The apple orchard and a savory squash, apple and quinoa crumble

It had been raining all day on our last day in Vermont. I loved the grey skies and how they brought out the intensity of the colors. Before heading home, Nadia had one more stop planned for us. We were to visit her good friend’s orchards. It was the pinnacle of our trip. A farm filled with apple and plum trees, grape vines, raspberry bushes, horses and so much more we didn’t get to see.

As soon as we arrived, the skies turned bright blue, clouds dissipated, leaving us with a beautiful summer-like afternoon. I knew how excited the kids would be to pick fruit right off the tree.

The orchard provides much more fruit than the family can consume and Nadia goes often to pick whatever they do not want. “Will they mind if we take some home with us?” I asked feeling a bit shy about taking from someone else’s orchard. “Believe me, they are happy we are picking it” she replied.

So we went at it.

There were so many different varieties of apples. The intense dark plum skin on some really drew my attention. I had never seen apples quite that dark. Inside the flesh was white with streaks of pink. Absolutely gorgeous. Do you know which variety that might be?

We loaded a box with apples and plums that we brought back home with us. My mom made vanilla bean, cinnamon and lemon-flavored apple and plum jam as soon as we returned, which she is still enjoying every morning for breakfast.

Needless to say, I cooked a lot with apples last week. One of my favorites, this savory red kuri squash, apple and quinoa crumble with goat cheese, sage and parsley. We ate it with a green salad. It was lovely.

For dessert, one of my childhood favorites that is included in my upcoming cookbook. Gluten and dairy free vanilla and cardamom flavored natillas with sauteed apples. Natilla is a light custard that we grew up eating. My grandmother made it perfectly every time with raw milk and cinnamon. Always makes me think of her.

You can see Nadia’s post with images from our visit on her blog. So beautiful.

Red kuri squash, apple and quinoa crumble

serves 4 to 6

Crumble topping

1/2 cup (70 g) superfine brown rice flour
1/2 cup (70 g) quinoa flour
1/2 cup (70 g) cold cooked quinoa
1/2 ounce (15 g) finely grated Idiazabal or Manchego cheese
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons (90 ml) olive oil

In a bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients. Add olive oil and stir until a sand-like crumble forms.

Chill the crumble while preparing the filling.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium leek, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 medium red kuri or hokkaido squash, peeled and diced (about 3 cups diced)
1 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 sage leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 medium Gala apples, peeled and diced
3/4 cup (185 ml) chicken stock
1 ounce (30 g) goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400F (200C)

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until tender, but not browned. Add the squash, parsley, sage, salt, pepper, and coriander. Increase heat to medium high and stir. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken stock and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the apples and cook another 5 minutes until soft but not mushy.

Transfer the filling to a greased baking dish or individual over-proof bowls. Top with the goat cheese and the crumble.

Bake the crumble until topping golden and filing bubbling, about 30 to 40 minutes for a larger dish and 20 minutes for individuals. Serve warm.

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63 Responses to “The apple orchard and a savory squash, apple and quinoa crumble”

  1. Everything looks beautiful as always and the jam your mom made sounds absolutely delicious…it must be lovely to be able to pick to your heart’s content in an orchard! Really hope I can attend your next workshop :)

  2. Such gorgeous shots. Brought back intense memories of a holiday.

  3. Seanna Lea says:

    I love this crumble. I don’t have quinoa at home, but it looks like it would work with couscous for those who can eat gluten.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The dark apples with white (pink streaked) flesh sound like some I used to get from a tree from an old farmstead in Vermont. I don’t know what kind they are (and would love to find out), but they made delicious and gorgeous applesauce.

  5. What beautiful fall colors. I was just comparing the photos in this post to the ones you took in Vermont over Summer. What a huge difference a few months makes. And I’m liking the sound of a savory crumble.

  6. icicle says:

    Very dark red with white and pink interior? Sounds like a Macoun to me, my husband’s favorite. They don’t store well but that’s not usually a problem here :)

  7. Savoury crumble…intriguing! Without nitpicking too much – does the cheese go on top or is it mixed in? Thank-you!

    (Had a chocolate crumble tart yesterday: thin cocoa pastry, a not too sweet ganache and chocolate shortbread rubble on top. Tempted?!)

