Newsletter #6

 

Out on a Limb Apple CSA Newsletter

Wednesday, November 10th

 

Thank you for a great season! This past weekend, Cammy and I attended “Cider Day” in western Massachusetts. It’s actually not one day but a two-day celebration of the apple, mostly in its liquid fermented state. We met some wonderful people, learned a huge amount and had a great deal of fun. I gave a talk on identifying and conserving heritage apples and led an apple tasting of historic New England apples. We highly recommend that you consider attending some time in the future. While we were in the area, we visited Zeke Goodband’s orchard at Scott Farm in southern Vermont. They have a very large selection of unusual varieties. We picked up a few Wickson and Ashmead’s Kernel for you all to get a taste as an end-of-the-season bonus. We have both growing in Palermo and plan to offer them again in the future. Otherwise, we are focusing on the some of the best of the keeping apples in this last delivery. They are the apples that we put in our root cellar this time of year. Most should be good now although they may improve over the course of the next few weeks. Apples store best in high humidity at a few degrees above freezing . They love it moist and cold. We hope that you have enjoyed this year’s Out on a Limb apple CSA. It’s hard to believe that it’s over. We also hope that you will consider joining us in 2011 when we will once again attempt to provide you with an assortment of the best unusual apple varieties. Please fill out the survey when you get a chance and mail it to us at your convenience. And don’t hesitate to be in touch with any additional thoughts, questions or comments over the next few months. Thanks very much from all of us at Out On A Limb.-John
 
This week's apples:

Ashmead's Kernel

Possibly a seedling of Nonpareil. Gloucester, England, about 1700. One of the English apples that has been planted recently in New England small commercial plantings. Refined buttery flavor, though a somewhat dry texture. It's easy to tell why the apple is held in high regards. Recommended as a dessert (fresh eating) fruit. Very good now but may improve over the next several weeks. Also being used in single variety hard ciders and cider blends. From Scott Farm in Vermont.

Golden Russet

Probably originated in the eastern US before 1800. Unfortunately most old-timers referred to the many russeted varieties simply as “Russet”. Consequently many unique apples have been confused, mixed up and lumped into one “variety”. In fact there are many russets of many sizes, shapes, seasons and qualities. Golden Russet is probably the most confused of them all. Dense, sharp, almost effervescent. Very old and recommended for dessert, cider and winter storage. From the Apple Farm, grown using IPM (integrated pest management).

Haralson

Thought to be a Malinda seedling or perhaps Malinda x Ben Davis. Originally crossed by Seth Kelly of Morristown MN, developed by the University of Minnesota in Excelsior, selected in 1913, tested as Minn. 90, and finally named and introduced in 1923. An all purpose apple that will keep all winter, Haralson is as famous in Minnesota as Macs are in Maine. The apple was also the first major release by the University there; the most recent being Honeycrisp. Low acidity with hints of bubblegum, melts like candy in your mouth. From Sandy River Orchards, grown conventionally.

Idared

Jonathan x Wagener. Idaho Experiment Station, 1942. A fairly recent cross between two classic American heirloom varieties. It’s hardy enough to be grown in small quantities in many commercial Maine orchards. Recommended for fresh eating, as well as in pies and sauce. Vibrantly red and contains a mild tartness. Of good quality now but will also keep very well in the root cellar until late spring. From the Apple Farm, grown using IPM (integrated pest management).

Jonagold

NY 43013-1 (Golden Delicious x Jonathan) New York Station, 1968. Another Jonathan cross. Both Jonathan and Golden Delicious show up frequently in modern American apple breeding. This may be because of relative availability of seed. It may also be because of the higher percentage of decent seedlings you get from either parent. Jonagold is an all-purpose variety occasionally grown commercially in central and southern Maine. Its summery, soft flavor is very pleasant and refreshing. Recommended for fresh eating and for sauce. Stores only until December. From the Apple Farm, grown using IPM (integrated pest management).

Northern Spy

Chance seedling. East Bloomfield, NY, about 1800. An all-purpose variety. It is Lauren's nana's favorite apple of all time. Well-balanced, crisp and juicy with the ideal apple taste. One of the most famous of all American apples, we recommend it for dessert, sauce, and pies. There has been much speculation as to the origin of the odd name. One is that it was named after a hard core (no pun intended) abolitionist who spent his time tracking down slave catchers in the pre-Civil War days and doing them in. His nickname was “the Northern Spy.” From the Apple Farm, grown using IPM (integrated pest management).

