‘Tis the season for apples.
Balancing crisp, tangy and sweet, apples are simply a fruit version of comfort food. We all feel good when we are chomping on an apple, don’t we? It must go back to the old “apple-a-day” bromide and school-kid gift presented to the teacher.
This humble though majestic fruit is in prime shape right now, and in Waterloo Region we are lucky to have local orchards filling the shelves with a variety of what seems to be a dozen or so different kinds, from the venerable McIntosh to the Jonagold or Idared.
By all means eat them continuously this fall – but also try baking with them. A warm apple crisp should leap to mind with a tart flavour and the crisp chew of oats, and fall seasonings such as nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon to balance out a bit of sweetness.
But the cobbler is my favourite. It puts just about any fruit to good use with its biscuit dough-like batter that adds crunch and full body along with the slight and pleasing granularity of a light sugar that is sprinkled on top while it bakes.
Finally, there’s an apple betty — what a great name. It’s a dish that originated in colonial America, having been called a crumble in the United Kingdom, and is essentially a baked “pudding” with layers of spiced, sugared fruit and buttery bread cubes or breadcrumbs often accompanied with a bit of lemon.
This fall, make it an apple a day but bake some classic desserts too.