I have been busy. Busy with school, busy with lab, busy baking and cooking and taking pictures of food and then being disappointed with the picture or forgetting to upload them or failing to record recipes.
But mostly… I’ve been watching sports. I’m sorry. It sounds silly, but hey, the Detroit Tigers and the Michigan Wolverines are important parts of my life! Especially because I spend a lot of time watching those games with people who like to eat food. Hence, a long absence.
Anyway, you don’t care about that. You care about food, otherwise why the hell would you be here? So I am here to tell you a story about apples. An entire bushel of apples, as it turns out, meaning this is part one of a series of posts of things I’ve baked. But to start, we need to explore what apples mean during the fall in Michigan:
Fall around here is a big deal. We put up with slushy March and April snow, followed by construction for five months straight, interspersed with blazing humidity. Then, in late September, this incredible transformation occurs. All of the deciduous beauties hanging out in our backyards, our parks, and lining the sides of our highways turn into a brilliant display of yellow, red, and orange. Surely, said beauty is fleeting and by Thanksgiving it’s once again cold and rainy, but those moments are worth all the rest. Especially when it’s 70 degrees out, as it magically happened to be last Sunday.
Anyway, cider mills are wonderful places where Michiganders go to buy cider, apples, apple butter, pumpkin butter, pure maple syrup… oh, yes. And donuts. Some people like the plain ones, but cinnamon-sugar is where it’s at for me. And this whole ordeal, which I’ve happily partaken of since I was old enough to eat donuts, inspired me and a friend to go pick a bushel of apples Monday afternoon!
The most important lesson I will probably be able to impart to anyone in the next six months—seeing as I’m not a very wise person—is that if two people split a bushel of apples, they’d better have access to multiple ovens. Our baking extravaganza began last night. We planned, we schemed, we chopped and peeled and mixed and washed dishes and looked up recipes (well, one of us did) and baked:
So after all this baking (two cakes, six mini pies, and apple bread), which was as much as the oven could handle in our three-hour window, we had polished off about thirty Ida Reds. (Review: not bad for baking!) This was approximately one eighth of our haul. See lesson above: unless you have a lot of free time, maybe a peck of apples will suit your needs.
Anyway, the journey continues, but the last picture I will upload, which will precede the recipes post (maybe tomorrow or this weekend), is a picture of a full-sized pie I made this afternoon with a special topping: cheddar crumble. If you haven’t heard of apple pie with cheddar, you’re missing out. This was my take on that. So here you have it: apple pie with homemade crust, topped with white-cheddar crumble. Sweet and savory and very, very Michigan. Happy fall!