So while we are gearing up for Independence Day here in the United States, it’s Canada Day today (July 1st) I’m celebrating with this lovely Maple Apple Pie. It is more autumn-ish than summer-ish, but apples are around year round. Remember to use a firmer apple (pink lady, honey crisp, or if nothing else is available, a granny smith) and avoid ones that get mushy (mackintoshes are a big no no for baking). Also, I used maple extract in addition to the maple syrup, to amp up the flavor some. In full disclosure, the maple syrup didn’t come from Canada… it’s from Maine (New Englander that I am!)
Rugelach always reminds me of Christmas. I don’t know why, actually, because they are really Jewish sweets and don’t have anything directly to do with Christmas. But nevertheless, they do.
And thus I have no explanation for why I am making them in June. I felt inspired, I guess. But I did use peach jam and pistachios, so it almost has a bit of a Middle Eastern flavor. A bit of everything, I guess.
And now for something actually good for you [grin]. Ok, so these granola bars so actually have chocolate chips in them (you can skip those if you like; add in more fruit) but on the whole they are pretty darn good for you. Wrap them in parchment paper or plastic wrap and they should stay good for a couple of weeks of lunches as the recipe makes 15 of them. Note that the recipe is versitile when it comes to the fruit and chocolate. On other words, if you like cranberries and dark chocolate chips, swap those in. Cherries and chocolate? Also good. Figs and cinnamon chips and add a bit of maple syrup? Great! Or go with the traditional raisins. Any which way, homemade granola bars are definitely the way to go!
Cranberries. So many people just associate cranberries with Thanksgiving and Christmas, but they really are a nice addition to almost any season. Take this tart. It’s loaded with peaches, that are just beginning to show up in the shops (though not locally; these are from Georgia. Local ones won’t be for a few months yet). The peaches as very sweet, and of course I added brown sugar to caramelize them. The cranberries, which I had in my freezer from last fall (you can find frozen cranberries in the shops all year though) add a nice “cut” to the sweetness. And even thought they are “fall like”, the flowers as a lattice does make this a summery pie. Yum.
Sweet and Salty. Nutty and Chocolately. These brownies, like many that I make, are over-the-top indulgent. They melt in your mouth, make your hand sticky from the caramel and have a lovely salty flavor to cut the sugary overload. Not to be missed!