It’s so exciting to have the changing of the seasons. This weather always reminds me of two things, the grape harvest and apple picking. Apple picking weather is divine and it has arrived in East Texas! The weather man has said it is likely we will not see any more days of 90+ this year. That’s cool (literally)
Apple Picking Weather, used to be grape harvest weather…
You can’t live in Napa and not think about the grape harvest. I used to make a fall dress for Meghan at this time of year that had grapes on it. Smocked grapes, painted grapes, embroidered grapes or grape material. I wonder if she’d wear a grape dress if I made one for her this month? I’m thinking at 20, probably not. I dunno though, I could make a big girl version, the chic grape dress…nah, still no.
Apple picking is always fun this time of year also. Up before the sun, climbing the ladders, boys playing catch with apples, Curt and Ryan juggling 3, 4, 5 at a time. I hope second family gets to do this for ten or more years still.
What to do with all the apples after apple picking? Apple custard of course…
Apple Custard (Recipe adapted from Apple Normande, Martha Stewart)
While this creamy apple tart may be eaten cold, it is best served hot or warm. It can be reheated. I also have been known to make it without the crust, just like pudding. My family loves it either way. And finally, it can be made sans the alcohol with no unpleasant results. I also make it very plain for the family and very fancy for guests.
1 sweet tart crust
1 1/2 lbs tart apples, peeled and cored
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons calvados or 4 tablespoons cognac
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
Prepare the pastry and line the tart pan, line the pastry with aluminum foil and weight it with dried beans or rice or pie weights, bake for 12 minutes Slice the apples into 1/8″ lengthwise slices.
Mix the apples with the sugar and cinnamon and arrange in concentric circles in the tart crust Bake for 20 minutes or until the apples begin to color.
Cool while preparing the custard.
Beat the egg and sugar until thick and pale yellow.
Add the flour and beat until smooth.
Add the cream and Calvados and beat until smooth.
Pour the mixture over the apples and return to the oven.
After 10 minutes, sprinkle the top with confectioners sugar.
Continue to bake 15-20 minutes until the custard is set and the top is browned Serve this tart warm.
I used to make this only at Thanksgiving, but since I’ve moved to the country, I’ve begun to make it just because. I like just because better = ) Oh, and I almost forgot, often I leave the apples unpeeled, my family likes things pretty rustic, peels on for most things. I think we’re kind of strange that way, but it is a bit more nutrient dense this way so, let’s be strange.
Enjoy the apple picking weather, if you’re blessed to have it. Enjoy your life and make it paisley, no matter the weather.