There's something irresistible about fresh apples.
Back in August I started pestering the local orchard, calling every couple of weeks to find out what they'd have and when and how much. Finally, early in September, sister-in-law A bagged some Gingergolds and Granny Smiths at the quirky S&P surplus store in town. In a joint applesauce-making day, we turned out 30 quarts of yellow sauce, trading our sugar-free ideal for an unlikely, but fuller-flavored, combo.
But that wasn't enough. I wanted to sink my teeth into those rosy fruits, so a trip to the orchard ensued. Two bushels of Jonathans promised plenty of juicy snacking and cinnamony dessert-baking. To make them last longer, I cajoled CP into an applesauce Saturday, producing 25 1/2 quarts of tangy-sweet pink sauce behind glass for the winter.
Alas, the remaining half-bushel of Jonathans are getting soft and spotty, even in the cold crisper. So I'm scouring the cookbooks for apple-anything and -everything. I stumbled on this simple, tasty Saudi Arabian dish from a vegetarian cookbook called "The World in Your Kitchen" (thanks, sister H!). It's a sort of curry, but mild and sweet. The three of us ate it all in one dinner.
Apple Bean Pot
2 Tbs. oil
1/2 onion, sliced (I used 1 small)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground allspice (I omitted, not having any on hand)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
2 cooking apples , chopped small
1 1/4 c lima or butter beans, cooked (I used more) with liquid
1 tsp sugar (opt.)
salt/pepper to taste
Heat oil. Saute onion until golden.
Add spices and cook for 2 min.
Add apples and sugar. Stir to coat fruit and cook until soft.
Add beans and enough bean liquid to cover bottom of pan.
Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer 5-10 minutes.
Serve with rice or cracked wheat and yogurt.
Still I wasn't satisfied. This morning I made another orchard run and came home with one bushel of Staymans and a half-bushel of Empires, for baking and eating, respectively. If they go soft on me before mid-winter, what'll I do? Applesauce, apple snitz, and frozen apples for pie. What else?