Fall means baking! I love summer (salads, garden veggies, tomatoes, sunshine), but fall is my favorite season because I get to start baking again. Turning on the stove in the summer is something I am loathe to do, so come fall, it is baking time!
Using my trusty donut pan, I used this very easy recipe—with modifications (used olive oil and regular dairy). You can really dress these up with just about anything. Get creative! Our toppings included:
- melted chocolate mixed with a bit of bourbon and topped with chopped dried figs
- apple butter with homemade granola sprinkled on top
- cinnamon & sugar
We had some yogurt that was nearing its expiration date in the fridge and I remembered the amazing Gâteau au yaourt from Chocolate & Zucchini. An oldie, but a goodie, this cake is easy, delicious and extremely adaptable. I used nonfat plain yogurt, used bourbon instead of rum and glazed the top with some apple cider and sprinkled toasted coconut flakes on the top of it for the last 10 minutes of baking. You could throw some jam in between the layers, top with whipped cream, glaze with chocolate and sprinkle with hazelnuts….the possibilities are endless for this moist and tangy base. You could also eat it plain, with a cup of coffee, for breakfast. Cake for breakfast may help dieters. Seriously!
And now we are at the last of our apples. Thanks apples, you had a good run. We made Very Lazy Fall Apple Butter, an apple crumble, Butternut Squash & Apple Soup, Apple Onion Spicy Chutney and for the finale, this Apple Onion & Butternut Squash Tart. Serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner or cut into thin slices for a great appetizer – I bet it would go fabulously with a dry prosecco. This is a super versatile and delicious tart. The onions, apple and squash cook down to form a great caramelized base that contrasts nicely with the buttery/herbed crust and the salty cheese.
Apple Onion & Butternut Squash Tart
- 5 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 apples, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 butternut squash, cut into 1/2″ cubes and roasted (we had this leftover from the soup, you can add the cubes in when you add the apples to save you a step, I’m sure it will be fine)
- olive oil
- apple cider (vegetable broth or water would do in a pinch)
- 1 Rosemary Tart Dough
- 1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
- Make your Rosemary Tart dough and be sure to refrigerate it overnight or for at least a couple of hours.
- Heat up the olive oil in a large pot and add the onions. Cook until softened, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the apples (and butternut squash if it’s not roasted) and 1/4 cup apple cider or water. Let everything simmer with a lid on the pot until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Give it a stir every now and then and add more cider or water so nothing gets burned. Give it a taste. Taste good? Great? Need more salt and/or pepper, season away!
- Heat oven to 375F. Roll out your tart dough and press into a tart pan (f you have leftover dough roll them into twists, sprinkle with parm and bake them – extra treat!). Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork a few times. If you have some spicy chutney, spread it along the bottom and bake for about 10 minutes. If you don’t, sprinkle the bottom with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese or pecorino and bake for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the tart dough from oven and pile on the onion/apple/squash mixture. Spread evenly throughout the pan and top with some more cheese. Your call on how much cheese – remember these are salty cheeses.
- Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until the tart dough and cheese are a beautiful golden brown.
I just googled “what is the difference between a jam and a chutney” because I wasn’t sure whether to call this recipe a chutney or a jam. Turns out, a chutney incorporates sweet, spicy and sour elements and isn’t as smooth as a jam. So, this IS a recipe for chutney!
Another recipe created out of necessity to get rid of all of the apples from apple picking. This might be the new hit after Tomato Jam.
It’s spicy, sour and a bit sweet from the apples and caramelized onions. Perfect with grilled cheese sandwiches, in a tart, slathered on eggs, brushed on tofu, plopped into soup….you get the idea.
After taking a sauce class with Peter Berley, I’ve really been into grinding my spices right before using them in a recipe. I used our trusty mortar and pestle, but am a big fan of using an out-of-commissioned coffee grinder for large quantities.
Apple Onion Spicy Chutney
Adapted from this recipe.
- 8 onions, chopped finely
- 4-5 apples, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar (you could probably use all cider, I just didn’t have enough)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons crushed peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon crushed cloves
- 1 teaspoon crushed allspice
- 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- Heat up a bit of olive oil in a large pot and add the onions. Let them cook until softened, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and bring to a boil. Stir for about 5 minutes and then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cover pot and walk away. Come back and give it a stir every 15 minutes or so. You want everything to become a lovely brown color and cook down – it can take a while.
- Taste it. Do you like it? Add more spices if you want. Once you can run a spoon through the mixture and a path forms without liquid filling it up, you’ve got the right consistency.
- Pour into jars and can – process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. You could also pour into jars and put them in the fridge. They should last for a while because of all of the sugar and acid.
