Thursday, 3 October 2019

hello october

i love how october begs you to wear your favourite sweater again
 and visit your favourite apple orchard!

we are starting to pick our russets and smoothies. 
cortland, empire, royal gala, and spartan apples are still available. 
you may wish to have a peek at previous blog posts for their flavour profiles. 


the black sheep of the apple family!
although not the prettiest apple, they do have quite a distinct texture
and flavour, often compared to a pear.
russets are a little dry and and quite sweet with a delicate nutty flavour. 
their russeted skin is a wink at their perfect name.
russets are frequently used in cider making. 

russets are perfect to dehydrate or bake with, and also enjoy fresh. 
they are lovely sliced into a salad, or placed on a simple flat bread 
with brie cheese, olive oil, pine nuts and arugula. 


these are a gorgeous early variety of golden delicious but are a little larger and a little sweeter. 
their name still makes me smile! 
juicy and sweet with a lovely thin skin, 
smoothies are so wonderful fresh and also great for every kind of baking. 

 i know we do need the rain, but i find october’s rainy mornings dreary. 
i love baking on these days. 

this apple walnut bread recipe was adapted from an old sweet paul magazine. 
it called for cinnamon, but you may know i broke up with cinnamon, so i changed the recipe a little.
i think sliced candied ginger nestled on the top would be a lovely addition too. 

apple walnut bread 

4 oz walnuts - i used a whole 125 gram bag
1 cup  all purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 ish teaspoon or a pinch ground cloves 
1 cup brown sugar
3 large apples - i used cortlands  
2 eggs 
2/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 tablespoon coarse sugar 

preheat oven to 350˚
butter and line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper

spread walnuts on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
bake for 4 ish minutes until golden and fragrant. 
let these cool then coarsely chop.
in a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, salt and spices.
stir in sugar and walnuts.
coarsely grate 2 of the apples.
squeeze out the excess liquid. place apples in a bowl. 
stir in the eggs, oil and vanilla.
make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the apple mixture, stirring until just combined.
spoon this into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a wet 
spoon dipped in the apple liquid. 
core and slice the last apple and press each slice into the top of the loaf 
sprinkle the top with the coarse sugar.

bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. 
let the bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes, 
then place on a wire rack to cool a little.
serve sliced and warm.
 i love my butter, so would recommend serving it with butter, or a dollop of creme frâiche. 
this bread is delicious toasted too. 

its surprising how many flowers bloom in the autumn.
somehow i appreciate them a little more, knowing that they’ll soon be kissed by a frost.

i especially love this last, random hollyhock that showed up in the valley. 
a welcome, uninvited guest. i have been saving the seeds. 

see you in your cozy sweater this weekend!

the valley is starting to look a little spooky…

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