woensdag 23 oktober 2013

Baking & the Apple of my Eye

Here she is sitting beside the pomegranate candle holder. The apple of my eye, my Apple Charlotte :) I've been calling her that a few times now & I guess it started because I saw this cookery program on TV...

About recipes you can cook in Autumn. It was an old show and I clearly remembered seeing it several years ago with mom. Normally I'm not a fan of reruns. Yes I know, I watch some movies over and over & over again... But with cookery shows once is usually enough for me. I was hoping to get some distraction though and just focused on the pretty pictures rather than the conversation.

Until the chef was standing in an apple orchard & talking about: Charlotte. Hearing my beloved cats name, brought me back to "reality" so to say. So I listened more carefully to what this gentleman was talking about. He was going to bake a pudding called an Apple Charlotte & I rather liked the sound of that. Especially now that I have such a wonderful Charlotte of my own ;)

I watched him peel apples and butter bread & bake it in the oven with a rock on top. It seemed really easy and so I wrote down the instructions & suggested that mom and I should try it sometime.

We opened the pantry door and I saw that we still had plenty of cooking apples. There was some perfectly good left over brown bread. A packet of butter rested in the fridge & we had enough cinnamon and ginger powder. I looked at my mom & she lifted her eyebrow slightly as if saying: Might as well start right away and bake it now, don't you think? Or perhaps that was just my personal interpretation.

I'm not sure, we don't always need words to get a general idea of what the other is thinking/feeling. I rolled up my sleeves, Mom grabbed a kitchen knife, Dad assisted us by washing a stone lying in our cottage garden. We were ready and set to bake...

We all have been watching the Bake Off on the television. Even my Dad who normally doesn't share our great enthusiasm for food programs. Beside the competitive factor it's wonderful to get a few tips & some lovely history or tradition. A handful of ideas & a dash of inspiration can all lead to a wonderful thing. Yet for some reason or another neither of us had felt inspired to bake anything.

Maybe it was because all of us were a bit tired or sad with all those grey days we've had here in the village where Pale Rose stands. Maybe because we (or I was anyway) worried about mom's health.

She's in hospital now that I'm typing this for a treatment that hopefully shall reduce the pain. It's horrible isn't it, seeing somebody you care for so much hurting. Would be great if there was something to cheer or brighten things/us up a little.

I suppose that's why we made the Apple Charlotte yesterday. We both felt like baking this pudding and they say: strike while the iron is hot, or the preheated oven ;)

Here she is, our other Charlotte (picture above). Our apple pud as it came out of said oven. Doesn't it look lovely?! I think it does despite the fact it caved in a little. You had to turn it over on a wire rack and leave it to cool. That was the hard part for me, I was so interested to see what it would taste like. But it did not want it to collapse completely. The TV Chef served it with custard or advised to add some cream. We had it a while later just as it was, a BIG slice of Apple Charlotte.

Delicious if you ask me. The bread had gone crispy and the apple filling was warm with spice. It really felt like an Autumn dish & I enjoyed it. It does help to keep busy! Focusing on a (simple) recipe took my mind of things and we chatted like we Always do. Eating a delicious dessert with a cup of tea later is also rather nice & comforting :D Not sure our Apple Charlotte would have been good enough for the bake off, it didn't have the cream, custard or any added sugar. However, it was our star-bake this week. Yes, your suspicion is correct. I'm deliberately pushing aside the knowledge that it was our only bake this week ;)

Oh, that's the telephone ringing. Gotta go, it's probably an update from Dad...

What have you been baking lately? A pudding perhaps? Ever made an Apple Charlotte? Tell me everything & I get back to you asap.

Jo's Daughter

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