Cooking the harvest!

Fall has arrived, and with it a bountiful harvest that needs to be cooked! So, that means it is time to test the recipes we’ve spent the past 2 years collecting. Recently we cut down our selection of hundreds of recipes we found to our top 20 that we plan to put in our book. Last weekend we picked up Newtown Pippin apples and some Dry-Farm tomatoes, along with eggs, onions, peppers and a few other necessities. We were testing four recipes, all of which date to the very early 1900’s:

  1. Apple-Tomato Chutney
  2. Mrs. Thomson’s chili sauce
  3. Apple Snow
  4. Apple Custard

Below are some pictures from the cooking extravaganza:

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For each recipe, we took careful notes on the things that needed clarifying, and the changes we made. In the case of the chili sauce, we decided to cut the recipe down. This is because the recipe called for 2 gallons of tomatoes, 10 onions, 8 bell peppers, 8 cups of sugar and much more. This was clearly a years supply for someone planning to can the surplus for a later date. Since that was beyond our plans for the afternoon, we just did a third of the recipe, which was still plenty!

Overall, the results were great. The chutney is tangy and sweet, and great with bread and cheese. The chili sauce is like a mix of ketchup and barbecue sauce and is great on roasted vegetables, potatoes and eggs. We just  used it as an alternative to enchilada sauce for a roasted vegetable enchilada and it was excellent! The apple snow was a sweet, light and perfectly luscious dessert, unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.

Unfortunately the apple custard was a bit of a fail. The recipe didn’t offer baking directions, which would have been very helpful! The custard wouldn’t set and we burned the crust in the process. We did eventually get the custard to set, at least well enough to know what it is. The recipe is essentially a pumpkin pie but made with apple instead of pumpkin, and with a meringue top similar to lemon meringue pie. It was at this point we had to turn to an expert.

We’ve been working with Blythe Robinson, a professional chef who is helping us test the trickier recipes. We had already given her the recipes for Jam Cake and Apples with Pastry Variation. She has written them out in a way we can all understand and replicate.

What a great way to celebrate the harvest!

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