Category: Apples

Tiny Waldorf Salads

Is there a salad both more famous (and more mangled) than the Waldorf Salad?  I doubt it.  And because, pretty much since it’s inception, people have been mucking around with it, I thought I would put my stamp on it.  As I have a predilection for little food, I shrank my Waldorf Salad into individual serving sizes.

Waldorf Salad1Waldorf Salad – History

The Waldorf Salad was first made at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1896 and was, a huge success.  The original recipe only contained apples, celery and mayonnaise  The grapes and walnuts came later but are now considered integral ingredients.

The Waldorf precedes the other classic “American” salad, the Caesar, by 28 years. 

The Waldorf Salad was also immortalised in an episode of Fawlty Towers.  I wonder if this is the only salad to ever have a sit com episode named after it.  If you have not seen this you must.  It is hilarious.  But here’s a taste!

So, celery, apples, walnuts grapes…in a mayonnaise sauce.  Which is pretty much what mine consisted of. 

Waldorf Salad2So how did they manage to get it so wrong in the ’60’s? 

Well, the top three reasons of what went wrong in the 60’s in general are:

  1. Charlie Manson
  2. Massive amounts of drug taking
  3. Gelatine

Now,Manson may be all kinds of crazy but I don’t think we can blame him for this:

Retro Waldorf via Bon AppetitOr this (even though this is kind of pretty)

california-waldorf-salad-gelatin-mold via bon appetitOr, Good Lord, even this:

Retro Waldorf SaladNope, the blame for that lies squarely with 3).  Possibly with a large dose of 2) thrown in

After those horrors i totally understand why the poor old Waldorf Salad is not nearly as popular today as the Caesar salad. The graphs below show internet interest in the words as search terms. 


Kind of makes me wonder why I am bothering to post on Waldorf when it’s so unpopular.  Next week – Caesar Salad! And hit city!

The thing is, Caesar salad  is often awful and the Waldorf salad tasted good.  It’s crunchy and crisp and sweet and nutty.  Nothing wrong there.  The buttermilk dressing I used adds a little tang without being too cloying.  It’s delicious.  And easy to make.  And healthy.  And it’s fun to wrap up the main ingredients in a lettuce leaf like a salady sang choy bau.

What more do you need?

Go and make one now.  You already know how….it’s celery, apples, walnuts grapes…in a mayonnaise sauce.

Pop it all into a lettuce leaf, wrap it up and enjoy!

Waldorf Salad5

Tiny Waldorf Salads
My take on the classic Waldorf Salad
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Salad Ingredients
  1. 2 red apples cored and thinly sliced
  2. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  3. 16 small butter lettuce or cos leaves
  4. 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  5. 45 g(¼ cup) seedless grapes, halved
  6. 45 g(¼ cup) walnuts, toasted and chopped
Dressing Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  2. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  3. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  4. Salt and pepper
For The Salad
  1. Sprinkle the apple with lemon juice to stop it from browning.
  2. Place the lettuce leaves on a serving platter and top with the apples, celery, grapes and walnuts.
For The Dressing
  1. Mix the buttermilk, mayonnaise and lemon juice.
  2. Season to taste.
To Serve
  1. Roll up the lettuce leaves to enclose the filling.
  2. Drizzle with, or dip into the dressing.
  3. Enjoy!
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Have a wonderful week!

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Blackberry and Apple Pie

So, today we’ve reached R in The A-Z of Cooking (1977) and…what?  Yeah, I know the heading for the post is Blackberry and Apple Pie. But we’re at R already; you should know by now that The A-Z is never going to give you Roasts or Rice or Root Vegetables. Anyone want to guess the “R” in blackberries or apples or pie?  No?  Good thing because you may as well be shouting “Rumpelstiltskin”.   The R in question is “Reheatable”. What makes this even weirder than the normal bonkers of The A-Z is that you’ll quite likely never need to reheat this Blackberry and Apple Pie because it is so good that you’ll eat it in one go!

Blackberry and Apple PieIf you follow me on Instagram, this picture may be somewhat familiar as I posted it the day I made it which was waaaaayyy back in February. As they say, good things some to those who wait!  The February baking also explains the heart-shaped decorations because nothing says “I love you” like pie right?

