Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sustainable Saturday - Before Apple Computers there were Heirloom Apples

Crisp, juicy, local apples, grown right here in upstate New York.
Heirloom apples. Red, yellow, green, and even russeted brown, whose names sing of exotic eras long gone.  They have tastes that rarely exist in today's apple.  If all you've ever tasted is a Red Delicious or a Macintosh, and you see one of these older varieties, you must experience them.
Let's see.  Here, we have:

Hudsons Golden Gem, with a pear-like taste.
Bramley's Seedling, so perfect for cooking.
Rosbury Russet, the oldest American apple dating from the early 1600's, has excellent disease resistance,  Esopus Spitzenburg, from upstate New York.

We are fortunate enough to have an orchard in the Ithaca, New York area that grows these beauties.

This past October, I made apple crisp from some of these apples.  And made some more.

And for Thanksgiving, down to a few Northern Spies, I made one more apple crisp, with the Spies, some fresh blackberries and an Asian pear.  The Northern Spy is still another New York State apple, and is widely grown and available here. 

Basically, what I do (another adaptation of a Weight Watchers recipe) is take the apples, peel, core and thinly slice them.  I combine with the blackberries, the Asian pear (also peeled, cored and thinly sliced), mix them with a tablespoon of Domino Light Sugar/Stevia blend, and a little lemon juice. The topping is a diet topping and may not be to everyone's liking, but if you want to try it, it consists of 1 cup of quick oats, light butter, some dark brown sugar and 1 tsp of freshly ground cinnamon. Some ginger is nice, too. I'm still working on the topping-I can't seem to get it right.   I guess some things just can't be adapted to "diet" cooking.

And, oh yes, the baking part.  You bake it in a 8 x 8 glass pan, which has had cooking spray applied, at 375 degrees, about 45 to 50 minutes.  Inhale deeply and often.

Do you like apples?  What is your favorite way to eat them?

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