Wickson

Esopus Spitzenburg x Newtown Pippin. Albert Etter introduction. Humboldt County, CA, 1944. Introduced by the unsung and generally unknown Albert Etter, one of the great 20th century plant breeders. His Fairfax strawberry is legendary, usually considered to be the best-flavored strawberry and one of the parents of the beloved Sparkle. Recommended for dessert, juice, and as a “sharp” acid source in fermented cider. It has a scrumptious, bold flavor that is way bigger than its size. From Scott Farm in Vermont.

Thank you to all who have submitted recipes! This week's recipes:

Jewish Apple Cake, submitted and adapted by Elizabeth Patten. We have yet to feature an apple cake recipe, and this one sounds perfect.

Batter ingredients: 1 ½ cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

¾ cup sugar

½ tsp salt

2 eggs

½ cups safflower, canola, or other veggie oil

1/3 cup orange juice or apple cider

2 tsp vanilla

Filling/topping: 4-5 small apples

chopped candied ginger pieces (optional)

½ cup nuts (optional)

brown sugar

cinnamon

dash nutmeg

butter

Directions: For the cake batter, combine dry ingredients. Mix together wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and mix just until smooth.

For filling/topping: Blend to preferred consistency/sweetness. Divide batter, and pour half into greased pan. Cover with a layer of filling. Cover with remaining batter and finish with layer of topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours.

Other options: you can add plumped raisins, apricots,

or cranberries to topping, and use reserved water

(if you plump fruit) for batter.

Apple Tort with Breadcrumb Hazelnut Crust, originally from Bon Appetit magazine, submitted by Sharon Kitchens. This crust sounds phenomenal!

Filling ingredients: 2 lbs Granny Smiths (or other tart apples), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch wedges 1/3 cup sugar 1 cup hard apple cider or dry white wine Crust ingredients: 8 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crust-less Italian or French bread (finely ground in processor) 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked 10 Tbsp sugar, divided 4 tsp finely grated lemon peel ¼ tsp (generous) salt ¾ cup whole milk 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces Powdered sugar (for dusting) Whipped cream Filling directions: Arrange apples in even layer in heavy large skillet. Sprinkle with sugar, then pour apple cider over. Cover and cook over medium heat until apples are tender, gently turning apples occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover; cook until juices evaporate, frequently but carefully turning apples to keep wedges intact, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let apples cool completely in skillet. Do this ahead! Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to bowl. Cover; chill. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread breadcrumbs on large rimmed baking sheet. (NOTE: The 8 cups of fresh breadcrumbs will bake down to about 3 cups.) Bake until dried and light golden, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool. Finely grind hazelnuts and 6 tablespoons sugar in processor. Add 3 cups breadcrumbs; process 5 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Stir in 4 tablespoons sugar, lemon peel, and salt. Combine milk and butter in small saucepan. Stir over medium heat just until butter melts. Pour milk-butter mixture over breadcrumb mixture; stir until moistened (dough will be sticky). Let dough rest in bowl until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Transfer 1 cup dough to floured work surface. Gather into ball; flatten into disk. Press out to 9-inch round; wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour for top crust. Transfer remaining dough to work surface. Gather into ball; flatten into disk. Press disk onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, pushing crust up to extend 1/2 inch above sides. Cover; chill at least 1 hour. Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.Preheat oven to 375°F. Fill crust with apple mixture. Place top crust over filling. Fold bottom crust overhang up over top crust edges, pressing together to seal. Bake torte until crust is deep golden and crust begins to separate from sides of pan (top crust may crack), about 1 hour. Cool in pan on rack at least 2 hours. Carefully remove sides from tart pan. Transfer to platter. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges. Serve with whipped cream.

Apple Cranberry Crisp, courtesy of Jane Benson. Apples and cranberries are always a delightful combination!

Ingredients:

4 medium apples---cored, peeled, diced or sliced thinly (about 4 cups)

2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)

½ cup white or raw sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)

6 Tbsp unsalted butter melted

½ cup chopped walnuts

1-2 tsp cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix apples, cranberries, white sugar in large casserole.

Combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, melted butter to form crumbly topping. Spread evenly over fruit and bake 1 hour until bubbly and lightly browned. Eat for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner until gone!

If you have any recipes or tips you'd like to share, please email or comment on our blog at http://outonalimbcsa.wordpress.com/

“Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”

--Mark Twain

Out on a Limb CSA

167 Turner Mill Pond Rd.

Palermo, ME 04354

outonalimbcsa@gmail.com