Pie Pastry 5The pastry for the Blackberry and Apple Pie came together really well which was awesome because pastry and bread, even after just doing two months of bread with Tasty Reads, are still things that frighten me!  I used frozen blackberries so my mixture was quite wet so when before I placed the filling into the pastry I sprinkled some almond meal into the mix.  This helps to soak up any juices that would have resulted in that anathema to the British Bake Off – the soggy bottom.  Having recently spilled my water bottle all over my lap en route to the gym and having to do an entire class feeling like I had wet my pants, I am also totally against the soggy bottom!

Blackberry and Apple Pie2

Blackberry and Apple Pie3Okay, I know I need to work on my edges but come on, you gotta give me points for the hearts right?  

Blackberry and Apple Pie4Long story short.  This was one of the best recipes so far from The A-Z of Cooking.  Shame it was hidden away in “R for Reheatable”.  If I was going to randomly allocate it a category, it would certainly fall under “T for Totally Awesome”.  Here’s the recipe, including my l’il almond meal trick.

Blackberry and Apple Pie
A delicious and easy to make Blackberry and Apple Pie
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For The Pastry
  1. 200g flour
  2. 100g butter
  3. 1 tbsp castor sugar
  4. 1 egg yolk
  5. Water
For The Filling
  1. 500g cooking apples
  2. 1 punnet fresh or 250g frozen blackberries
  3. 1-2 tbsp almond meal
  4. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  5. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. Sugar
To Serve
  1. Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)
For The Pastry
  1. Sift the flour into a bowl.
  2. Add the butter and rub until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the sugar, the egg yolk and enough water to make a firm dough.
  4. Roll out half the dough into a circle and line a 22cm pie dish.
For The Filling
  1. Peel, core and slice the apples.
  2. Mix them with the blackberries, the lemon juice, the almond meal, and sugar to taste.
  3. Spoon the filling into the lined pie dish.
  4. Heat your oven to 425F or 220C.
  5. Roll out the rest of the dough and use it to top the pie. Seal the edges, trim neatly and decorate as you wish. Make sure you include a hole in the centre, either as part of the decoration as I did or, just with a skewer. This will allow the steam to escape.
  6. Sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Place in oven and bake until the pastry is golden-brown, about 30-40 minutes.
  8. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired!
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking 1977
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking 1977
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Back to work tomorrow after an Easter break filled with doing a whole heap of nothing!  I feel like I’m getting back into the swim of blogging regularly.  Let’s hope my holiday filled May doesn’t derail my best intentions!

Have a wonderful week!  And enjoy the pie!

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Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Is late March too early to call Dish Of The Year for 2016?  Because I think I have a winner.

At the very least, my version of Four and Twenty Blackbirds’ Salted Caramel Apple Pie will be Top Ten. I would love to think that over the course of the next nine months I could cook ten things that are better than this.  I just very much doubt it will happen. It’s THAT good!

Salted Caramel Apple Pie.   Even the words sound good together.   You know how when you first fall in love and you want to say the name of your beloved all the time?  That’s what I’ve been like all week, just walking around with my head full of “Mmmm…caramel…salted caramel…with apples…in a pie….salted caramel apple pie….oooohhhh  yyyyyeah”. And sometimes not only in my head. There’s been a few awkward moments when I’ve said some version of the above only to be met with a blank look and someone saying “Ok, sure…but what’s the time?” That’s how good this is.  It will send you into inner rhapsodies.  Which sometimes become outer rhapsodies. 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie6

It’s starting to get a bit colder here now, much more autumnal – and nothing quite says Autumn like an apple pie!  I pretty much used the Four and Twenty Blackbirds Recipe that you can find here for this.

However, I twisted it up a bit as follows:

  • I used Rhubarb Bitters instead of Agnostura Bitters in the filling – because I already had some and rhubarb and apple is a classic combo right?
  • The original recipe calls for four to six lemons.  I think this is waaaaaaayyyyy too many.  I used three and I feel my apple mixture was too wet.  I had to drain a lot of liquid off before I put the apples in the pie.  I would use two as a maximum and ideally, the minimum amount I needed to stop the apples from browning. 
  • I also used less nutmeg because I’m not overly fond of it and for my palate, a little of it goes a long way.
  • I used bought pastry – a sweet shortcrust pie shell for the base and puff pastry for the topping
  • I used less salt than the recipe specified because the fussiest eater in the world is not a fan of salt and sweet. 
  • I also swapped out the flour in the recipe for almond meal and used demerara sugar in the filling and sprinkled over the top of the pastry.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie3

To me, the salted caramel sauce is the star of this dish.  Without it, you have…apple pie. Tasty but ho-hum.  With it – with the caramel sauce taken to the edge –  so you get a hint of bitterness, then a flood of sweet then a kick of salt in the finish – you have a taste sensation!

