Just as everyone is ramping up their vegetable garden, ours is quietly dying.
You see, as you all were digging out of snow and ending your hibernation, I was picking the bounty of my garden. You were jealous. I was proud.
In March, we ate sweet grape tomatoes picked from the vine and gathered fresh strawberries by the handful. In April and May, we picked large bunches of greens from the local organic farm and filled our crispers with wholesome goodness. In June, it started to get hot. I mean, really hot. The weeds began to take over the garden plot because I couldn’t bear the heat and exertion needed to keep them at bay. “Not to worry though”, I thought, “Jessica’s Organic Farm will keep me well stocked until fall.”
Until I went for my weekly trip, only to find that they were CLOSED for the summer. CLOSED! Where would I buy my fruits and veggies?
As I ponder how to deal with this tough situation, I will tell you exactly how not to deal with this problem:
Don’t buy bagged apples.
I saw these at the local super BJ’s and thought I would give it a try. I go organic as much as possible but I am willing to eat a few non-organic apples if neccesary. Also, the price was right. About $5.99 for 12 pounds of apples. We eat a lot of apples.
Look at these things.
The outside appearance of most of the apples was terrible. A few of them looked pretty good from the outside but were filled with deep bruises and mush, grainy insides. Ewww.
The bag sat for awhile and I realized that I was not going to make a special trip to return the apples and I needed to use them up quickly. (That little one on the left breaks my heart–look at that bruise!)
Luckily, I had a pie crust in the fridge too…and set about making something with those sorry, sad, apples.
I looked around and found a recipe for Apple Crumb Pie from petebakes! and set out to modify it a little.
Here is what I did:
1) Peel, core, and slice about 8 apples. You may need less if you can use most of your apple….mine were terribly damaged and I managed to cut out a lot of them.
2. Put your sliced apples in a bowl with 1/2 cup of suagr and 2 T. of flour. I added 1 T of cinnamon–because I like it.
3. Get your pie crust ready. If you are lazy, like me, use the one in your fridge. I used a tart pan instead of a pie pan because I wanted it to look pretty. If you are feeling particularly inspired, try this tart recipe (just so you know, but I am sure you have noticed, I have at least one reference to smittenkitchen in every post)
4. Layer in your apple slices. (This was the first time I actually layered in my fruit slices. Usually I just dump everything in–this time I took care to layer things nicely and I was happy with the results!)
5. Mix up your crumble. Or get your little sweetie to mix it up for you. We mixed 1/2 cup sugar, 6 T butter chilled and cubed, 2 T of oatmeal, 3/4 flour, 1 T cinnamon, 1/2 tsp kosher salt. You will want to either process once in the food processor or use a fork or your hands to end up with a dry crumbly mixture.
6. Sprinkle this over the entire tart.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Let cool and serve with vanilla ice cream (or cinnamon ice cream if you have it!)