise, I let the water evaporate before blending. As a final step, I taste and, if needed, sweeten with stevia. Applesauce can be stored for about a week, or frozen for later.

Sometimes I add vanilla or cinnamon, but this time I decided to make it plain.

Sweet Apple Bread

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To make this bread, I made a simple yeast breast with flour, yeast, a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt, water, and a little vegetable oil. Before the second rising I made some swirls of brown sugar with cinnamon, and incorporated apple chunks from two peeled apples. I baked it in a greased pan for half an hour at 180° Celsius/350° Fahrenheit. I cooled it on a wire rack – briefly in the pan and then out of the pan – before cutting it.

Apple Baked in a Pastry Shell

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In late September I was gifted with two bags of apples fresh from the tree. I stored the good ones in my basement, but the bruised or otherwise damaged ones needed to be used before they rotted. So there are going to be a lot of posts involving apples I prepared in September.

First up: apple in a pastry shell. I made a pie crust (I used butter, flour, salt, and water, but a non-dairy solid fat could be used). I preheated the oven to 150° Celsius/300° Fahrenheit while I rolled out the crust. I left the skin on the apple, but cut out a few bad spots and the core. I filled the hollow with loosely packed maple sugar, then sealed up the pastry (leaving a vent on the top) and brushed it with a bit of milk (optional). After that I baked it for about 50 minutes until the pastry was starting to brown.

It was quite nice.

Baked Breakfast Polenta

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I was inspired by a recipe for baked polenta fries and a recent travel experience where I ate a fried polenta bread for breakfast.

To make my baked breakfast polenta, first cook polenta (cornmeal) in salted water according to the instructions on the package until thick. Next, mix in seasoning.

I made two variations. One was sweet, with liquid stevia and corn kernels added, and was served with sprinkled sugar and cinnamon, fruit compote, or maple syrup.

The second was savoury and contained coriander leaves (cilantro), corn kernels, and green chilli.

Next, the mixture should be spooned in to a lightly greased dish. Either a baking pan or a flat-bottomed bowl will do. It needs to sit for at least an hour to cool, but as a breakfast dish it’s best done the night before.

Preheat the oven to 200° C/375° F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. The now solid mix can be cut into shapes, either freehand or using a cookie cutter. Brush oil on both sides of the polenta. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning the polenta once.

If you are short of time, you can pan-fry it instead until it is lightly browned on each side, but this will use a bit more oil.