If you live in Minnesota or nearby, you’ve probably been experiencing weather lately that makes it apparent that Fall will soon be approaching. Although summer is great and we love a little heat, Fall is our favorite season. The gorgeous array of colors that appear as the leaves change, the cool, crisp air (perfect for running!) and, of course, apple picking time!
Going to an apple orchard is one of our favorite things to do in the fall and late summer so when we saw that Zestar apples are ready for picking, we knew our plans were sealed! The excitement grew as we approached the orchard and as we walked up the hill upon arrival there was one important question on our minds; how many apples can we eat today? The answer to that question was soon to be revealed but first, kittens!
Anyways, back to the apples. We each ended up eating at least four (keep in mind, Zestar apples are massive), but we are not entirely sure of the count due to sharing random bites of other kinds of apples as well. Also, they grow grapes there too so we of course had our share of those as well!
Even though overall we decided that the Zestar apples weren’t quite ripe yet, they still tasted delicious and we had a great time! This just means that we need to go back again soon to get some more. Bummer.
To commemorate our first apple orchard experience this year, we have two recipes for you! How about dessert first?
Socca is traditionally a chickpea-flour pancake served in France and is delicious whether you serve is savory or sweet. For this recipe we created a dessert version using some of the apples and concord grapes that we picked at the apple orchard!
1 cup Garbanzo/Chickpea Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Cardamom
1 Tablespoon Concord Grape Jam (we like Crofter’s Organic)
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Applesauce
Zest and Juice of one small Lemon (about 4 Tablespoons juice)
Approximately 1 cup Water*
1-1.5 Apples (we used Zestar but any apple good for baking would work great!)
8 Concord Grapes, halved and de-seeded.
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
Optional Glaze (Mix topping ingredients together, adjusting cinnamon and cardamom for taste.):
1 Tablespoon Agave (or other liquid sweetener)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Place a large cast iron skillet or spring form pan into the oven and preheat to 375°. [See Note in step 6]
2. Grate part of an apple in order to get ½ cup of grated apple. Slice the rest into thin half-moon-shaped slices and toss with 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
3. In a medium size bowl mix the flour, salt, cinnamon and cardamom.
4. In a measuring cup (we used a 2 cup glass one), add the grape jam and 3 Tablespoons lemon juice and whisk until the grape jam no longer clumps together.
5. *Add enough water to the measuring cup containing the lemon juice and jam so that you end up with one cup of liquid, and then add the applesauce and zest.
6. Next, mix the wet with the dry ingredients and fold in the grated apple. [Note: At this point it is best to let the mixture sit, covered, for at least one hour but we have made other types of Socca where we baked it right away and they turned out fine. If you do let it sit, you can wait to preheat your oven].
7. Into the heated pan or skillet melt the tablespoon of coconut butter and then add the socca mixture.
8. Top with apple slices, grapes and glaze and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the socca pulls away from the sides and the top cracks.
This tastes great as is or you can make a simple dip out of 1 T. Unsweetened yogurt, ½ t. grape jam and cardamom/cinnamon to taste.
What is your favorite part about the changing of the seasons? Do you have any fun orchards near you?
Stay tuned for our second recipe from the apple orchard!
~Charissa and Elysia