I doubt there’s a better place to be in the autumn than New England. The days have been warm and the nights cool. There’s a clean, crispness to the air and just taking a breath is a delight.Read More
Before leaving Australia for America last week, I met a new friend, Mary, who brought a delicious apple crumble to the boat which we enjoyed with coffee. Though I've made crumble before, this was a bit different and Mary shared the recipe. I'd planned to share it with you earlier, but I left in kind of a hurry. Here's the blog post … Being in the southern hemisphere does have its advantages. It's late autumn here …the end of apple season. All the supermarkets have apples on sale. There are fruit stands along the roadside and the orchards have bags of apples and other autumn crops like squash and pumpkin for sale … most with “honesty boxes” so you can just leave the money for what you buy.
Australia has some of its own varieties. There are Galas and Pink Lady, Jazz and Sundowner and, of course, the usual Granny Smiths and Delicious. We're quite partial to the Pink Lady variety. They're crispy, crunchy, juicy and just tart enough to make your mouth water.
According to AussieApples.com, in 1973, John Cripps, an orchardist and plant breeder, came up with the idea to cross two varieties, Golden Delicious and a Lady Williams apple to create a new apple cultivar which he named Pink Lady. By 1996, over one million Pink Lady trees were planted in Australia, producing more than 10,000 tons of Pink Lady apples. Today, they are still Australia’s favorite apple and are now grown in ~15 different countries and sold across more than 30 countries worldwide.
I wish we had a “smell” chip to share with you the wonderful smell emanating from Nine of Cups when I'm baking apple crisp. It certainly covers up the bilge, diesel and miscellaneous boat smells. I just got a recipe from a new friend, Mary on Indulgence II, for her Apple Crumble. The crumble in this recipe is the crust as well as the topping and it's wonderful. Thanks, Mary! Note that Mary's recipe makes a much larger quantity; I've halved it for use on Nine of Cups. I made this recipe while back in the USA and sadly, there was nary a Pink Lady in sight … only Granny Smiths.
Indulgence II Apple Crumble
Marcie via Mary of Indulgence II
- 1 cups self-rising flour
- 1/4 lb (1 stick or 125 g) butter
- 1 cups coconut
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 6-8 medium apples, peeled, sliced and stewed*
- Melt butter and add to dry ingredients.
- Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
- Grease an 8” deep pie pan and place ¾ of crumble mixture in the bottom of the dish. Press evenly over base and up the sides of the prepared pan with the back of a spoon.
- Place apples* on top, then use the remaining crumble mixture to cover the apples.
- Bake in 350F/180C oven for 25-30 minutes or until crumble is brown.
- For an extra twist, try adding a small can/tin of drained,crushed pineapple to the apples.
Stewing the apples first reduces cooking time and insures the apples are soft and juicy. Simmer apples in water (or apple juice) and a little cinnamon until soft. Drain excess liquid.
Remember all that ooohing and ahhhhing about beautiful, vibrant, colored leaves a few weeks ago? I'm over it. Lin's lawn and driveway are thick with brown pine needles and fallen leaves now. Some days, it looks as if there's a pine needle/leaf blizzard in her front yard. I sweep daily, but there's no keeping up with it. The trees are beginning to bare and it's raking time.
Living on a boat, we've missed this lovely autumnal activity for several years (thank goodness), but here in New England, it's an unavoidable chore if there are trees nearby and for the second time this season, Lin began her yard clean-up on a brisk Saturday morning. We were touring Vermont last time, but this time she enlisted our help.
Lin has a blower and between raking and blowing, the job isn't all that onerous. I remember as a kid jumping in the piles of leaves. Now we just rake them onto a tarp and drag them to a big compost pile in the woods in Lin's backyard. No exhilaration over jumping in the leaves, just get the job done … and watch more leaves fall as soon as we were finished.
The lawn mower has been winterized. The deck furniture has been stored away. Things are beginning to look bare and stark. The temps are dipping below the freezing point. Winter's on its way.