Monday, October 18, 2010

Apple of My Eye

Everything’s coming up apples in New York. Although I was raised on - and became addicted to - sweet and tart McIntosh apples, it seems like there are now at least as many varieties of apples are there are heirloom tomatoes – Fuji, Red Rome, Honey Crisp and Ginger Gold. Wouldn’t we love to know the stories behind these alluring names?

On the weekend in the Hudson Valley, the sky is azure blue, the wind is crisp and the bright red orbs are everywhere. Traffic is heavy as people rush to satisfy their autumnal apple fix.

At a busy farm stand, the aroma of warm apple cider doughnuts draws me in for a sample.  

I return from the Hudson Valley laden with pink Fuji apples.  Beyond the obvious portable snack, how best to enjoy my cache?

My excursion included a stop at Tuthilltown Distillery in Gardiner -- the first whiskey distillery in New York State in over 80 years -- for a sampling of their Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey. 

It seems an Apple Bourbon Cake would be the perfect culinary incarnation of my Hudson Valley sojourn.   The recipe from the New York Apple Association proves a lovely project for a lazy autumn afternoon.

Chunks of apples and walnuts are drenched in a healthy amount of bourbon.    The Baby Bourbon adds notes of warm vanilla and caramel – with just a dash of hooliganism - and the deeply burnished cake is sweet and intoxicating, just like a day spent outdoors amidst the orchards of the Hudson Valley.  

©2010 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved  


Kalyn said...

I'm loving the apples this year too, My apple recipe is pretty basic: granny smith apple + salt! Perfect for me.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

The part of Rhode Island where I live is called Apple Valley, because so much of the land here used to be apple orchards. There are still many orchards (that haven't been paved over for shopping malls), including one that has an ancient machine that peels, cores and chunks the apples, all ready for pie. You can buy 25 or 50 pounds of apple chunks!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Now that I finally bought one of the magic apple peeler/corers, I'm in apple heaven. That warm apple cider doughnut sucked me right in! Wow! Now I have to see if there's a recipe. What am I saying? The cake looks amazing, too. Bookmarked!

Andrea Meyers said...

I think your apple bourbon cake sounds perfect! I have to confess my love for NY apples. Empires are our all purpose favorite, but we also like the beautiful round Cortlands. Michael's parents send us a gift of two big boxes of Cortland apples from Beak and Skiff farm which is north of Syracuse.

Helene said...

I've been buying bags and bags of apples. This is the best time of the year. I love Fall and all the great fruits and vegetables we can buy. Thanks for the pictures.

Barbara said...

I remember it well. We used to have apple trees in our back yard. Have no idea what kind (they weren't pretty) but they made fabulous eating and fabulous applesauce. And then we'd pile in the car for a trip to the Franklin Cider Mill...apples, cider, donuts, red/gold leaves and crisp air.

lostpastremembered said...

I just had to look at that recipe, TW, a cup of bourbon makes for one great cake. I have way too many apples and this is an awesome way to get rid of them! Merci!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Kalyn - I have never tried salt on apples - but I'm going to give it a shot.

Lydia - love the name "Apple Valley."

Andrea and Barbara - love the apple memories. These kinds of things seem to stick with us.

Debby - you would not believe the aroma of those doughnuts.

Helene - it is the best time of year for apples.

Deana - I almost thought twice about that one cup of expensive craft bourbon, but then I said, "what the heck?" It is a VERY local cake!

Fresh Local and Best said...

I like the notes that the baby bourbon adds to your apple cake. I do wonder though how a baby bourbon is different from a regular bourbon. It sounds so cute!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Hi Christine - I am told that a "Baby Bourbon" has not been aged as long as a more mature bourbon. Like a baby, it's a little sweeter than a grown up.

Velva said...

Last year, I was able to buy several bags of apples in North Georgia ( I think that is as far south as a decent apple will grow) I was giddy with delight.

Apples remind you of cool crisp autumn air. I can only imagine autumn in the Hudson valley- I am sure on a beautiful day, it is stunning.

The Hudson Valley micro-whiskey is way too cool and is a perfect addition to the cake.


tasteofbeirut said...

I would love a recipe for that cake! (did I miss the link?)
these apples look so crispy and beautiful Ii would be happy eating nothing else all day!

Kat said...

I love McIntosh apples. Lucky you get to taste and buy the burbon on site. There are two distilleries north of here, in Tenn. in DRY counties and you can't even sample the stuff, or buy it local!! What a tease. The Apple burbon cake looks delish!

velva said...

Apples!!! Beautiful. I live just a little too far south to be able to enjoy these beautiful apple orchards and buying them in abundance.