This might not sound very exciting to many, but my mom and I love food shopping. We get giddy when we have to take trips to the market together, we write extensive lists and always look forward to whatever exciting things we will find. We even did this back home taking bi-weekly trips to Bilbao’s “Mercado de la Ribera”. We love talking to the produce guys at Whole Foods to find out what is coming that week and dig through their crates to find the best pieces. The apples with the leaves, the strawberries with the stems… whatever it might be.
This past week was particularly thrilling as we found a small shipment of lady apples that we instantly cleaned out. They were beautiful, crispy, very sweet and slightly tart. I couldn’t decide what to make with them and as time passed by, we just kept eating them raw. One by one they started to disappear and soon I was left with a third of the original box.
We have been spending a lot of time at home and walking around our neighborhood. Every morning and every afternoon, we take M. out for a stroll, which she seems to really enjoy. She naps while my mom and I just talk about everything and anything. Food is always on our minds and planning daily meals is one of our favorite subjects.
It has been warm and humid the last few days and a fruit salad is what we were all craving for a snack in the afternoon. We came home, sliced some apples, segmented some Florida grapefruit, cut some fresh ginger, whipped some creme fraiche and picked some mint and stevia from my herb planters. This must be the easiest recipe I have ever posted here, but so fresh and delicious.
We still had some lady apples, so we decided to surprise J. with some candied apples when he came home from school that afternoon. “For me?”, he said with a big smile. He was more excited about the idea of holding the stick than anything else and as I suspected, he ended with sticky hands and a messy face, but the apple was left untouched.
Candied Lady Apples
adapted from Martha Stewart
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup corn syrup
10 lady apples
Remove the stems from the apples and insert a wooden skewer in each one.
Mix the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook to a very light caramel (barely any color) to about 315F.
Lady Apple, Grapefruit and Creme Fraiche Salad
2 lady apples, thinly sliced
1 medium red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
Fresh ginger, thinly sliced
Vanilla simple syrup
Creme fraiche, whipped
Fresh stevia leaves
Make the vanilla simple syrup with equal parts water and sugar. I used 1/2 cup sugar and 12 cup of water with half a vanilla bean. Bring to a boil until sugar dissolves and let it cool. Set aside.
Arrange the sliced apples, grapefruit segments and ginger on a plate. Drizzle with the vanilla simple syrup, sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and herbs and arrange some creme fraiche quenelles on top.