In a little bit over a month, mine will officially be considered a full term pregnancy. I still cannot wrap my head around it and although I have been through it once before, I feel like I am starting from zero once again. It is hard to imagine that we will have another little person added to our family unit, which will forever change our lives. So I suppose this means I have entered what it is called the nesting period. I had not given it much thought until this past week when I found myself cleaning, collecting, reading and making lists.
On top of it all, as the days are shorter and we become accustomed to our fall routine, I have been cooking and baking a lot more comfort foods. Soups, stews and easy tarts are part of our daily repertoire. I realized going through my pantry that I have not used a single sheet of gelatin in weeks, but on the other hand, I cannot keep my nut bins filled to save my life. That to me says a lot.
I was on the phone with my mom this past week when she told me about the compota de reinetas she always makes during the cold months with reineta apples, dried fruit, cinnamon and a touch of sugar. It reminded me of the smell of her kitchen and as soon as I hang up the phone, I started roasting some apples myself.
Reinetas are nearly impossible to find here, so I used Pink Ladies and Galas. They are firm, very acidic yet sweet, which make a great baking apple. I sliced them horizontally and layered them with a gluten free almond and muscovado sugar crumble and to accompany them a fall/winter favorite, marzipan ice cream.
My little boy and his best friend D. played a lot outside this week and even modeled for me. They collected pine cones, dead leaves and talked about their Halloween plans while D. tried on her new rain boots. They crack me up and I love their dynamics. We also planted new herbs like stevia, mini purple basil and feverfew, which I have never had before. I hope they last.
Gluten Free Almond and Muscovado Crumble
Note: Makes more than what you will need. Freeze the rest.
100 grams butter, softened
50 grams sugar
50 grams muscovado sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
100 grams rice flour
120 grams almond meal
pinch of salt
80 grams raw almonds, chopped
Cream the butter, sugar, muscovado and vanilla bean seeds with the paddle attachment. Add the rice flour, almond meal and salt and mix. Add the chopped almonds and mix until crumbly.
Roasted Apples with Almond and Muscovado Crumble
Slice 4 apples horizontally. Keep the top, but core the rest of the layers. Place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the crumble in between the layers and in the cavities.
Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until tender. You can baste them with a bit of melted butter in the process if the apples seem a bit too dry.
Marzipan Ice Cream
650 ml heavy cream
350 ml whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
170 grams marzipan, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 egg yolks
80 grams sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
Place the heavy cream, whole milk and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
In the meantime, place the cubed marzipan in the food processor. When the heavy cream and milk mixture comes to a boil, remove about 1/2 cup of liquid approximately and add it to the marzipan while the food processor is running. This will break up the marzipan and turn it into a creamy paste.
Add the marzipan mixture to the saucepan with the heavy cream and return to a simmer.
In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl. Temper in the marzipan mixture while whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon (84C or 183F). Immediately strain the custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Add the almond extract.
Cool the ice cream base over an ice bath and then refrigerate for about 4 hours. Churn in ice cream machine and freeze.