Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Apple Rum Raisin
We made our favorite trip on Sunday to Central Coast Wine Country. We stopped at the Classic Organic Farm & Market and bought some wonderful produce: incredibly aromatic parsley, a basket of red, green, and purple heirloom tomatoes, peppers (which I am going to put in our smoker), a gorgeous spaghetti squash and a huge onion. At Apple Lane on Alamo Pintado, we bought four pounds of freshly picked golden apples. I made today's recipe with some of those apples. We also picked up three trays of strawberries and a cantaloupe from the stand just across from Buttonwood Farm Winery.
I do love Farmers' Markets but I love buying my food directly from the farms even more. Weekend travel plans are often built around trips to farms and orchards, near wineries when possible! We keep a cooler on our backseat, always ready to hold bottles of wine and bags of produce.
Local Harvest is a wonderful site listing farmer's markets, farms, and orchards across the country. Let me know if you visit any of the places listed on the site. Send pix!
I love combining apples and rum. Enjoy!
APPLE RUM RAISIN
1 cup of black raisins
1 cup dark rum
8 golden apples
1 tablespoon vanilla (I used Double Vanilla from Penzey's)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice from 1 medium orange
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
Sea Salt and pepper to taste (Optional! I used Maldon Sea Salt)
In a small saucepan, warm the rum. Add the raisins and rum to a small mixing bowl and let this sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, clean the apples, remove the stem, core, and slice. This is a rustic dish, so slice the apples in any style you choose. In a large mixing bowl, add the apples, rum raisins, vanilla, cinnamon and orange juice.
In a Dutch Oven or non-aluminum saute pan, melt the two tablespoons of butter. Add the golden brown sugar and stir until it is melted into the butter. Add the apple mixture, stir until coated with the brown sugar butter mixture. Saute for about 15 minutes. Don't let the apples get too soft. You want some texture to them. Place in a serving bowl, add a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Can be served warm or cold.
If you'd like, you can mix 1/2 cup of mascarpone with two tablespoons of honey. Mix this well. Add a dollop to the top of each serving of the Apple Raisin Rum. Vary the taste by changing the honey. Try any of these: orange blossom, chestnut or lemon.
Use 1/4 cup of either pineapple juice, coconut juice or cherry juice in place of the orange juice.