I have this thing
I do...I take photos of practically everything I make in the kitchen. Not just quick snapshots, oh no! I set up my
backdrop, make sure the lighting is just so, and pose the food as attractively as possible.
The family laughs at me, but they put up with it.
So, since we've got this handy upload space here at ATS, I thought it might be fun to start a thread intended to make readers drool...and maybe to
inspire people to spend more time in the kitchen.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos I post in this thread were taken by me of food that I made. Click on the images to see full size.
Since it's autumn here in the northern hemisphere, apples are in abundance. For those of us in apple-growing areas, they're not only abundant, but
extremely fresh and extremely cheap. This week I made two of my favorite apple recipes: Apple Butter and Apple Crisp.
Apple butter is a tasty preserve with the consistency of softened butter. It can be used the same way you'd use a jam or jelly - on toast, on
crackers, paired with peanut butter in a sandwich, as a filling for cake, as a spread for poundcake, or eaten straight off a spoon!
Crockpot Apple Butter
5lbs apples - peeled, cored & rough chopped
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
two pinches salt
Preheat Crockpot (5qt or larger) on high heat while you do the prep.
In a large bowl, mix together sugars and seasonings.
Peel and core the apples, then chop them roughly into approximate 1" pieces. Move the apples into the sugar mixture and toss or stir to coat.
Put everything into the Crockpot.
Cover and cook for 1 hour.
After an hour has passed, the apples will have given off a fair amount of liquid. Stir, replace lid, and reduce the heat to low.
Continue cooking for another 9 hours on low, stirring occasionally.
Uncover the Crockpot and cook an additional 1-2 hours, or until the apple butter is no longer watery and is a nice, dark mahogany brown.
Turn off the heat and let the apple butter cool at room temperature for an hour.
Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the apple butter smooth.
Divide into freezer safe containers; this lasts for many months in the freezer, so only keep a small amount in the refrigerator at a time. If you
have canning equipment, you can also can and put up the apple butter.
Note: if you use a more tart apple like Granny Smith or if you prefer a sweeter spread, add more sugar during the cooking process to taste.
This recipe makes 8-10 cups of apple butter depending on the specific apple used and how much it breaks down.
Apple crisp is a Midwestern favorite. It's got the taste of apple pie without the need to make a fussy crust. This recipe makes a party-sized
portion and can be assembled in about 10 minutes. It can also be assembled the day before and refrigerated, then baked as you're eating dinner. It
may be the perfect dessert for busy folks!
5lbs apples - peeled, cored & chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350*
Peel and core the apples, then cut them into 1/2" pieces. Place them into an ungreased 13"x9" baking dish.
In a medium bowl, mix together sugars, flour & spices from the Apple section above. Sprinkle evenly over apples and toss to coat.
In a medium bowl (use the same one, less dishes to wash!), mix together oats, brown sugar, flour & cinnamon from the Crisp section above. Pour in the
melted butter and mix with a fork. Mixture will resemble a crumbly dough.
Crumble the crisp topping evenly over the apples in the baking dish.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crisp is crisp.
Photos taken with a Canon A720. Macro mode, natural sunlight. Cropped and resized in Photoshop. Background is two wooden cutting boards.
[edit on 10/18/2008 by anachryon]