  8. Gorgeous old orchard! The color and streaking of the purplish-red apple’s flesh throws me a bit. However the color of the skin sounds quite a bit like an heirloom Black Oxford apple. I wonder if the taste was sweet or tart or a combination of the two. Winesap also is dark, but more ruby, with gold in the flesh, as is the Black Gilliflower, but that has a distinct sheep’s nose shape. My friend Zeke (an heirloom apple expert and orchard manager in VT) tells me that MacIntosh can also turn a dark purplish color when held late on the trees. So much beauty to behold. Thank you, M

  9. Oh how this makes me miss living in upstate New York. So many apple farms with my kids… Beautiful photos of this wonderful time of year!

  10. Soma says:

    Such splendid colors! and i never ever thought of a savory crumble. Sounds like a perfect comforting autumn meal.

  11. Emily Fisk says:

    Gorgeous. I love this time of year – and it’s beautiful where you’re at!

  12. i’m going to read about all the varieties you guys mentioned. i’m sure Nadia will know as well. they were so good!


  13. Marla in Columbus says:

    You take the most beautiful pictures! Your apples look very much like the winesaps we pciked in Ohio last weekend. Yummy eaten out of hand and as I believe someone else mentioned – good for applesauce and/or apple butter.

  14. Anna says:

    This recipe looks wonderful. I have lots of squash and apples right now and have been looking for new ways to use them. Thanks!

  15. Tedra says:

    Beautiful pictures :) The recipe looks good. I’ll have to try it.

  16. Amo las fotos donde aparece esa bebé tan hermosa!!
    Me encanta!! I love it!

  17. This sounds absolutely delicious! I love the different flavor combination’s you come up with – always something I wouldn’t think of, but every time I make it, it’s incredible!

  18. Ruth says:

    Beautiful photos as always – this post really gives me a positive feeling about autumn!

  19. It looks like a tale! beautiful images!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Just beautiful as always…I am a recent follower of yours and I get a little confused by all the lovely people in your life. Who is that amazing woman with the lon-sleeved blue dress, jeans, and camera in tow? You are an incredible cook, photographer and blogger. You are my most favorite of all!

  21. Lovely autumnal pictures and recipe! I always enjoy visiting your blog.



  22. from Middlebury, Vermont, says:

    I you ever*ever find a place, shop or website that sells your fabulous dotty, striped, and floral acrylic spoons would you most kindly please let us know?

    My thought is that you should purchase all you can on your next European trip and sell them on your site….they would be long gone in moments!

    Your blog is so wonderful and a new post brings such pure joy to all of my senses. I can’t wait to see what the month of November brings.

    Love everything you present!
    Mary Ann in Vermont

  23. Anonymous- that is my friend Ndia with my daughter Miren. Miren loves Nadia!

    Mary Ann- the spoons are from a french company called Sabre. not sure if they are sold in the US. I’ve purchased them overseas.

    Thank you!

  24. That is such a great idea to use quinoa in a crumble! Definitely something I am going to have to try!

  25. Mags says:

    My goodness everything looks positively swoon worthy

  26. Gorgeous photos! Simply gorgeous. And a quinoa crumble to boot? a great day.


  27. Joy says:

    This looks incredibly good.

  28. What a beautiful post! I want to try Natilla …… it sounds like egg custard. Do you have one of your recipes for it? I would love to try it. Thanks for posting ANOTHER great story.

  29. Sounds like a lovely day of apple-picking. Autumn is amazing.
    That’s an interesting way to use quinoa… I’m eating quinoa with coconut, rice milk, cashews, and cinnamon.

  30. Shelby says:

    What a dreamy orchard visit…beautiful memories, pictures, recipes, as always :) So happy to further enjoy the season through your blog posts…

  31. Eléonora says:

    Tout est tendresse dans une belle histoire de pommes !!!

  32. Whenever you and Nadia are together, magic happens! I love this post.

  33. Isin says:

    Lovely post as always. I have never been to an orchard and I am jealous :)
    What about the recipe for natilla ? Is it much difeerent from pot de creme ?

  34. Great pictures, Aran. Real beautiful.
    I would love to try your mom’s jams. Would you consider posting the recipes? I am looking for new jam recipes. Thanks you in advance.

  35. Tracey Ayton and Isin- natillas are like a thin version of pastry cream. cooked on the stove top, not baked. the recipe will be in my book :)

    jane- i agree! :)

    Karine- i asked my mom but she didn’t really follow a specific recipe. she weighed the fruit and used half the weight in sugar. cooked it all down until thick with a squeeze of lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla bean, cinnamon. That’s basically it.


  36. That atmosphere is breath-taking! Thank you for sharing this experience, your pictures tell a great story.

    Also, that recipe is right up my alley! I can’t wait to make it this weekend.

  37. Vanessa says:

    Stunning photos. Very real moments captured here.

