I am really missing the farmers markets now that we have most certainly turned the corner and are definitely headed into this cold and Wintry weather. Most of the produce at the markets sucks is depressing and it is definitely not local.
Yes, you can find decent fruits and vegetables, but I don’t know where most of it comes from. As you may know, we have been able to visit many local farms and meet the farmers personally in my On the Road with Bunkycooks series over the last several months. I miss being able to pick my own fruits and vegetables this time of year. Bring back the warmer weather!! I am looking forward to getting back on the road again soon.
Until then, we are enjoying many of the fruits of our labor in our own frozen foods, canned goods, pickles and jams that we put up during the Summer. It is comforting to know that we have all those goodies stashed away to enjoy just in case everything looks lousy at the grocery store as we enter into the long stretch of Winter. Brrrr….
One of our favorite Farmers’ Markets in North Georgia has a huge selection of local apples every Fall. That is where I purchased the ginormous Crispin (Matsu) for the Baked Apple. They are also the ones with the incredible Heirloom pumpkin selection (remember the really funky French pumpkin?)! This year I tried several varieties of apples I had not heard of, including one called a Pinata (and no, it’s not related to that paper thing that you smash up with a baseball bat that drops candy all over the floor at birthday parties!)
The Pinata Apple is a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Cox Orange Pippin. It originated in Germany and won “Apple of the Year 2004” honors in Europe. I figured if it’s good enough for them across the pond, then it’s good enough for me to try!
I really enjoyed the sweetness and texture of this apple and ate several of them as snacks, but then I decided to make an apple tart with the rest of the basket while we had guests who could help us eat yet another calorific dessert! This recipe from Bon Appétit made an easy and elegant tart with a lovely caramel sauce, but since I couldn’t possibly serve a tart without ice cream, I went over the top and made a batch of David Lebovitz’s Double Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream!
OMG! Now I could rave about the tart, but it was the ice cream that really knocked the dessert out of the park! Two pounds and six thousand calories later…I can tell you just how good it was! In fact, I could sit and eat the whole Cuisinart container full of that ice cream! It was beyond decadent rich, smooth and almost tasted like rum raisin ice cream without the raisins (to me anyway). I know…it has bourbon and not rum…I’m just sayin’…Either way, you can never go wrong with a boozy ice cream!
Anyway, it was a fabulous dessert and if you are up for the challenge, I suggest you make everything! You will not be disappointed and nor will any of the guests at your home! Then, after dessert, bundle up, run around the block a few times and you should be good to go!
Now for the important stuff…since it is December 10th and we are fifteen days away from Christmas and I am trying to get into the holiday spirit…I have a giveaway! If you are a food blogger and were at Food Blog Forum Atlanta, you will know how the giveaways totally rocked. If you were not there, well, I guess you would not know. I have given away two of these bags to lucky winners (one for my birthday celebration and one for the Blog Her Food Pity Party) and those folks know how awesome they are!
Now, I am giving another Chefs Catalog bag away (filled with all sorts of awesome stuff for your kitchen) since the holidays are in full swing, I feel like Santa and hopefully, you are feeling lucky!!!
Here’s the drill to enter the giveaway!
*** THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED***
Regretfully, due to the weight and contents of this bag (things that break easily), I can only ship to a winner in the U.S. I apologize to my readers that live outside of the U.S.
Here is how you enter:
Leave a comment on this post telling me what kitchen item you most want Santa to bring you this year!
Here are four additional ways that you can enter.
1. Follow @bunkycooks on Twitter. Leave a comment here indicating that you are now a follower. If you are already a follower, you can leave a comment saying you are.
2. Tweet about this giveaway. Here is the link to tweet http://tinyurl.com/27srvcx. Leave a comment and tell me that you have tweeted it.
3. Become a fan of Bunkycooks on Facebook. Leave a comment here indicating you are now a fan. If you are already a fan, you can leave a comment saying you are.
4. Subscribe to Bunkycooks by RSS feed or email. Leave a comment saying you are now a subscriber. If you are already a subscriber, you can leave a comment saying you are.
*** Please be sure to leave separate comments as they are easier to count! Thanks!
The more times you leave a comment, the more chances you have to win! That would be 5 chances total (but, who’s counting?!). I will be using random.org to pick the winner.
This giveaway ends at 5 pm EST on Friday, December 17th.
I will notify the winner by email. Please get back to me with your shipping information within 48 hours.
DECEMBER 17TH – THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS KRISTA AT RAMBLING TART! CONGRATS TO KRISTA!
Apple Tart with Caramel Sauce & Double Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Recipe courtesy of David Lebovitz and FineCooking.com
Makes approximately one quart
1 1/2 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
6 large McIntosh or Golden Delicious apples (about 2 3/4 pounds), peeled, quartered, cored (I used Pinata Apples)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
5 large egg yolks (at room temperature)
3 to 4 tablespoons bourbon (I used 4, of course)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For caramel sauce:
Bring sugar, cream, and butter to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until sugar dissolves. Boil until caramel thickens enough to coat spoon thickly, whisking often, about 10 minutes. DO AHEAD: Caramel sauce can be made 5 days ahead. Cover; chill. Whisk over low heat until warm before using.
Blend flour, powdered sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and blend until coarse meal forms. Add egg yolks. Pulse until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap and chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Dough for tart crust can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Whisk first 4 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add apples and toss until evenly coated.
To prepare tart:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Cut overhang even with top of pan sides. Press sides of dough to bring 1/4 inch above sides of pan. Arrange apple quarters, cut side down, in circle around outer edge of pan, fitting snugly. Cut remaining apple quarters lengthwise in half; stand in center of tart, fitting snugly.
Bake tart until apples are tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove tart from oven; brush with some of caramel sauce. Cool tart to room temperature. Rewarm remaining caramel sauce. Drizzle tart lightly with sauce. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.
For Ice cream:
In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup of the cream with the milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Warm the cream mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the vanilla seeds and the split bean. Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 1 hour. Taste and let sit longer if you want a stronger flavor.
Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with several inches of ice water. Set a smaller metal bowl (one that holds at least 1-1/2 quarts) in the ice water. Pour the remaining cup of cream into the inner bowl (this helps the custard cool quicker when you pour it in later). Set a fine strainer on top. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl.
Rewarm the cream mixture over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. In a steady stream, pour half of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof rubber spatula until the custard thickens slightly (it should be thick enough to coat the spatula and hold a line drawn through it with a finger), 4 to 8 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should read 175° to 180°F at this point. Don’t let the sauce overheat or boil, or it will curdle. Immediately strain the custard into the cold cream in the ice bath. Press firmly on the vanilla bean in the strainer with the spatula to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the vanilla bean.
Cool the custard to below 70°F by stirring it over the ice bath. Stir the bourbon and vanilla extract into the cooled custard.
Refrigerate the custard until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Then freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the just-churned ice cream to an air-tight container, and freeze for at least 4 hours or up to 2 weeks.