Baked Apple Desserts
Sour Apple Soufflés
It's the time of the year when the triple-digit temperatures start to dwindle here in Texas. Children go back to school, and fall is just around the corner. September always makes me think of apples. How do apples relate to Texas cooking?
Apples are not native to Texas, but a food item does not have to be native to a land to be part of that land. For centuries, apples have been a staple in France, Germany and even Spain -- nations whose cultures are planted deep in the soil of Texas, making it the melting pot that is Texas.
When we think of apples as a dessert, we usually think of pies and tarts. But, the fruit is so versatile that I want to suggest some different ways to enjoy them. There are many different varieties of apples, more now than I recall from my childhood. The flavors and textures can differ greatly. Braeburn, Granny Smith, Red Delicious and Fuji are a few types found in supermarkets today. And because there are so many varieties, I am going to concentrate on three of them for the recipes I am using today. Two of them are my personal favorites because of their texture and flavor. The third is a variety I wanted to try a bit more.
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The Royal Gala apple has in its heritage Cox's Orange Pippin, a wonderful old-fashioned English favorite, and both Red and Golden Delicious in its family tree. It has a gold base with red in stripes or in masses on the skin. I discovered it when I was working in the Grand Canyon. I was going on a mountain bike ride and wanted a snack for the road. It is such a clean, crisp, fresh and juicy apple that I was able to go a few more miles after I ate it. I am using this type in the Cast Iron Apple Pie, and you can also use it for the Poached Apple dessert.
The Ginger Gold apple is the last of the three apples. It is a new variety to me, and is a beautiful green like the Granny Smith with some gold and a red blush to it. These apples were discovered in a Virginia orchard in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is possibly a cross between Golden Delicious and Pippin apples. It, too, is a firm fleshed juicy apple. And the really great thing about it is that it can be put in almost any apple recipe. It holds well for both baking and cooking.
The first recipe today is something I was thinking about when talking to my friend who used to go camping with me in the Grand Canyon. With today's camping supplies, it's not hard to bring along a small folding oven to fit your camp stove. You could also use a traditional cast iron Dutch oven with the lip on the lid to hold hot coals. Food tends to taste better when cooked outdoors. A warm and delicious meal at the end of the day is always looked forward to at the campsite. This recipe is for the campers or tail-gaiters, but it can also be made at home for a nice easy "pie." The crust is omitted for simplicity of preparation at the campground. The topping and filling should be prepared in advance at home and packed into separate containers for the cooler.
Cast Iron Apple PieFor the filling:
If you are like me and LOVE ice cream, I have a couple of recipes for you. The first is a sorbet. Sorbet, Granita and Sherbet, oh my! What is the difference you ask? Well, sorbet is the French term for sherbet. Sorbets differ from sherbets in that they almost never contain milk or milk products. Granita is the Italian word for ice, and it usually more granular than either sorbets or sherbets.
Granny Smith Apple Sorbet
If you have an ice cream maker that decides to not work like mine did last night, add one frothy egg white to the liquid and put it in a plastic container and place that in the freezer. Stir it about once every half hour. Serve when ready, it can keep in a tightly stored container for up to six months. Makes 1 quart.
Apple Dessert RecipesCinnamon Sauce
The last two dishes are the adventurous recipes, a little challenge for everyone, but not hard to make at all.
There are several ways to serve this dish. You can place the two halves on a plate and drizzle it with the cinnamon sauce and a dollop of Chantilly cream. Or scoop some vanilla ice cream into a bowl, place an apple half on top, then drizzle some of the cinnamon sauce on top.
My last dessert is also my favorite. It is light and airy with tiny bits of apples inside.
Sour Apple SouffléThis makes six small souffls or one, seven-inch souffl.
You should prepare the soufflé dish or dishes by first buttering them, then putting sugar inside to coat the dish. This idea is similar to buttering and flouring a cake pan, except you are using butter and sugar. This is so the souffl will have something to cling to as it rises -- kind of like a mountain climber needing the rocks of a mountain to reach the top.
The souffl mixture is poured into the prepared dish or dishes all the way to the top and the top is smoothed. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes for the single, large souffl, or 15 minutes for smaller, individual ones.
Just remember, the only thing limiting your ability to create new dishes is your imagination and someone to eat the mistakes. For this I give thanks to my Dad, Dave and Johanna!
Dorothy Sibole is a pastry chef living in Austin, TX. If you have questions about this article or the recipes, contact us at moc.gnikoocsaxet@nibrof_solkim.
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