  38. THANK YOU for sharing lovely & inspirering photos!

  39. argone says:

    Apples and pears … joys of autumn. great pictures

  40. ibb says:

    Sagarrak. Osabanak ekartzen dizkit gogora…amamak eginiko konpotak…gabon eta negu usaia…
    Nola dihoan txikia hazten!

  41. Hola Aran,
    Oso politak azkeneko azgazkiak, bai Perigordekoak eta Vermountekoak. Zelako koloreak, zelako argitasuna, ufff…. ikusgarriak.
    Datorren urtean, garai honetan ia bisitatxo bat egiten dotzegun Itxasori, asko gustatuko jakun.
    Argazkietan agertzen direnak zure ama eta aite dira? disfrutatu euregaz! Jon eta Miren oso politak dagoz.
    Ondo segi eta besarkada bat. Miren

  42. Miren Bego- Nire gurasoak nire lagune Nadian blogean agertzen direnak dire. Hemen

    Pozten naz Itxasogaz ondo ibili zinetelako. Ia hurrengoan udazkenean zatozien. Igual Albany ingurure? Oso oso ederra da.

    Besarkada bat!

  43. Lovely as always. Here on Cape Cod it is cranberry season, visit for photos next year! As for the crumble, I will make it. Beginning Tuesday (new month, new beginning) we will try gluten-free to attempt to right a series of ills. You are a great inspiration in this area!

  44. OMG!!!! I loved discovering your blog..!!! what a nice surprise!! I’m brazilian and here we don’t have beaty blogs like yourse! Grangratulations, and let me know if you book is available to sell in brazil! i’d love to have it!! i also have a child named Sophia, she will love to eat it!! :)
    congrats again!! kisses from brazil!
    xoxo, Agatha

  45. Stephanie says:

    Aaah, memories of my own childhood come rushing forth when you start sharing images from New England in the Autumn! It’s stunning and still is my favorite place to be at the beginning of October. You’re a lucky gal!

    p.s. so glad you were able to finally don those sweaters and wellies!

    p.p.s. the apples might be Ambroisia…an heirloom apple. I recently read about them and was swooning myself. Gorgeous.


  46. I fell onto your blog by accident and just want to let you know that I have been captivated by your photos! Thank you!

  47. Jess says:

    I love your apple picking pics with the little one… so beautiful! Your photography is amazing.

  48. maybe it’s a cortland apple? i just finished one and the streaks of pink/red in the snowy white flesh looked like they were fibers or veins. it was a softer apple, felt like it would break down into a velvety texture when cooked.

    your photos of nadia’s farm made me fall in love with vermont! and your children are beyond beautiful, my husband finally agreed to name one of our twin daughters miren.

  49. Thanks everyone or your knd comments. I think Diana banana is right. I think those are cortland apples. Thank you.

    Diana- that is so sweet… Miren was actually my grandmother’s name.

  50. Hola Aran, te he visto hoy en Robin Food y has estado fantástica! Me ha encantado el risotto que has hecho. Zorionak!

  51. Ainhoa- eskerrik asko! a ver si pruebas el risotto en casa.

  52. Hola Aran, orain ikusi dot Robin Foodeko zure programa, eta gustoa emoten dau zu ikustea sukaldean, ze errez egiten dozuzen janak, eta zelako itxura ona.
    Oso ondo egon zara, naturaltasun guztiagaz. Poztuten naiz zugaitik. Zorionak eta holan segi!!!
    Besarkada bat, Miren Bego

  53. Suzi says:

    I loved your post, it was wonderful (:
    The apples look and sound like the apples from the tree in my backyard. I’ve no idea what the English name is, but in Dutch they’re called ‘sterappels’ (star apples). They’re called that way because if you slice one open horizontally, the core looks like a star. Here’s 2 pictures from wikipedia;


  54. DaDa says:

    i am DaDa from Taiwan that other side in the world. I like reading your blog very much ….., no matter the writing or the picture let me feel very warm. Thank your for your sharing. It was wonderful, that i could see different life.

  55. Abigail says:

    This amazing crumble is in the oven right now (with yellow and purple carrots in the place of squash) and I was just wondering when you add the goat cheese. I reread a couple times and I may have missed it but I don’t see if it says. I added it to the mix before baking. Yum! Thanks!

  56. Maggie says:

    lovely recipe! I’m actually wondering the same thing as abigail, when do we add the goat cheese? thanks!

  57. […] In a holiday devoted to giving thanks, why be the one at the table who has to say “no thanks”? (Photo Credit: Cannelle et Vanille) […]

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