My weird idea on a Rosh Hashannah take on kugel (I know, it has nothing to do with it, but I wasn’t about to run out for egg noodles), this Quinoa Squash Gratin is delicious and easy to make! Looking back, the quinoa squash mixture would make excellent croquettes. Something to think about for the future!
Here is the original recipe. I ended up using an acorn squash and steaming it instead of the plastic bag trick…not so into using plastic in the microwave. A mix of Monterrey jack and cheddar subbed for the Gruyere and I used 2 eggs in place of the “egg substitute”. I also keep a jar full of toasted bits of bread in the fridge and just whirred some of that in the food processor to make bread crumbs—conventional breadcrumbs or panko would be great as well.
For croquettes, I would mix everything up to the point you’re supposed to put it in the baking dish and then form into patties, roll in breadcrumbs and bake. They would make great appetizers with an herb dipping sauce (parsley, cilantro, garlic, cayene, paprika, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil blended in food processor).
Our garden has been treating us quite well this season! In addition to LOTS of lettuce, we’ve been harvesting garlic scapes, chard and a bit of purple kale. This melage was used in this white bean salad of sorts. Heated up some olive oil, added a sliced shallot, added chopped garlic scapes and cooked for a few. I then added the chopped up greens and until they wilted and added a little more than a cup of white beans and a handful of dried cranberries. Salt and pepper to taste and then some toasted almonds thrown in for good measure. Delicious on its own or over a whole grain or lettuce.
We really enjoy sunchokes (a.k.a. Jerusalem artichokes), but they are a pain to clean! Armed with my trusty vegetable peeler, I made short work of a bunch of them and a lone russet potato to make this soup. Inspired by this recipe, I changed things up by using what we had at hand and it was delicious! We ate some cold the other night and I almost liked it even more. A refreshing alternative to vichyssoise! For the tempeh and pumpkin seeds I made a marinade out of some soy sauce, grapefruit juice, sesame oil and a few other things from the fridge. Srchicha was probably involved. I let the tempeh soak for about an hour and then baked them in the oven at about 375F – turning them until all sides were golden brown. I then brushed some of the leftover marinade over pumpkin seeds and baked those until they got toasty. These were the toppers for the soup.
- 1 potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
- about a pound of sunchokes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3-4 cups of broth
- 1/2 cup half and half or creamer of your choice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place cubed sunchokes and potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Cook until a fork pierces the pieces easily and drain.
- Rinse the pot and add a bit of olive oil to coat the bottom. Over medium heat, saute the onions until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Put the cooked sunchokes and potatoes in the pot and add about 3 cups of the broth. Let it come to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and blend the soup carefully (blender, immersion blender, food processed, whatever – just be careful with hot liquids!). Put it back in the pot and add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer. Add more broth if the soup seems too thick. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve topped with seitan cubes, pumpkin seeds or chives for garnish.
One of my favorite things to make in the winter is my variation on a bread pudding. I take stale bits of bread that we haven’t eaten throughout the week, some fruit, milk, eggs, sugar and spices and make something that is good enough for dessert and healthy enough for breakfast.
There is no rhyme or reason to this bread pudding. It really is ripping apart pieces of stale bread (2 rolls) and placing them in a 9×9″ baking dish. I then blend a mixture of milk (maybe 1.5 cups?), 2 eggs, 2-4 tablespoons sugar, healthy pinches of cinnamon and allspice and maybe a few tablespoons of plain yogurt if we have some, a small pinch of salt and a tablespoon or less of oil. I pour this over the bread, mash in 2 bananas (with clean hands), mix in some blueberries and slivered almonds, make sure everything is soaked, top with some brown sugar and bake at 375F until the top is golden brown. You can use any type of fruit, lesson the sugar, use honey or maple syrup instead and I’m sure it will turn out just fine. Experiment! It’s just stale bread. This is great to make ahead – just let the bread soak in the milk mixture over night and then bake in the morning.
We made these last week as a non-cook meal and I forgot how delicious they are. Get some great lettuce, clean and dry the leaves and stuff with vegetables, tofu, sauce and whatever else you can think of.
Intrigued after reading this article, I decided to search the web for a few of Chef Ottolenghi’s recipes to try out before deciding to buy his latest cookbook. I found his Apple and Olive Oil Cake via More Than Burnt Toast and made it the other night – DELICIOUS! Thank you internet, I think I may buy his book now.
I made a few changes to the recipe – namely I just used 3 whole eggs instead of the egg white route and used homemade vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean. Maybe the cake would have been fluffier with the egg whites, but it rose well enough for me. I also only used 2 large granny smith apples and felt that was enough with the amount of batter. The topping was just some coconut I sprinkled on before popping it into the oven and it only needed an hour of baking time. The cake is moist and light – surprising because of the apple pieces. Perfect with tea or even for breakfast!