Having said that, the spiced apples had a lovely flavour! 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie5

This was the first time I had ever latticed a pie and it shows.  My lattice was quite uneven.  Or, as we shall be calling it henceforth – rustic! 

Here is a guide on how to do it properly!

How to Make A Lattice Pie Crust

 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie8This was soooo good!  We ate it plain and also with cream and some of the leftover caramel sauce.  It would be DIVINE with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie10

The leftover sauce can be used over ice cream or other desserts and will keep in the fridge for a week or so.  I am combining it with chocolate mousse and raspberries for a recipe from our latest Tasty Reads book which I hope will be as amazing as this. 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Best Apple Pie Ever. That is all.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 sweet pie crust
  2. 1 1/2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into even strips
Salted Caramel Sauce
  1. 1 cup white sugar
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 113g unsalted butter (1 stick)
  4. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  5. 1/2-1 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
Apple Filling
  1. 4-6 medium to large apples,
  2. 2 lemons
  3. 1/3 cup demerara sugar
  4. 2 tbsp almond meal
  5. 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  7. 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  8. 4-6 dashes Rhubarb bitters
To Assemble
  1. 1 egg beaten
  2. Demerara sugar to sprinkle
The Salted Caramel Sauce
  1. Cook the sugar and water together over low heat until just dissolved.
  2. Add the butter and bring to a slow boil.
  3. Continue cooking until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, almost copper colour.
  4. (Keep an eye on it, it can turn from under done to burnt very quickly.)
  5. Once it is the coppery colour, remove from the heat and add the heavy cream. Be careful as the mixture will bubble and steam.
  6. Whisk the mixture over a low heat and add the salt.
  7. Set aside.
Apple Filling
  1. Juice the lemons into a large bowl. Add the bitters. Core, peel and thinly slice the apples - a mandoline is perfect for this. Place the apples in the mixing bowl, ensuring each slice is dipped in the lemon juice to prevent browning.
  2. In a large measuring cup combine the sugar, almond meal, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Pour over the apples in the mixing bowl. Use your hands to gently mix and coat the apple slices in this mixture.
To Assemble the Pie
  1. Preheat your oven to 190-200C (375-400F).
  2. Place 1/3 of the apples into the sweet shortcrust pie shell, ensuring that the base is well covered and there are minimal gaps.
  3. Pour 1/4 of the caramel over the apples.
  4. Repeat with the caramel and apples twice.
  5. Assemble the lattice crust from puff pastry.
  6. Brush the crust with beaten egg.
  7. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  8. Place the pie on a baking paper lined baking sheet (to protect your oven if the caramel bubbles over).
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 165C / 335F and bake 25-35 minutes or until the apples are just done when tested with a skewer.
  10. Allow to cool. Serve with the remaining sauce, cream or ice cream.
  11. Enjoy!
Adapted from Four And Twenty Blackbirds Salted Caramel Apple pie
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Meantime I have pie to eat so, have a wonderful week!

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The Dishiest Dish – Poulet Vallée D’Auge

This week’s highlight came from France…from Normandy to be be precise.  Or to be even more precise from the the Pays D’Auge.  This is apple country and the chicken casserole that is the Poulet Vallée D’Auge contains both apples and Calvados, the apple brandy that is also a specialty of the region.

And if chicken, apples and Calvados aren’t enough for you how about we add a generous dollop of creme fraiche into the mix.  Bon Appetit indeed. 

Poulet Vallee D'Auge

We had a bit of a cold snap in the week so this hearty kind of meal was perfect.  And for those of you in the Northern hemisphere who are still in the midst of winter, this will warm any, and all,the cockles you have. 

