Judith’s Insalata di Finocchio e Mela

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1 bulb finocchio, trimmed and cleaned, save some of the nasty green fronds
1 Granny Smith apple, washed and cored, cut in two

using a very sharp knife or a mandolin, cut these into the thinnest possible slices, paper thin.

Sauce:
1 small clove garlic, finely minced and squashed
2 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt and then to taste
2 egg yolks
125 ml plus best extra virgin olive oil

Put the garlic and anchovy into a medium sized bowl and add the lemon juice. With a fork, mash them very vigorously until you can barely see that they were there. Add the egg yolks and salt and whisk briskly to combine. Whisking continuously, slowly add the olive oil, making it into an emulsion. After adding the 125 ml, taste and add more to taste. The dressing should be strong because the juices of the finocchio will dilute it powerfully.

Just before serving, toss the finocchio and apple with most of the dressing. To serve, lightly pile 1/4 of the salad onto a plate and sprinkle a bit of that horrid green frondy stuff on it. You can drizzle or dot a little more dressing on the plate around the salad. Don’t make it up too far ahead as the finocchio wilts very quickly and the apple will brown.

You might like a grind of pepper over it, but of course it won’t photograph so well after it.

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Amber’s Fennel Salad with Apple, Orange, Arugula and Pinoli


1 fennel bulb
1 large Granny Smith Apple, peeled and cored
2 large Oranges, Squeeze one, segment the other
70 grams of Arugula

3 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts (toast in a dry pan, but do not burn)
2 small or 1 medium Shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 cup Olive Oil
S and P to taste

Combine chopped shallots, vinegar, oil, juice of one orange salt and pepper in a jar, close tightly and shake vigorously.
Using a mandolin set to quite a thin setting, slice fennel and apple.
Combine everything, mix, let sit for a few minutes, (but not so long that it wilts!!) and eat.

Warm Apple Cider Cake with Pumpkin Seed Brittle from Vicki Wells

CIDER SAUCE

  1. 4 cups apple cider, preferably fresh
  2. 1/3 cup bourbon
  3. 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  4. 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  5. 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  6. 1 cinnamon stick
  7. 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  8. 1 cup heavy cream

CAKE

  1. 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider
  6. 3 tablespoons canola oil
  7. 1/4 cup bourbon
  8. 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  9. 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  10. 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  11. 2 large eggs
  1. Vanilla Ice Cream, for serving
  2. PUMPKIN SEED BRITTLE
  1. In a saucepan, combine the cider, bourbon, brown sugar, corn syrup, vinegar, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean and seeds; bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the cream. Cook over moderately high heat until reduced to about 1 cup, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a pitcher; let cool slightly. Discard the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper; butter and flour the paper. In a bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a glass measuring cup, mix the apple cider with the canola oil and bourbon. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar and vanilla seeds and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the cider-bourbon mixture, until smooth.
  3. Spread two-thirds of the batter in the prepared cake pan. Drizzle half of the cider sauce over the batter. Dollop the remaining batter on top, then spread the batter over the cider sauce, being careful not to mix them together. Bake the cake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes, or until springy when touched. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Peel off the parchment paper.
  4. Rewarm the remaining cider sauce. Cut the cake into wedges and serve warm with vanilla ice cream, Pumpkin Seed Brittle and the cider sauce.

MAKE AHEAD The cake and cider sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. NOTES Cooking Club Tip: Choose vanilla beans that are plump, moist and fragrant, not dried out and brittle. Beans from Madagascar (thought by many to be the best) and Mexico have a rich vanilla taste. To scrape out the seeds, open up the bean and run the blunt edge of the knife from one end to the other. The contents of one whole bean is equal to one tablespoon pure vanilla extract. To store vanilla beans, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and put in an airtight container. SERVE WITH PUMPKIN SEED BRITTLE

 

PUMPKIN SEED BRITTLE

  1. 1/3 cup sugar
  2. 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  3. 2 tablespoons water
  4. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons toasted unsalted pumpkin seeds
  5. 1/8 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and butter the paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, undisturbed, until a deep amber caramel forms, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and the dissolved baking soda and stir until combined, then quickly pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, spreading it into a thin layer with a spatula. Let cool until hardened. Break into shards and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The brittle can be kept in an airtight container for up to 1 week

Apple Crumble by Lizabetha

 

Crumble top:

100g plain flour
50g Butter or Cooking Margerine
75g Brown sugar
teaspoon of Cinnemon
grated ginger cube (for a bit of zing)

This is something I have experimented with adding different things. If you do not have Vino Cotto try and little port or nice dark sherry.

Makes a dish as per size in pic.. serve about 6

Filling:

2 or 3 Large cooking apple peeled and chopped
70g caster sugar (can use brown)
25g butter
table spoon Vino cotto(my own secret ingredient)

Method: Put plain flour in a mixing bowl and add the butter (cut in small pieces) to the flour and mix together with fingers to make a bread crumb type mixture. Add the sugar and mix in with spoon. Can use a bit more flour and butter to make a bit more if you have a large dish.

Melt the 25g butter in a saucepan and add chopped peeled apples and sugar on low heat. This should carmelise. Add the vino cotto and stir until apples start to soften. Place in baking dish. Any excess liquid can be added over the top on serving. Don’t add to much liquid in dish otherwise the liquid will seep through the crumble toping. Spoon the crumble topping over the top, sprinkle some brown sugar over the top and bake in centre of oven 150 oc for about 20 min or until topping browns. Serve with ice cream, custard, or to be good some natural yoghurt or low fat Creme Freiche.

Tip: You can of course use other fruit like red or blackberries, Rhubarb or add a combination of fruits, like apple and rhubarb.