First things first, last month I wrote about Persimmons. I heard from a reader, Rob Pickett about his family and their tradition dating back to the early 1900's. He sent me his Great-Grandmother's recipe and gave me permission to share. Rob's family "cuts their pudding into squares and serves it warm, in a small dish, with cold sweet cream poured over."
Persimmon pudding really is a lovely nod to our Hoosier heritage.
Thanks to Rob and his wife for sharing this cool family heirloom!
Another fall favorite here in Indiana celebrates the apple harvests that are typically abundant. Like many celebrated dishes, most families have their own favorite recipes that speak to memories and preferences. I thought I’d share mine today.
So I have an apple tree in my yard that I planted about 10 years ago. Normally I keep information about all of my plantings in a gardening journal. I can't recall if I bought the tree on clearance and it was without ID or if I just thought at the time that I'd remember. I use these apples for pie, apple butter, apple sauce and chutney. They work just fine and are tart and sweet. Use what you have or even a variety, it just adds interest and complexity to what you are cooking.
9 Inch Double Crust Pie Pastry
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 ¼ c. Crisco (yikes! I know, I know, but it REALLY makes an excellent crust)
½ tsp. salt
4 T. ice water
2 t. white or apple cider vinegar
½ t. vanilla extract
Using a pastry cutter or fork, blend flour, shortening and salt. In a second bowl, beat egg then add ice water, vinegar and vanilla. Add the liquids to flour mixture and stir to combine. Divide dough into two equal portions and roll out on a floured surface.
Apple Pie Filling
½ cup butter
3 T. all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ c. water
8 firm, apples- cored, peeled and sliced (Granny Smith is a popular choice)
1 t cinnamon
½ t. cardamom
Preheat oven to 425.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat & stir in flour to form a roux. Stir constantly for a minute or two, until the roux (paste) becomes golden. Add water, white and brown sugar and spices. Reduce heat to low and simmer.
Line a pie pan with one of your two crusts and fill with sliced apples. Try to mound the apples a bit higher in the center. Pour the simmering mixture carefully over apples and top with second crust.
Crimp the edges of your pie to seal the crusts, then use a sharp knife to cut a few pretty slits in the crust so steam can escape.
Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for 40 minutes.
Let the pie rest at least ½ an hour before serving so that the filling “sets up”. Slice into eight servings and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
-This pie is a perfect candidate for a lattice crust if you are so inclined.
-A fantastic addition is a ¼ cup of grated Norwegian cheese called #Gjetost (pronounced “YAY-toast” and sold at many groceries under the name @SkiQueen) sprinkled on the top crust during the last 15minutes of baking.
Gjetost is a unique cheese made from caramelized goat's milk. It looks and tastes like a caramel candy. It is so popular in Norway that it is even sold in tubes (like toothpaste) to eat on-the-go. A unique selection for any cheese board, serve it with sliced apples
or as an appetizer, broiled on little pieces of brown bread.
Photo credit to @Ski Queen
Elizabeth Morse cooks professionally, is an Advanced Master Gardener and lover of all things local.