The perfect drink to have with this would be a cider, one from Normandy would be perfect!  Or maybe a wee glass of that Calvados.

Poulet Vallee D'Auge2This is a lovely dish and that sauce is divine! 

I also made these prawn cakes from the Paleo book.  They looked gorgeous but tasted only ok.  I felt the restrictions of the Paleo diet really made themselves felt here.  Thai food is meant to have that mix of sweet, salt, sour and heat.  The recipe as it stood had no sweet in the dipping sauce.  It vastly improved after I added some sugar.  They do look pretty though!

Paleo Prawn CakesThe Six Week Challenges

No Alcohol

The six weeks of “no” alcohol are nearly over.  I had a bit of a set back this week.  A friend of mine resigned from work and we arranged to go for doughnuts so he could tell me all about it.  And somehow on the way to the doughnut shop we got waylaid by the little bar on the corner.  We were halfway through our glass of vino when we started getting messages.  “Where are you?  The fire alarms are going off.  We need to evacuate the building”.  I am  the fire warden for our office.  Can you believe it?  I never leave my desk.  NEVER.  And the ONE time I go off for a sneaky doughnut pinot, the flipping fire alarms go off. 

What could we do?  They would have grounded the lifts, we weren’t getting back into the building in a hurry.    Nothing for it but to have a second glass o’ wine.

Here is the scene of the crime – Dikstein’s Corner Bar,

We had a lovely New Zealand Pinot but  ewwww…did I feel seedy afterwards.  Totally lethargic, no motivation to do anything except flop on the couch and tune out in front of the telly for the entire evening.  I will say more about this challenge when it is over – in just a couple of days. But after yesterday I am seriously evaluating my relationship with booze. 

Meditation

Still struggling with this one.  I thought this would be so much easier than giving up booze.  Not so.  I”ll try to lift my game for the last two weeks.  And this one can go back on the list for a re-do later in the year. 

Flexibility

I’m LOVING this.  And after only a week or so in, I am already seeing the difference!  I am mixing it up between two different routines – one has a morning routine and an evening routine so if I get up early enough I do that one.  If not, there is another where you do one 10 minute workout for the day.  Really happy with this one!

The March Challenge

I have not decided what will replace the no alcohol challenge come the first of March.

I am narrowing it down:

Journalling – I used to journal all the time and love it.  And I think in some ways that was my meditation.  I REALLY want to get back into it.

Candy Crush – MUST. STOP. PLAYING.

Food – I feel I should replace a “food” challenge with another food challenge – I was thinking maybe a month without bread, pasta potatoes.  But Jenny has inspired me to do one around food waste.  

I will do what I did last month and see what jumps out at me on the morning of the first!  Eeeeekkk – can you believe it’s almost March?

Reading

I have given up on The Apologist for my audiobook.  I could not get into it.  I had previously started Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantell and I have gone back to that.

You can keep your real Housewives…for real scandal and intrigue, give me the Tudors anyday!

Bring up the Bodies

But my major discovery this week was this:

Savage Lane by Jason Starr

Savage Lane=Jason Starr

The hot pink cover had me at hello.  I like to read dark and this is pitch black!  It is also pitch perfect. Nasty, nasty people doing nasty, nasty things.  I’m loving it!

Here is the premise:

“Life is sublime in the idyllic suburbs of New York City.  Recent divorcée Karen Daily and her two kids have, for the first time in years,  found joy as they settle into the close-knit community of Savage Lane.  Neighbours, Mark and Deb Berman have been so supportive as she moves on in life: teaching at the local school and even dating again.

But behind the pristine houses and perfect smiles lie dark motives far more sinister than Karen could have ever imagined.  Unknown to her, Mark, trapped in his own unhappy marriage, has developed a rich fantasy life for the two of them.  And, as rumours start to spread, it seems that he isn’t the only one targetting Karen”

This is the first book of his I have read but I am now keen to read more.  And all of his covers from No Exit Press are equally arresting:

Jason Starr Via No Exit Press

Plants

I am going through a phase where I want to fill my house with plants.  To help with that obsession, I bought this book:

Have started  following this blog:

http://www.thejungalow.com/ 

Her instagram is also amazing!

https://www.instagram.com/justinablakeney/

And have been trying to find a local version of these West Elm Planters.

