{October 11, 2010}   33 Years in the Kitchen – Week 15

Sometimes, feeling uninspired leads to inspiration. What? That doesn’t make sense, you say. Well, sit back and let’s see if I can’t explain it.

I woke up Saturday morning exhausted and with a bit of a headache. Wait. Rewind. Friday night good friends Laura Taylor, Barb Abrams and I took fun-time gal Carrie Bissey out for her bachelorette party. And boy did we do it up right…mostly. Carrie wore a tiara and a “Miss Bachelorette” sash, we drank from anatomically correct straws, there was a light flashing anatomical shot glass and many, many vodka drinks consumed at a plethora of bars. The bride-to-be received copious felicitations on her impending marriage from strangers and we almost, almost made it to an all male revue.

Now, where was I? Ah, yes. It’s Saturday morning and I woke up exhausted with a bit of a headache (now you understand, eh?). G was off taking the SAT and it was my job to come up with and prepare a dazzling dessert for our semi-regular meeting of the Gay-Straight Alliance (i.e. we had dinner with super amazing, couldn’t live without them friends Lauren and Melissa, which we called the Gay-Straight Alliance as it was pride weekend). Lauren had given me a suggested recipe earlier in the week (a lovely apple and pear phyllo dough tart) and I’ll be honest – I really didn’t feel equal to it in my post-vodka haze. I knew she was planning a wonderful fall themed meal consisting of the best white sangria that has ever crossed my lips and some oh-my-god-this-is-so-freaking-good pumpkin and chicken sausage lasagna. I knew I needed to make something fall…and delicious.

I pulled out my accordion file and flipped through both the dessert and baking sections. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Nothing looked good. I was totally uninspired. Ugh. What was I going to do? Nothing. I was going to take some more Advil and nap on the couch. Yeah, that’ll help. About an hour later G comes home from the SAT, ready to relax and nap himself (poor thing, only had about 3 hours sleep between work and the test) and reminds me that we have an unwatched episode of chopped on the DVR. We pop that on and lounge on the couch with the hell blanket (no, really, it’s that warm) and about halfway through I hit pause and say: I’m going to make a fresh apple crisp with orange scented cranberries. We’ll got to the store as soon as we finish chopped. Eureka! Inspiration had struck. I spent the rest of the episode carefully constructing the recipe (that’s right, this week’s new recipe is new cause I made it!).

It turned out to be the perfect accoutrement to Lauren’s fabulous dinner and we had a wonderful time. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Warm Apple Crumble with Orange Scented Cranberries

Crumble Filling

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice
6-7 granny smith apples
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar

Crumble Topping

1/2 package old fashioned butter cookies, crushed
1/3 cup brown sugar, crumbled
1 2 oz bag pecan pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 stick butter, room temperature


Place cranberries and orange juice into a microwave safe bowl.

Microwave on high for one minute and set aside.

Peal, core and thinly slice apples.

Combine apples, cranberry mixture, spices and sugar in a bowl, mixing well.

Set aside for one to two hours to allow apples to relinquish juices.

Combine first four topping ingredients in a bowl.

Using your hands, work in the soften butter.

Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

After the apples are fully macerated, pour them into a baking dish and flatten with a wooden spoon.

Press topping onto filling.

Bake for 30-45 minutes until bubbly.

Serve with one small scoop of Tahitian vanilla bean gelato.


rouxbarb says:

Yay for making it up! Bet it was DELICIOUS, but what I’d really like to know about is that white sangria. Really? WHITE? Never heard of such a thing.

Carrie says:

That sounds fantastic, and I wish I could have had some delivered to the couch on Saturday evening to compliment my dry toast and coke. 🙂

Sounds delicious! Inspiration recipes are my favorite (see: champagne pfifferlinge!). But you know what you might want to try is throwing in some calvados, maybe even calvados laced cream on top. It’d complement the apples and give it a real kick (not that you didn’t bring your own from the night before 🙂 )

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