Rosemary Apple Pie

Rosemary Apple Pie

This is my favorite apple pie recipe. I clipped it a two years ago from a Saveur magazine, made it immediately, and have made it five times since. love. The rosemary in the crust is very subtle–most people taste something unique, but can’t put a finger on it, and the cinnamon paired with the apples is intense and perfect. I also love the sweetness in the crust, with the crunch of the cornmeal. This is the pie I buy my first bag of apples for in the fall, and commit all tart apples to, should a lovely neighbor give me some of their harvest.

Note: as with all pies, it’s best to start on them early in the day. It’s not a lot of hands-on work, but it does take a lot of time with the chilling and cooling, etc. Better to have time on your side.

Rosemary Apple Pie

For the Crust
2 c. flour, plus more for dusting
14 c. sugar
2 T. cornmeal
12 T. finely chopped rosemary
1 t. kosher salt
12 T. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
12 c. ice-cold water
For the Filling
3 lb. sweet or tart apples, such as Golden Delicious or McIntosh, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
34 c. sugar, plus 1 T. for sprinkling
3 T. cornstarch
1 1T. ground cinnamon
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 12 t. vanilla extract
12 t. kosher salt
4 T. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 T. water
Make the crust: Pulse flour, sugar, cornmeal, rosemary, salt, and butter in a food processor into pea-size crumbles. Add water; pulse until dough comes together. Form ⅔ dough into a flat disk; repeat with remaining ⅓ dough. Wrap disks in plastic wrap; chill for 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll larger disk of dough into a 12″ round. Fit dough into a 9″ pie plate. Trim edges, leaving about 1″ dough overhanging edge of plate. Roll the smaller disk into an 8″ square. Slice into 8 strips; chill both doughs 30 minutes.
Make the filling: Toss apples, ¾ cup sugar, cornstarch, 1 tbsp. cinnamon, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Arrange apples evenly over dough in the pie plate; dot with butter. To make the lattice, lay 4 dough strips horizontally across top of pie, fold first and third strips back on themselves, then lay another strip perpendicular to them, just off center. Unfold first and third strips, fold back second and fourth strips, then lay another strip to the right of first perpendicular strip. Repeat weave pattern with remaining dough strips; chill 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 400°. Trim edges of dough and crimp. Brush with egg mixture; sprinkle with 1 tbsp. sugar and remaining cinnamon. Bake until crust is golden brown and apples are tender, about 1 hour. Let cool completely before serving.

Summer Minestrone Soup

Garden Minestrone Soup
I, surprisingly, had to comb through quite a few of my cookbooks to find a soup recipe with kale and yellow squash, and well, I actually never found one, so I changed a Joy of Cooking recipe to accommodate my little garden’s bounty. I loved this soup, and I know I will make it many more times, since my squash, kale, and herbs are the biggest producers so far this year.

Garden Minestrone Soup

2 T. olive oil
4 chicken or pork sausages, casings removed (I like jalapeno!)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
3/4 c. minced celery, including leaves
8-12 kale leaves, thick stems removed, chopped (or swiss chard)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig rosemary
1/4 c. tightly packed fresh basil, chopped
1/4 c. tightly packed fresh basil, chopped
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
15 1/2 oz. can Cannellini, Great Northern, or other white beans (rinsed and drained)
10 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. parmesan or parmesan rind
2 t. kosher salt
Salt and 1/4 t. freshly grated pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking it, while, sauteing until browned. Then add onions, carrots, celery, kale, garlic, rosemary, basil and Italian Parsley, stirring until greens are beginning to wilt, 5 to 10 minutes. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Then, stir in tomatoes. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, then add the beans, the chicken stock, and the cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered for 20-30 minutes.

Remove rosemary sprig, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano, a drizzle of olive oil, and a slice of terrific bread and rosemary butter.

Honeyed Rosemary Goat Cheese + Whole Grain Crackers

In Lisbon this summer, we had this divine appetizer: bubbling goat cheese straight from the oven, with honey poured over the top and rosemary sprinkled over the honey. So divine. Since I’ve been home, it’s my new favorite appetizer. I’ve also found a cracker that I really like to make (yes, I have tried a few, and they are usually disappointing). The pairing of the cheese and these crackers is quite nice, but the cheese is by far the star. Great for holiday entertaining. I got the cracker recipe from Sally Pasley Vargas’ blog, and her pictures are gorgeous.

Honeyed Rosemary Goat Cheese

1 8 oz. log good-quality goat cheese
1/4 c. honey (this is really to taste, you might prefer more if placing under the broiler)
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed from stem and chopped

You can make this appetizer two ways. 1) Place the goat cheese in an oven proof dish, pour the honey and top, and place 4″ away from the broiler for about five minutes (make sure your dish can handle the heat!). Remove from oven and sprinkle with rosemary and serve immediately.

Or, 2) you can heat the goat cheese (on the stove or microwave) until soft and melted, then stir in the honey and rosemary and serve more like a dip (this seemed like a better way for a larger group–the former seems better for small dinner parties).

Whole Grain Buttermilk Crackers

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. brown  rice flour, plus more for rolling (I grind this in my blender)
1 1/2 T. cane sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/3 c. olive oil, plus more for brushing on the dough
1 c. buttermilk
6 T. seeds such as poppy seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, celery seeds, etc.
Sea salt
1. Whisk the 3  flours, sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt in a bowl until combined. Make a well in the center and add the olive oil and buttermilk. Stir, gradually incorporating the flour into the olive oil mixture, until it forms a dough. It should be soft but not too sticky. Add additional buttermilk if it is dry.
2. Turn the dough out onto the countertop. Knead for about 20 seconds, until it is well mixed. Shape into a flat rectangle and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or as long as overnight.
3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 half sheet pans (approx 18 X 13 inches) with parchment.
4. Divide the dough into thirds. Lightly flour the counter top with brown rice flour, and flour a rolling pin. Roll one piece of dough into a large sheet that is the same size as the sheet pan and approximately 1/16-inch thick (about the thickness of a quarter.) If necessary, lift the dough and sprinkle a sparing amount of flour underneath it to keep it from sticking. If the shape isn’t working, place the flat of your hands on top of the dough to stretch it into a rectangular shape. Transfer it to the paper. Slip both hands under the paper and lift it onto the baking sheet.
5. Brush the dough with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle it with 2 tablespoons of the seeds and a little flaky salt. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top, and roll over the seeds with a rolling pin to embed them into the dough.  Peel off the plastic.
6. With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into thirds the long way.  Rotate the baking sheet and cut into 4 equal pieces crossways to make 12 crackers.   Trim the uneven outside edges with the pizza cutter. Leave the edges on the baking sheet for tasting. (You can cut the crackers any size you want; this cut will make large squares.) Repeat with remaining dough.
7. Bake for 18 to 23 minutes, or until the crackers are golden brown and crisp all the way through. Let cool on the pan and store in an airtight tin.
Makes 3 dozen thin crackers