West Elm Mid Century Planters

Now I just have to buy some plants!

That’s about it.  I haven’t really done much else this week except work. 

On The Menu

  • Saffron chicken from Persiana
  • Lamb Kebabs from the A-Z of Cooking with the tomato salad with pomegranate salad also from Persiana….and eeeekkkk.  Sabrina has a new book coming out in May!   I can hardly wait!
  • Honeycomb Cheesecake from A Moveable Feast
  • Sweet Potato cakes with Lemon Chickpeas

Sirocco

That’s about it for me for this week.  Except for the recipe for the Poulet Vallée D’Auge – which you can find here.

What are you cooking, reading, doing this weekend?  I am planning to take the dogs down to the dog beach for a play. 

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you do.

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2;

 

The Dishiest Dish – Black and Blueberry Crumble

Black berries, blueberries, dots of marzipan, almonds, choc chips, a splash of amaretto and, of course some custard?  How could the Black and Blueberry Crumble not be the dish of the week? 

Black and Blueberry Almond Crumble

Close second was Karen Martini’s Sausage, Ham & Egg Pizza.

Sausage, Ham & Egg Pizza

Fail of the week?  The Broccoli con Anchovy from The River Cafe Cookbook.  I’m not sure what it is with me and this book.  Last week the rotolo was a fail.  This week, I didn’t even get to cook anything.

Here’s the thing.  I put broccoli on my shopping list.  I ticked it off my list meaning it had gone from shelf to basket.   I should have had broccoli in my fridge. BUT I tootled off to twilight yoga on Sunday afternoon planning to have a healthy broccoli con anchovy supper on my return.  Got home, had my aromatherapy bath, got into my jamies. And no broccoli.  Not in the fridge, not misplaced in the cupboard.  Not in the car.  Just a black hole of broccoli. 

And yes, I could have gone and bought some but I was already in my pyjamas and Doctor Who was about to start.

This week I am looking forward to cooking:

Tasty Reads is coming up, I am going to make the Chicken, Cheese and Corn meatballs and the Raw Tuna Meatballs from the meatball cookbook. I found the Turkey Cran meatballs I made a little too sweet for my taste.  I will try these again but instead of the dried sweetened cranberries required by the recipe I will use fresh (frozen) cranberries.  They will bring a much needed touch of tartness.  Also place the balls in the freezer for maybe 15 minutes so the cheese doesn’t ooze out everywhere. 

Black and Blueberry Almond Crumble2In Other News I Am

Listening To

  • I know I spoke about this last week but OMG Episode 3 of Limetown sent shivers up my backbone.  The last ten minutes?  Possibly the scariest thing I have ever listened to. 
  • In the same creepy vein, Mark had never heard of Jonestown until this week.  Reminded me of this other creepy, but this time true, pod

Reading/Listening

I finished A Rush Of Blood on audio,  It was ok. I think the author drew a long bow for the reasons for the murders. 

Am about to start Life After Life.

Watching

We saw William Shatner’s Stage Show the other night.  Briilliant.  We have started marathon watching Boston Legal on the back of it. It’s still immensely watchable!

Also A Beautiful Lie on ABC.  This is a modern day version of Anna Karenina which so far has been superb.  Except for one teeny thing…the Vronsky character is not at all good looking.  In fact, Mr Karenina is waaay more handsome.  Despite this, absolutely loving it. 

 

Green Sauce - From Meatballs The Ultimate Guide by Matteo Bruno

Green Sauce - From Meatballs The Ultimate Guide by Matteo Bruno

Ingredients

  • 50g (a large bunch) flat leaf (Italian) parsley, leaves picked
  • 50g (a large bunch) basil, leaves picked
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 35g blanched almonds
  • 10g anchovies
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 120ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 25 parmesan cheese, finely grated

Instructions

  • Blitz the herbs, garlic, almonds, anchovies, lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper in a food processor for around a minute or until a smooth sauce has formed.
  • Add the parmesan and blitz for another minute.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/10/25/dishiest-dish-strawberry-cheesecake-heaven-2/

What’s going on in your life / kitchen?    What was the best thing you made this week?

What are you looking forward to making next week? 

What are you reading, watching, listening to?

Please share!

Have a fabulous week everyone! 

Happy Cooking!

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